Circuit Break Podcast #417: Cloud of Disks

Podcast Title: Cloud of Disks

Release Date: 2024-02-13

Episode: #417

Join Parker and Stephen as they delve into Japan’s decision to phase out floppy disks and CD-ROMs for government submissions. From reminiscing about nostalgic tech quirks to analyzing the challenges and benefits of this transition, they explore the implications for industries and digital competitiveness. Discussing Japan’s slow tech evolution, resistance to cloud systems, and the enduring use of floppy disks in various sectors, they ponder the future of outdated tech and its impact on global standings. Tune in to gain insights into the end of an era and what it signifies for technology and society.

Podcast Audio:

Podcast Notes:

Contest Announcement

Introducing a new Circuit Break contest! This contest is themed around building food-related electronic projects. We’re offering over $5,000 in cash prizes, themed trophies, and free prototyping from MacroFab. The deadline to submit is March 31st, 2024. Thanks to Mouser Electronics for sponsoring the contest prizes!

Get the Contest Details

Discussion Highlights

  • War on Floppy Disks :floppy_disk:: Discussing Japan’s decision to end the use of floppy disks in government operations.
  • Implications of Technological Obsolescence: Speculating on the challenges of transitioning from physical media to digital storage.
  • Comparisons to Government Processes: Stephen shares his experience with outdated military specifications and discusses the reliability of military-grade components.
  • Automotive and Military Testing: Comparison of testing standards for automotive, military, and space applications, highlighting similarities and differences.
  • What does this mean for Parker’s FD5? :sob:: The implications for Parker’s FD5 camera and its reliance on floppy disks, is this a ticking time bomb?
  • Nostalgia vs. Modern Replication: Discussion on replicating vintage aesthetics with modern tech, including Parker’s use of a disposable camera lens on a mirrorless camera.
  • Grease Weasel: Explanation of the grease weasel device and its role in preserving data from old floppy disks.
  • Floppy Disk Bombs: Stephen shares a fun and dangerous way of combining matches with floppy disks. Don’t try this at home kids :fire:.
  • Digital Competitiveness: Japan ranks 32 in digital competitiveness. What are the factors that affect a country’s technological advancement?
  • Industrial Use of Floppy Disks: Some industries still use floppy disks, including automotive, medical devices and avionics. Chuck E. Cheese used them until at least 2023.
  • Secure. Contain. Protect. (SCP): Tangent about SCP, a copypasta site about different creatures in an organization called Secure. Contain. Protect.
  • Predictions for Technological Obsolescence: Speculation on the last industrial or commercial use of floppy disks and potential next tech equivalents.

Relevant Links:

To the Community:

  • Are you still using floppy disks? What for?
  • What will be the next tech equivalent of a dinosaur?

Is Japan also re-writing all their software to change the SAVE button into something less recognizable? :floppy_disk: :speak_no_evil:

I just bought an USB floppy drive and 10 brand new disks to get data of the beloved HP35670A Dynamic Signal Analyzer.

If you can get usb floppy to work I would be amazed! I could never get them to work on anything newer then Windows 10. Worked fine in Ubuntu… D:

This brings up an interesting question. What would replace the floppy diskette as the save icon? Lots of apps automatically save after changes… Is a save button even needed now days?

Be amazed.
I plugged the drive into my work laptop (a Thinkpad i7 11th Gen), Win11 Pro 22H2.
It did some well known floppy noises and showed up as Drive (A:) and I could write and read.
Interesting though, the drive shows only in the main window of file explorer, not in the list on the left side. :face_with_monocle:

For the record, it is this drive ( link):
USB Floppy Disk Reader Drive, 3.5” External Portable 1.44 MB FDD Diskette Drive for Mac Windows 10/7/8/XP/Vista PC Laptop Desktop Notebook Computer Plug and Play No Extra Drivers– Black : Electronics

1 Like

That is the same “generic” usb floppy that ive tried. Multiple brands have the exact same guts. I think I just have some bad floppy diskettes. Time to order some New Old Stock!

I found out that it is very helpful to format the disk in the drive that does the writing. Reading is often more forgiving. In my example, I always have the HP analyzer format the disk and the copy the data.

Time to replace the HP analyzer’s floppy disk with a Gotek floppy emulator running FlashFloppy firmware. Then you can use a USB drive instead.

Ive got one of these on a old Tek scope. They work ok.

This is what Inkscape is using as a save icon. I would translate it to:“Put it into the drawer…”. It took me some time to find it, propably also because it is located on the right side of the window and not in the top left corner. UI design not FTW.

1 Like

“Put these bits into my junk drawer of a harddrive”