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Who Wants Drive B: ?

Floppy disks are becoming extinct, so...
  [vote for,

Historically Drive A: and Drive B: are reserved for floppy disks, but they are basically not being installed in any new computer systems. Meanwhile, the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) still contains code connecting Drive A: and Drive B: to floppy disks only.

Of the two designations, Drive B: is the least-often used. Computers have been equipped with just one floppy drive (designated A:) for *far* longer than they have been equipped with two.

And, if you plug any other type of removable media into the system, it gets a "high" drive letter such as F:.

Why not allow, say, a USB stick, when plugged in, to become the computer's Drive B:?

(And, in the not-too-distant future, Drive A: could also be used for some other sort of removable-storage technology, than a floppy disk. But for now, let's re-assign B:)

Vernon, May 14 2012

CP/M http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPM
Sad to see this so far down the list [csea, May 14 2012]


       Or even move to a rational operating system like, just as an example, Linux, where a drive can be mounted as a name and in a place if the filesystem decided by the user …
8th of 7, May 14 2012

       usb on a:, cd on b:   

       of course it'd actually make sense if the hd were a: and the CD b: but that would be asking too much.
FlyingToaster, May 14 2012

       The problem is one of having to support legacy code, whether that's in the BIOS or the OS.   

       The sooner MicroSoftCocks redesigns its OS and standards to remove all of the legacy code bloatware, the sooner we'll be able to realise the potential of hardware advances.
UnaBubba, May 14 2012

       Is there not a way to have the O/S run in a legacy mode and a contemporary one? Surely when something is running in "compatibility mode", it's older.   

       I was going to say B could be used for the Hollerith card reader and punch but have now remembered that's already in there somewhere.
nineteenthly, May 14 2012

       ah yes the 026 or, if you were lucky, the 029.   

       But I liked the Sperry Rand stuff best: something about curved grey sandcast panels made you feel like you were in the middle of a nuclear sci-fi flick.   

       My D: used to be a 1/4" tape drive.
FlyingToaster, May 14 2012

       // a nuclear sci-fi flick //   

       "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B: drive …"
8th of 7, May 14 2012

       Just in case anyone here wants a laugh, the computer I'm using here to access the Internet is old, and has 2 hard disks and 1 floppy. My hard disks are divided into a lot of "logical drives", which happen to use up quite a few Drive Letters.   

       The floppy is a "super floppy" or "LS-120" system; it could put 120 megabytes on a special floppy disk, but it could also read/write more-ordinary floppy disks.   

       The physical setup for getting it to work on this computer required disabling A: and B: completely. (Newer computers were able to a use superfloppy as A: or B: --but this isn't one of those.)   

       As a result, my floppy drive is "R:"   

Vernon, May 14 2012

       Yeah, the whole enumerating drives with letters of the alphabet thing was about as poorly thought out an idea as they come. But this idea just patches a bad idea with an even worse fix. Too much software out there depends on the drive lettering being the way it is, and there's no real benefit to this plan unless you have more than 24 drives/network shares mounted—and even then, the gain is marginal.   

       Of course, as [8th] points out, any Real Operating System (that is, any flavor of Unix, e.g. Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, etc.) is able to unify any number of drives of any type seamlessly under a single directory tree, rather than clinging to the troglodytic notion that each drive needs to have its own tree. But then, there are only two types of OS out there: Unix and toys. And since Unix doesn't have this problem, it's not really a problem at all—because the real problem is that you're trying to use a toy to get actual work done.
ytk, May 14 2012

       Not a fan of VMS then, [ytk]?
nineteenthly, May 14 2012

       Don't knock troglodytes. Cave living is clean, healthy and sophisticated, especially compared to the kind of things being discussed here.
pocmloc, May 14 2012

       VMS? VMS hasn't been relevant for years. Actually, it never was relevant in the first place—people just assumed it was, because they had to be paying all that money for a VAX for /something/. Tellingly, though, DEC scarcely survived long enough to see the proliferation of dial-up Internet access. The VAX was a dead-end technology wise, and once it was obvious which way the wind was blowing, (Open)VMS tried and failed to act like Unix, much like a pig wearing lipstick.   

       So, no, not a fan.
ytk, May 14 2012

       "Australian" ?
8th of 7, May 14 2012

       Did I delete the anno you're replying to, [8th]? I think I did. I didn't intend to. Sorry.   

       (I just added a filter to prevent me from fat-fingering the delete button again.)
ytk, May 14 2012

       Yes. It was something about "Mouth-breathing sub-humans".
8th of 7, May 14 2012

       ITSS it is then.
nineteenthly, May 14 2012

       //VMS// fan. Scaleable from PC's to room-filling behemoths. OS parameters contained in one text file. Mildly gymnastic CL. All the stuff which is so "ooh shiny" on PC's these days were old hat on DEC/VMS... and done better.   

       [V] great minds and all that: you just described one of my systems (2 hd's, partitioned up to H: ; except the LS120 did A: without fuss through an IDE channel)
FlyingToaster, May 14 2012

       [UnaBubba], you reminded me of an ancient tagline joke I first saw in the BBS messaging days. It may not be suitable for the HB tagline system, but:   

       "Microsoft: A dreaded male sexual dysfunction"
Vernon, May 14 2012

       I fear we are of similar vintage, [Vernon].
UnaBubba, May 14 2012

       Doggone it! All that time I spent learning CP/M has gone to waste! (I still have a KayPro 4 dual floppy drive system in the garage; still plays Pacman on the green monochrome display last time I had it out.)
csea, May 14 2012

       // All that time I spent learning CP/ M has gone to waste! //   

       Just go buy a handset running Windows Phone; it will be like meeting an old friend. Clunky user interface, limited functionality, minimal reliability, but above all, slow.
8th of 7, May 15 2012

       I thought B:? was some sort of emoticon. I misread the title as "who wants to drive B:?"   

       I thought maybe the "B" represented goggles.
Zimmy, May 18 2012


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