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#218673 - 10/20/13 06:34 PM [Off-Topic] Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks?
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Notes Norton Offline
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Doing some spring cleaning in my studio. I found a cache of a couple of hundred 3.5" floppy disks. Some brand new, some with data and labels on them (I can erase them with a USB floppy drive and an eraser that will write random zeros and ones 35 times over).

I also have over a dozen cases of brand new floppy disk labels on tractor feed paper.

Of course, I could throw them out, but that seems like a waste.

Soooooooo...

1) Does anybody know where I could donate them where they would be re-used as floppies? (probably not a chance)

2) Any place to re-cycle them so as not to end up with more toxic junk in the landfill?

The floppy disk disappeared in a hurry many years ago, and they got tucked into a corner of the studio. I'm re-doing my office/studio, and I'd like to use the space for some other useless items. wink

Notes

PS, I suspect that I'll hear from my friend Mac on this sooner or later
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#218677 - 10/20/13 06:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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musicians using keyboard modules & expanders still use them Bob. I've got a pile of them I use for midi files. Not ready for scrapheap yet methinks
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#218683 - 10/20/13 07:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Furry beat me to it.

Notes, depending on the type of floppy, there are keyboardists with the older sequencing/storage keyboards who value the clean floppy.


--Mac
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#218697 - 10/20/13 09:02 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Right, we have a Yamaha Clavinova that still works fine. It takes the low density 3.5" diskettes, 720 Kb if I recall correctly. These were used after 5.25" floppies but before the 3.5 size went to 1.2 Mb.
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#218725 - 10/21/13 08:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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OK so consider this for a moment....

If they are not useful to you, they are not useful to anyone else either.

Many new computers don't even come with floppy drives anymore. New computers don't come with serial ports either. It's old technology.

A few years back I went to Argentina and thought I'd carry a bunch of cassette tapes that were new in the wrapper since I had switched to CD's. A few dozen.... but the musicians I worked with there were not interested in the tapes...old technology.... they were working with CD's just like me. Lesson learned.

Either stick them in a box so that one day you can show your great-great grand kids the ancient artifacts, or burn them, bury them, scrub them with a magnet, or simply throw them in the trash and move on.

BTW: I have a nice collection of cassette tapes.... some are brand new still in the wrappers....
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#218734 - 10/21/13 09:41 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Yes I've got lots of old cassettes. Mostly ones I bought to learn songs with and also a number of tapes I bought as souvenirs when I traveled to foreign countries. I have a couple of hundred LPs too. I've digitized my favorites, and plan to get to the rest.

My Korg i3 keyboard takes 720k disks, but I don't use the sequencer or the auto-accompaniment anymore - just the built in sounds (some of which are still excellent).

I checked ebay and the floppies are selling but not for enough money to retire in the south of France or anything - but I suppose at least it will pay for my gas to get them to the post office wink and is better than having them end up in the dump.

I used to have zip and jaz drives and disks too. I managed to give those away when the technology was first becoming obsolete.

I remember the limitations of the old storage systems. I never liked cassettes but had to deal with them. The HD Floppy seemed big in it's day, and the jaz drive held a whopping 2G of data - all that the Win95 computers could access. And my first 40M drive for my old Atari computer was as big as a 2 space full depth PA amplifier.

I like progress, but it does leave some debris in its path smile

Notes
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#218740 - 10/21/13 10:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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In more demand than the actual floppies at this point in time are the drives and drive mechanisms that can read and write to them.

Those old sequencing keyboards that are loved by many are often sent to repair centers because the thing won't work with the floppies anymore. Many folks have scads of sequences, their time and energy, stored only on the floppies and are often rather desperate to be able to load the files into the keyboard and at least get it to play the sequence back long enough to transfer to PC, Mac or whatever.

The fix usually involves having to replace the old style floppy drive in the keyboard.

And there isn't any mfr still making these, so the cure is for the technician to try to find a used one of the right type, format, power needs, interface, etc. to replace the old drive.

Don't toss the old floppy drive, its internals may be worth a bit to someone else...


--Mac
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#218759 - 10/21/13 02:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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The only floppies I have around are for my Ensoniq VFX-SD, the 'SD' being 'storage drive' IIRC.

Now, that keyboard itself gave up at least one ghost about a year and a half ago, temporarily. I've already had the 'bridge the middle edge connector with soldered wires' fix done on this axe, which was a very common repair.

The last time I 'sequenced' on it was probably mid 1990's, right before I bought PTPA. Once I started composing with PTPA, I never looked back to doing it on the machine itself.

I sort of agree with guitarhacker on this one - the floppy media itself is probably not of much value to anyone without some fairly dedicated searching. Mac is on the money that the drives are potentially more valuable for folks that have their own floppies they want to read again. There may be a smaller market for folks wanting to archive to that type of media with another copy, but there is likely a modern version of an ability to archive that is superior. For example, here's a PC editor/librarian that works with the VFX-SD that eliminates the need for the drive/floppies once you have the information in the PC: http://www.squest.com/Windows/Instruments/EnsoniqVFX-SD/

I'm guessing this kind of thing exists for most popular music gear that had integrated floppy drives. Not cheap, but it unchains the need for that built-in drive.

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#218762 - 10/21/13 05:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: rockstar_not]
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GHinCH Offline
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The 5 1/4 inch floppy seems to be alive. :-) There are even laptops with a built in drive for this proven technology -- well at least one of them:

http://www.ted.com/talks/mikko_hypponen_fighting_viruses_defending_the_net.html

See at about 1:16.


Guido
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#218775 - 10/21/13 08:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: GHinCH]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Bob:

Many Goodwill locations take outdated computer equipment. You'll find many computer techs in my area visit the local Goodwill store to acquire parts no longer available from their normal suppliers.
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#218776 - 10/21/13 09:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Jim Fogle]
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I have a usb floppy drive for my 3.5 disk. I seldom use it but when needed, the 15 buck investment is well worth the while.

Don S.
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#218787 - 10/22/13 01:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Curmudgeon]
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Originally Posted By: Curmudgeon
I have a usb floppy drive for my 3.5 disk. I seldom use it but when needed, the 15 buck investment is well worth the while.

Don S.


Ditto. I paid a little more for one some time back, but the point is the same. I have some documents that I really should transfer from floppies to more modern media. I think I even have a box of NOS (new old stock) 3.5" floppy drives somewhere. There are some good ideas here.

R.
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#218800 - 10/22/13 08:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Goodwill sounds like a great idea. It's much closer than the Post Office, and if people are looking for old gear there, they can pick them up for a good price, and the profit helps to keep a few local people employed.

Notes
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#218806 - 10/22/13 11:02 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Even some of the newer sound modules still use floppys, so yep, if you don't want 'em somebody sure a shell does
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#218809 - 10/22/13 11:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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They are useless toss them you don't have to worry about them degrading the enviroment if you stick them in the recycling bin they are plastic and the innards are made from the same material that cassette tapes used. One thing you could do if you have data on them you wish to keep is get a memory stick 1 gig should do, and transfer all the data to it. You could get almost 900 floppies on 1 gig stick
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#218810 - 10/22/13 12:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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seeker Offline
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If you do decide to have them depart.
Destroy them. They could easily have personal data
that you may not want distributed.
I still have 3.5 inch backups with IRS info on them.

Just a thought.
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#218883 - 10/23/13 08:47 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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I have an app called Eraser that will randomly write zeros and ones over them 35 times or more, which is the government standard for sensitive CIA erasure. That should do any of the 'live' ones, I also have some brand new disks.

I downloaded open-source (and free) Eraser to wipe a hard drive before donating a computer. I've found it useful when upgrading to bigger had drives too.

http://eraser.heidi.ie/

related article about erasing magnetic data

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html

Notes


Edited by Notes Norton (10/23/13 08:49 AM)
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#218885 - 10/23/13 09:02 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Notes Norton]
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The good old-fashioned Bulk Tape Eraser, the big block that creates the bgg AC Magnetic Field, can be used to totally wipe Floppy disks clean in bulk.


--Mac
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#218917 - 10/23/13 01:07 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Mac]
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Originally Posted By: Mac
The good old-fashioned Bulk Tape Eraser, the big block that creates the bgg AC Magnetic Field, can be used to totally wipe Floppy disks clean in bulk.


--Mac


Absolutely.

Much less work.


Edited by rockstar_not (10/23/13 01:08 PM)

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#219003 - 10/24/13 07:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Way OT - what do you do with old floppy disks? [Re: Mac]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mac
The good old-fashioned Bulk Tape Eraser, the big block that creates the bgg AC Magnetic Field, can be used to totally wipe Floppy disks clean in bulk.


--Mac


Thanks Mac - great idea.

I have one of those somewhere, and during the "spring cleaning" I may just find it.

Notes
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