Rob's Ramblings

Friday, 24 April 2009

Thoughts on archiving BBC micro Floppies

I've spent a bit of time recently pondering on how to go through the vast quantity of floppy discs I have for my old BBC Micros.

I've got several hundred discs of my own, plus maybe a couple of hundred more that I've aquired over the years with other kit but never looked at.. A good mix of DFS and ADFS in my own collection, probably mostly DFS in the others..

Now, I've currently only got 5.25" drives for the beeb's, although I have some loose PC drives. Not sure if any of the PCs here will read single density (DFS) discs though, but then, I've not tried..

I have a GoMMC fitted into a Master, and Mark(retroclinic)'s CF IDE waiting to go into a machine, so I could copy the discs onto one or other of those, I guess - the GoMMC might be better as I can image each disc individually rather than copying into ADFS directories. There's just the reliability issue.

All the Beebs are econeted, too, with server on an A5000, so it's possible to copy up to there, and then move them via ethernet. That might give problems with load/etec addresses etc though, as taking individual files across filing systems tends to loose such niceties.

There's also the issue of finding the time to sit at a machine and plug discs in, one at a time...

It's all because I'm hoping to find a couple of programs I wrote many years back - one when I was just 16, to control my message panel, which I recently unearthed, and one a few years later to recover a Level3 fileserver drive. I'll have them somewhere... just no idea where! It seems a shame to go through every disc just to do a *CAT and move on, when there may be other items worth preserving in there too. And with many of these discs starting to approach their 30th birthday, I don't think I should be stressing them too many times! So, a quick read and archive, and move on, seems best. I can then hunt through the images later.