[iBook] Need Floppy Drive For iBook G3 900

Robert Eye ra_eye at sbcglobal.net
Thu Oct 13 08:50:20 PDT 2005


If some of these are on 800k disks, none of the USB
floppy readers will touch them. I'd like to be proven
wrong on this, but I don't think that going to happen.

Your best bet would be to buy or borrow an older Mac
that does read them and either ethernet connect your
iBook to this machine to get them, or e-mail the files
(I recommend that you stuff them into hqx files first
just to be safe) from the old Mac to yourself and then
read them onto the iBook. If the older Mac has CD-RW
capability, so much the better - just burn a disk.


Bob Eye
Dallas, TX

P.S. Macs only read/write 800k and 1.4MB floppy disks
if they were Mac formatted - some other formats (Apple
PRO-DOS?) might have had different capacities. There
are basically only 2 kinds of 3.5" floppy disks - DSDD
(double sided double density), which work as Mac
formatted 800k disks, and HD which are 1.4MB. There
were also SSDS at 400k which were the disks avaialble
when the Mac was first released, but were quickly
supplanted when the 800k's came out.

Plus, Apple's floppy driver (in the IWM chip) was able
to control the angular velocity of the drive, allowing
Apple to get a little higher density on the DSDD
floppies, 800k vs 720k on IBM-formatted floppies. It
appears that either the USB floppy makers didn't want
to or couldn't use Apple's driver, or Apple wasn't
willing to license it.

--- Fred Stevens K2FRD <k2frd at mac.com> wrote:

> Hi all--
> I have some financial info on some floppies and now
> need to access 
> that info. The floppies were made on a Mac IIvx a
> number of years ago 
> and that machine is long gone. My 14.4" iBook G3 900
> of course does 
> not have a floppy drive. I've located several new
> external floppy 
> drives at MacConnections which operate off the USB
> ports; they're 
> reasonably priced and available, but they specify
> 1.44mb floppies and 
> some of my oldies are 750kb or 1mb.
> I also looked for floppy drives on eBay, but didn't
> see many and 
> wasn't sure they would work in any instance.
> Does anyone anticipate any problems opening these
> floppies on a new 
> 1.44mb floppy drive or any other potential problems
> before I order?
> Thanks!
> Fred

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