Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

August 29th, 2011:

The Last of the 5″ Floppies

TP3Floppy325Wide.jpgThe AC works again, though now that it does, the hot spell has broken and we don’t really need it. (Love that 72 degree stuff!) However, Carol and I have some cleanup to do, as the air handler made a honking puddle on the furnace room floor downstairs, soaking the bottoms of a number of boxes. Some of those contained Christmas stuff, including my old Lionel trains. More intriguing, another, smaller, box contained a stash of 5 1/4″ floppies from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I went through it to see if there were any old backups to be destroyed (there were none) but the commercial software lineup in the box is pretty impressive:

  • Turbo Pascal 2.0 (includig Turbo 87), 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 5.5
  • Turbo Pascal for Windows
  • Mystic Pascal
  • QuickPascal 1.0
  • TopSpeed Modula 2
  • TopSpeed C
  • Stony Brook Modula 2
  • Smalltalk/V286
  • Turbo Basic
  • Quick C
  • Reflex 1.0 and 2.0
  • Turbo Lightning
  • Paradox 2
  • WordStar 3.02
  • MS Word 6.0

…and lots of additional stuff from Borland and other companies, most long gone. Falk Data Systems; Software Science, Inc; Digitalk; Adapta Software, and on and on and on.

The box is toast, and I’m thinking that most or all of the disks have long since become unreadable. Still, it would be interesting to see how true that is. I checked my Paradox 4.0 3 1/2″ floppies from 1993 just now and they still read, so I suppose it’s possible. Alas, I haven’t had a 5 1/4″ floppy drive in the house in years. I’ll be going up to OEM Parts later this week to gather a few things to replenish my parts drawers, and I’ll bet they have a drive on the greasy old crap table. I’ve even got a working machine in the to-be-recycled pile with an open front bay to put it in.

I know, I know–bad use of my time. But at very least I’m going to rejoin the Turbo Pascal 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 floppies with the manuals, which are still on the top here in my office. I’m sure I can part with the rest. Those, well…in a very real sense they helped pay for the house we’re now living in, so I’ll add them to my memoirs archive. And just in case they do read…I can bring up a DOS VM in ninety seconds flat!