Why have floppy's (3.5") hanged around for 20 years?
-Cheap! (both drives and media)
-Common (everyone has them)
-Standard (most everything from a old 286 PC to a modern Mac G5 can read em)
Why would I want to replace the Floppy?
-Poor storage! (1.44MB/ 2.88 MB, ain't
NOTHING gonna fit on one of these anymore)
-Slow! (really slow, like 16KB/s slow)
-Unreliable (lets see 1/20 diskettes go bad in a year for me... hmmm, 20 years later I have a great coaster collection!)
Ok what do I replace it with?
Solid-State Flash chips in a USB -Key/Drive/Card/Cartidge?
=Gotta have a Reader/USB port, AND they are still costly, AND have a limited number of re-writes, and not very economic.
STILL have to have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM AND burning software, AND a ATA/SCSI/SATA interface, and the bios must recognise it to boot from... scratches too easily and not very 'portable'.
What? No way! These are _Rare_ now and the media? Forget it! WAY too expensive and the capacity is only 'just enough anyways' 512MB/ 1 GB.
So why not combine the advantages of one technology with annother!
Make a Hybrid out of both CD-ROM and Floppy Disc technology!
I call it the 'Floptical' Drive.
A brief specification:
-protective hard plastic casing
-non-rigid optical baised media
(baised upon 'Flex-CDROMS' using a modified CD-RW format with DVD-RAM style hard track's for quick access and fully hardware baised read/write.
-write protect tab
-similar size to 3.5" media
-large capacity (200MB)
-IDE ATA OR Floppy style connection (40-pin?)
-Hardware emulation of 'Floppy-like' drive (at least for reading and writing)
-Bootable from BIOS with no modifications
Basically its a CD-RW cut down to a 3" media in a plastic case with hardware totaly controlling the 'burn' process. It would be packet baised like UDF so any size of file(s) could be written without much overhead. The media would be cheap as its just a mini-cd without the rigid backing. Spinning would keep it rigid with centrifical force.
Small like floppy
good starage capacity
Drive may be expensive at first
possibly slow read/write speeds (compared for 52X CD-ROMS...)
Flex-CDROMS: See 'Spineless optical plastic' AKA ThinDISC