US nuclear weapons no longer rely on floppy disks to operate

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    This is reassuring news;

    Rest easy, people of Earth: The United States’ nuclear arsenal will no longer rely on a computer system that uses 8-inch floppy disks, in an update the Defence Department has cast as a step into the future but which some observers might be surprised to learn was required at all.

    Full Story

    I’d completely forgotten about 8″ floppies.

    “The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: `I, the state, am the people.’… Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. ” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


    I forget if I still have any 8″ floppies. I bet they just couldn’t buy them anymore. They were Single Side Single Density (designed for an IBM 3741/3742 keypunch) and could be read or written by an IBM System/34 or 36. I stopped using them in about 1984 when the IBM PC’s got 5250 emulation cards that could upload or download.

    Back then the program editors were single line only. You typed a line number and it would pop it up for you to type over it. With an 8″ diskette you could download the source code, and if you had a way to convert it from EBCDIC to ASCII text, you could edit much faster with Wordstar, a full screen editor, on a CP/M machine if it had 8″ floppies. Then you needed to convert it back to EBCDIC and write it to the diskette. I wrote my own programs to do the conversions in Z-80 assembly language because the programs I bought didn’t work.

    It was half a lifetime ago…

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