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Add support for floppy disk drives System
David Gatwood and Louis Gerbarg have created an open-source floppy disk driver for older machines running OS X. This driver should provide functionality for the floppy drive on a number of older machines:
  • Beige G3 Desktop
  • Beige G3 Minitower
  • G3 All-in-One
  • PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet and Mainstreet)
  • PowerMac 8500
  • All other PCI PowerMacs with SWIM3 floppy hardware should work, but are untested.
The above information was taken from the SWIM3 Floppy Driver page, which is where you should go if you wish to download and install the driver yourself. I have not tested this, as I no longer have access to a machine with a floppy. If someone has installed it, please comment on your results.
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Authored by: ldeck on Apr 14, '02 08:42:01PM

Hi there,

The known bugs listed says that the code is REALLY messy.
I've downloaded it, but haven't seen anyone else having tried it: so I'm not going to be the first ;-)

What I'd like to see is support for serial printers!
Anyone seen anything like this around?

I've got the Epson Stylus Color 800...

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Authored by: rudyrugebregt on Apr 14, '02 11:48:02PM
I downloaded and installed it. It works but it took seven minutes to copy a 1.3 MB file. In all fairness, the author states clearly this is not tested or optimzed. For those of us with older G3's with software or archives that are still on floppies, this is a nice little tool.

I can't speak for whether its risky, I just tried with one floppy and it worked.

From the readme ANNOUCE file in the source folder:

Subject: A Tale of Wizards and Song (alpha)

Once upon a time, in a Multicolored Kingdom, there lived a great wizard. His name was the Woz. The Woz begat a machine -- the Integrated Woz Machine.
Others saw what the Woz had done, and saw that it was good. And yea though the technology was old and crusty, it was fast and compact. And so it was that in the fifth year, from the Integrated Woz Machine was built the Super Woz Integrated Machine. And the engineers looked upon what they had done and saw that it was good.

And at that time, in the Multicolored Kingdom, the inhabitants were writing a great work of music called Copland. A single verse of the Copland could be used to tame the Super Woz Integrated Machine. Time passed and Copland was forgotten, and the inhabitants of the Multicolored Kingdom began work on a new piece: a Rhapsody. But the designers of this Rhapsody did not tame the Super Woz Integrated Machine, but rather took the verse from the Copland, and in so doing, mastered it.

Then something entirely unexpected happened. One of the original Copland composers looked to days of yore and lost the ancient melody. The verse of power fell into new hands. And so it was that the child of OSF gained the verse. But the verse had a mind of its own. It would not be content until it once again could be played in harmony with the works of the Multicolored Kingdom from whence it was forged. And thus, we present our gift to you.

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Re: Risky?
Authored by: filipiak on Apr 15, '02 09:27:37AM

For what it's worth - floppy access is slow on *any* OS X machine - including G4 hardware.

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It works, slow but it works
Authored by: guillota on Apr 15, '02 10:48:18AM

I've installed it on a white G3 tower, and it worked. It takes a bit long to mount a floppy when you insert it, and copy the files.
I think it's not as bad as it says (messy code) but could be a lot better.

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It works, slow but it works
Authored by: macvienna on Apr 16, '02 07:41:38AM

What happens/happened/will happen
to USB floppies ?
(in my case a LaCie USB FloppyDrive USB - hotpowered )

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It works, slow but it works
Authored by: macvienna on Apr 16, '02 08:39:15AM

As the authors of this floppy-darwin-driver answered:
Most USB devices work with OSX drivers but not LaCie.
Reason remains unclear.
Anybody who knows more?

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Beige G3 works with some restrictions
Authored by: spaceMan on Apr 17, '02 09:26:10PM

Hi - not an extensive test but I have had some success with the floppy support on my Beige G3 MT
1 - takes just over a minute for floppy to appear on desktop after inserted
2 - icon for floppy is same as mac users for any other mounted disk image - ie, doesn't have a unique icon for floppy
3 - doesn't seem to mount PC formatted floppy - nothing appears on desktop
4 - the floppy isn't ejected at logout automatically - you need to do this with normal eject command
5 - having a floppy in the drive at startup seems to hang the boot process - not sure because I may have been too impatient - waited 2 minutes and it wasn't proceeding - used the paperclip eject and ctrl-power to reboot ok
6 - able to read/write to floppy from Finder, and from textedit - presumably other apps have no trouble either.

Overall I am quite happy with this support - although a little 'rough' it is way better than having to reboot into OS 9 just to get stuff off a floppy.
I will be submitting these comments as feedback to the floppy driver site.

- spaceMan -

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