It bothers me that there's no universally recognized storage medium between Floppy Disk and CD-ROM in terms of storage space.

I'm doing a thing that would be really cool to release in a limited fashion on like a MD-DATA disc or a Zip disk or a click! disk or whatever, but no one has those, and they were never popular.

The closest I can get is, like 64MB USB disks or CF cards or SD cards.

I get frustrated by this every so often.

Or, I guess, I could get some flash ROM and burn 16Kbps opus audio files on to ROMs and make cartridges and cartridge readers and really make the whole thing needlessly bespoke.

So CF cards are the move. I'm going to standardize on CF cards for music distribution.

@ajroach42 zip disks where in between, I am not aware of any other storage medium being in use in that era. Our data center had a zip drive installed on every machine and I had a couple of zip disks in a bag in the days.

@ckeen we had Zip and iomega Clik disks as well as this thing that was basically hard drive platters in a caddy. I can't remember what they were called, but they're around here recently.

@craigmaloney @ckeen syQuest, yeah. I have a couple of syquest discs and drives I need to archive.

@ckeen @ajroach42 Yep, those were not ubiquitous at one of my jobs, but they did have a few of them.

Built like a tank.

@ajroach42 @ckeen Those were probably Jazz drives? Super popular in IT sectors because they were SCSI and pretty nearly as fast and large as a portable medium could go.

@ajroach42 @ckeen Never saw the Syquest one. That's neat :)
It was a wild time.
On the one hand we had 100 types of tape drives.
On the other hand, dozens and dozens of storage alternatives from the LS-120 to Compact Flash and hard drives in silly little lockable caddies.

I sorta miss the wild frenzy of innovation, but I feel ya when it comes to trying to find a universal one. Thank goodness we've settled on SD.

@ajroach42 looks like loads on ebay.
You used to be able to get custom shapes like hearts and stars. Dunno if they're still made though.

@Edent hmm.

I'd be leary of new old stock because the data layer is due to start flaking off any day now.

@ajroach42 That’s an idea. I was thinking minidisc revival, but this is actually obtainable.

@kelbot more seriously, cf card readers are easy. Work over usb with adapters that are plentiful and cheap.

SBCs are plentiful and cheap.

Devices that play audio over USB are plentiful and cheap.

Rigging up a cheap, chintzy solution should be cheap and easy as heck. Going for something fancier should be straightforward.

@ajroach42 Yeah, there's lots of ways you could do it. I was wondering if you had a specific way in mind or specific devices.

@kelbot cf is just ide in a smaller package.

Anything with native ide support needs a passive adapter for CF.

I'm sure shenanigans will be afoot.

@ajroach42 @kelbot as far as it goes, SD cards would probably be an easier sell for making weird devices out of cheap single board computers or SoCs. Basically of them can talk SDIO natively to interface with SD cards, a lot of them come with SD card (or, well, microSD) right on the board already. The IDE interface for CF needs adapters.

(And for systems with IDE, the adapters to connect SD cards to IDE are readily available. I used one of those to convert my iPod classic to flash storage!)

@ajroach42 If you really want to go for the "nobody has this" may I direct your attention to the humble Floptical.

@craigmaloney I either want to go with "somewhat common at some point in the past" or "entirely bespoke"

@ajroach42 QIC tape (Travan, et al) had some popularity, but they weren't ubiquitous like Zip Drives. It's hard to find a format that had as much adoption as Zip until the CD-R obliterated it.

@craigmaloney We have some kind of tape drive that I just got in a box of donations.

I'm afraid to hook it up.

@ajroach42 You'll have one of two experiences with it.

a) It'll work flawlessly
b) It'll be a complete pain in the ass to get working

As someone who had both Travan and DDS drives there's a low margin between the two.

@chronrevisited If you've got one you're looking to get rid of!

But I want it to either be home made, or reasonably widely available.

@ajroach42 a tiny SD card would be fun. ZIP disks seems like the best in-between though, but yes indeed good luck finding a unit for yourself, and selling to someone else that has one

I feel people might buy it as a novelty thing. You could also produce some MiniDiscs maybe :blobcat:

@jasonnab Tiny SD card seems pretty likely

All my zip drives are broken.

I've been toying with releasing auto on mini disc, but the whole point of what I'm doing right now is that these are data files, and MD-DATA is not exactly common.

@jasonnab @ajroach42 Full-sized SD cards are basically what I expected the medium of the future would be back in the day.

I did expect we would move beyond FAT as a file system though.

@jollyrogue @ajroach42 i can only hope that 1TB microSD cards use exfat or, bleh, NTFS for some reason...

@jasonnab I think most cards use exFAT these days, and I was including exFAT in that statement. 🙂


@vertigo @jasonnab @ajroach42 That’s cool. I haven’t heard of that FS.

I mainly use F2FS, when I can (Linux), or UFS (FreeBSD).

@jollyrogue @jasonnab @ajroach42 F2FS doesn't seem to be well documented, which is a real shame. (At least, nothing stood out to me as a usable specification while looking over the wiki.) F2FS seems like it'd be ideal for my #ForthBox project, since I'm basically dependent on using flash-based devices.

But, there's no way I'm going to port raw C code in Linux to Forth.

@vertigo @jasonnab @ajroach42 That’s above my level.

Does the Wikipedia article help? It seems to have more info about the layout, for whatever reason.

@jollyrogue @jasonnab @ajroach42 Not enough to make a filesystem driver of my own.

LEAN is thoroughly and clearly documented. I'll stick with LEAN, despite it being a comparatively poor fit for flash devices. BUT, if LEAN is in any way competitive with FAT, then existing flash devices should have no problems with it.

@millihertz @jollyrogue @jasonnab @ajroach42 OMG that is complex. My head is spinning. :(

I think I'll stick with LEAN and let the on-device wear-leveller handle much of that grunt-work for me.

@jollyrogue @jasonnab @ajroach42 I just learned about UDF. Made for BlueRay, but you can format a USB stick with it just fine. Can read and write from linux, mac , and windows, and supports large files.

@humberto @jasonnab @ajroach42 Hmmm… I might try it. Not stripping permissions is the big thing.

@humberto @jollyrogue @ajroach42 I hadn't considered UDF at all. What works for one medium works for another! :apartyblobcat:

@ajroach42 We had "floptical" (~20 MB), Zip disks, (~100 MB, later ~250 MB), LS-120 (~120 MB). Zip disks were actually fairly popular.

There are also 8cm CD-Rs good for around 200 MB but not sure if they are still being made.

@ajroach42 Related problem that bugs me often: There's no obviously safe way to share data physically with folks running MS-Windows. There are substantial risks to just plugging in a random USB drive; SD cards and CDs are a lesser threat but still a potential danger. I'm still annoyed that there was basically no good followup to the 1.44MB floppy. The closest being zip disks, which if the proprietaryness had been relaxed earlier might have better weathered click-of-death. I kind of want to blame the fall of minidisc in part on the separation of the music, video, and data discs. Or heck, maybe if there'd been a good push to switch from disks to CF which had enough room for a decent label and has had the longevity to still exist. I mean seriously, I just did a super quick low effort search and easily found 8GB compact flash cards for under $20. I wish it was still common on non-pro digital cameras and that it had ever been a standard media format for desktop/laptop computers.

@LilFluff @ajroach42 and, I’ll note, 1 TB CF cards now with 1500MB/sec transfer times. I agree - CF cards are the ultimate storage sweet spot.

@LilFluff my laptop takes cf cards.

Then again, I'm not really representative. I just wish it was standard (that and bring back PCMCIA/ExpressCard give us expansion that doesn't rely on dongles darn it!)

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