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Old 12-07-2017, 06:02 PM   #1
seasoned_geek
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Which Linux distros still support the LS-120 drive?


Hello,

It appears the YABU distros have dropped support for the LS-120 Super Floppy. This is an IDE drive which takes 120MEG Super Floppies and can also read/write ordinary 3.5" floppies. I still have several of these drives and tend to use them when I'm writing books. 120MEG is more than enough for a book document file along with its associated notes files. I can write on the labels. Storage and transport is a breeze with ordinary 3.5" hard cases. It's how I work, don't judge. You can't write on thumb drives to keep them visually organized.

Looking to find out what distro still supports. If someone dropped support for them simply because they didn't have one, then I need to identify a distro and version released before they took over support. I really don't want to install Windows 7 or 2000 ever again. Both flawlessly support the drive, but . . .
 
Old 12-07-2017, 07:48 PM   #2
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I get the feeling that most major distro's dropped floppy support but you should be able to add it back in.

Start here I'd think. modprobe floppy

Guess geometry should allow you to use the LS.

http://linux-sxs.org/hardware/zip2.html
 
Old 12-07-2017, 08:00 PM   #3
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The drive is connected to a IDE/PATA controller and should be recognized like a regular hard drive i.e /dev/sdx (where x=a,b,c etc).

Make sure the correct IDE controller is enabled in the BIOS and the drive is configured correctly as master/slave. You can examine the output of the dmesg command to see if the drive is recognized and assigned a device ID. I don't know if the floppy is automatically mounted when inserted.

Last edited by michaelk; 12-07-2017 at 08:01 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 10:02 PM   #4
jefro
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"The only module of consequence (and the only one used by ls120/zip) is ide-floppy.o"

http://linux-sxs.org/hardware/zip2.html



However this could be very old information. As you can see they reference /dev/hdx while most modern distros have gone to the scsi access of /dev/sdx


https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Loadable_Modules

Last edited by jefro; 12-07-2017 at 10:10 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 10:53 PM   #5
michaelk
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I forgot about the ide-floppy module. Had a ide zip drive which worked in a similar fashion.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the responses. I believe this all turned out to be "too many drives for Linux." I firmly believe and remember using the drive in that machine while finishing my last book. Last book was finished before I stuck in that everything-under-the-world drive bay filler. Granted, the motherboard didn't have an IDE connector on it. I was using an IDE/SATA/e-SATA add-in card, but . . . I moved all of that to another machine which had no IDE connector on the motherboard and installed an older Linux-Lite. (Other machine has KDE Neon, which is also a YABU) Up popped both a floppy and the 120Meg drive. Icons on the screen and everything.

Apparently I was misinformed about the dropping of IDE and floppy. I did live through the dropping of the LS-120 from several distros about 10 or so years ago. One of the older maintainers asked for and received a drive, then support got added back in. Glad to see it is still there as I have a lot of writing to do now.

To head off some of the obvious questions:
http://www.logikalsolutions.com/word...till-survives/

In short, I've been working like this for north of 20 years. I've written a lot of books and some have even gotten very high praise. One of my books is the second title you will find listed here:
http://www.drdobbs.com/tools/develop...2500396?pgno=6

Now I just need to locate an external USB to IDE removable media drive enclosure for 3.5" drive. Used to have a monster for CD/DVD drives but must have tossed it during an office cleaning a few years back when external CD/DVD units got humane in size.

Once again, thanks for the input.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
Timothy Miller
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I'd still love to find one of the ls-240 drives just to format a normal 3.5" floppy with 32 MB...

Not that I'd have ANY use for it nowadays, just always thought it would be neat.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
I'd still love to find one of the ls-240 drives just to format a normal 3.5" floppy with 32 MB...

Not that I'd have ANY use for it nowadays, just always thought it would be neat.
Never had one of those. They were really short lived. The big downfall was we still had the 640K barrier of DOS. The LS drives required the entire drive to be rewritten, no partial writes as it was optical, or at least I seem to remember it was. I do know the entire drive had to be rewritten which meant the entire image had to be in RAM plus a bit of scratch area. You could not partial write to it as with magnetic media.

My paying career started out in midnight computer operations. There I learned the rigors of nightly backups getting sent off-site with older backups returning for recycling. A few years later we had the Great Chicago Flood and all of those data centers in basements with backups in another room of the same basement lost everything.

Being able to externally label backups of important content allows me to organize and track these things. The floppy size means disks for off-site fit in my shirt pocket for the ride home or wherever and still can be kept organized by external label.

Yes, I still do bare metal backups of my machines and I'm not as good about transporting the external drives off for safe keeping, but, the really important stuff I try to put on LS-120 for safe keeping. I still have 2 brand new drives which have never been installed in anything and somewhere between 50-100 disks. Some disks are still in their original shrink wrap. Scattered about my desk are 15-20 thumb drives. Most from 3 different manufacturers so they are impossible to tell apart. Even if you get different colored ones you can't get 31 different colors so you can't easily tell which day one would have been used on.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 04:45 PM   #9
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Just my 2 cents .
 
Old 12-08-2017, 06:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Thanks for the 2 cents. Most of that stuff was 10 years old or more.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasoned_geek View Post
Thanks for the 2 cents. Most of that stuff was 10 years old or more.
Well. LS-120 gear is even older. Antix in my /home/harry/.icewm/startup file with the line I included

Code:
spacefm -d &
This line mounts my regular 3 inch floppy drive OK in /media on my Panasonic CF-48 laptop. I can't swear to LS-120 though. Cuz I don't own one.

With us. It is not so much a kernel thing. More of a udev/udevil and file manager thing. I am not as techy as you. So Just plod along my own way and listen to guys like

https://kmandla.wordpress.com/hardware/

Who are more Linux hardware tech savvy than I am. I figure after time passes a bit. When one googles LS-120 support. They will be pointed to this thread. Which is not saying much, I guess.

Last edited by rokytnji; 12-08-2017 at 11:09 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2017, 09:40 AM   #12
seasoned_geek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Well. LS-120 gear is even older. Antix in my /home/harry/.icewm/startup file with the line I included

Code:
spacefm -d &
This line mounts my regular 3 inch floppy drive OK in /media on my Panasonic CF-48 laptop. I can't swear to LS-120 though. Cuz I don't own one.

With us. It is not so much a kernel thing. More of a udev/udevil and file manager thing. I am not as techy as you. So Just plod along my own way and listen to guys like

https://kmandla.wordpress.com/hardware/

Who are more Linux hardware tech savvy than I am. I figure after time passes a bit. When one googles LS-120 support. They will be pointed to this thread. Which is not saying much, I guess.
Really? Your Linux distro doesn't automatically recognize and deal with your floppy? Even the YABUs still do that . . . unless you have one of those unfortunate laptops where the floppy wasn't really a floppy. Something along the lines of WinModems which were wastes of silicon. They weren't really modems, requiring a massive amount of the modem functionality to be in the driver and operated by the CPU.

Just for grins, pull down the latest LinuxLite and boot the live media. See if it doesn't recognize and use your floppy. You should also take a look at Puppy Linux because it claims to keep support for even more ancient hardware. I stumbled on a much less than 10 year old discussion where they opted to keep the ability to split boot from a Parallel Port Zip Drive. Something along the lines of Windows 95 for computers which could not boot from the CD-ROM. A boot floppy loading just enough to find and transfer control to the CD-ROM.
 
Old 12-09-2017, 12:54 PM   #13
rokytnji
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I am familiar with Linux lite < Installed it on friends computer > and have been a Puppy user on old gear since my beginning days as a linux user.

http://yatsite.blogspot.com/2008/09/...indows-95.html

Being older gear as far that Panasonic goes. It is gonna be asking much for that old laptop to handle Desktop Environment based distro like Linux-Lite. Puppy is OK. I used to be a MacPup team member. I and runtt21. Being both Texicans. Used to hang out together online till family obligations caused him to stop developing Puppy distros in his free time.

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtop...3fdc94c6ee4754

http://postmyimage.com/img2/463_Screenshot.png

Since I mentioned the cf-48 and you mentioned try Puppy.

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtop...=802706#802706

Good luck with your documenting.
 
  


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