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Installing to Zip and LS120

May 22, 2008 — BarryK
I am thinking of removing these choices from the Uiversal Installer. I have successfully installed my latest Puppy with kernel to a 100MB Zip disk, however that leaves just 6MB free space, not enough for a 'pup_save' file. Also, I had forgotten just how slow these things are, particularly at bootup when the BIOS reads it at the same rate rate as a floppy disk. It is incredibly slow.

The idea of installing Puppy to Zip or LS120 disk was good back in the days when Puppy was only 20MB, but no longer.

Just an hour ago from writing this, I installed Puppy to Zip disk and created a 'pup_save' on the hard drive. But then I had to ask myself, what's the point? It was so painful to boot, took 20 minutes. Then, why install to Zip if there is a hard drive? A PC with only a Zip drive and no hard drive and no CD drive is no good as there is not sufficient space on a 100MB disk.

On an old PC it is practical to boot from CD and use a Zip or LS120 for the 'pup_save'.
It is also practical to install to hard drive and use a Zip or LS120 for the 'pup_save'.

But actually installing to Zip/LS120? No.

Well, if there is a 'bare bones' Puppy, say 50MB, then yeah, a Zip disk becomes more viable as a boot medium, if one can live with its slowness.


250MB Zip disk
Username: BarryK
There is one possible viable reason for installing Puppy to Zip disk -- if it is 250MB. There were two different types of drive, 100MB and 250MB, the latter taking either size of disk. Ditto, there was also a double-size LS240 on the market at one stage. These bigger disks would be ok, it they had ext2 filesystem and there was a full install of Puppy. It would boot faster, but would still be slow to use. But, how common are those bigger drives, relative to the smaller ones?

750MB Zip disk
Username: PathFinder_Cate
"Iomega also makes a 750MB Zip Disk but I never bothered to get a drive that handles anything larger than 250MB.

Username: ANOSage
"240 LS discs were withdrawn almost as soon as they appeared. Don't think the drives were installed in any proprietary boxes? A few Japanese hobbyist might have acquired them, but few, if any reached Europe. However, I wonder whether there's a slight misunderstanding concerning use of floppies, super or otherwise? Leaving aside the appalling boot times (I warned you!), it's not intended to leave one in the slot. It was never like that under DOS. Data, additional apps., .sfs & zdr, call them what you will, would always be saved to additional discs. In the present context, using old kit with , especially low memory resources, could be ameliorated if an old 120/200Mb HD formatted solely for swap were incorporated into the box permanently. I have found an old 2.5"/120Mb Conner drive ideal for this purpose. Unless you plan to take us back to an .iso of ~50Mb, which would make many folks ecstatic based on Forum statements, I'd leave all this stuff in and active because the value of compact distros lies in the ability to resurrect all those fluff-filled monstrosities lurking under beds all over the world. In the alternative, folks with AM2 boards and video cards costing five times the rest of the HW are going to be running Mandriva/F9/w.h.y with Compiz-whizz in 64bit coding.

Zip sales history
Username: dogone
"According to Wikipedia, Zip drive and disk sales began to plummet in 1999. By 2003 sales were down 60%. I have no later data but surely few have sold since. The Zip 250 (MB) drive still retails for $100 US. An 8-pack of disks costs $85. A 1GB flash stick can be had for $10. I think support for the Zip could be dropped without impacting Puppy users.

Not unlikely
Username: Rarsa
"USB adapters are as in expensive as a single Zip disk. Zip drives had their 15 minutes of fame when there weren't CD writers and while those were out of the reach of the masses. I had a Zip drive and still have a disk collecting dust. From all the discussions and posts I've read, I have never came across anyone that is actively using a Zip drive other than to brag that it can be done.

zip+LS120 floppies
Username: ChiJoan
"Still it's nice to use them when you get them for free with an old laptop or desktop no one thinks is useful anymore. OT: When will we be able download additional software again for install? Tried from latest 4 and 3 install. I'd like to add more games, etc. Thanks, ChiJoan

Brainwashed nation
Username: ANOSage
"There you have it! Yanks can only think about buy! buy! buy! And what's the latest gizmo I can acquire to lighten up my miserable life. What are we to do with them! RoW is more concerned with recycling stuff. Only ChiJoan has a grasp on reality. On the other hand, USB cards for non-USB machines are ubiquitous. A USB 1.1 card would probably be a free gift even in Perth if you purchase a USB 2 card for a few A$. Only thing to remember is that you'll need drivers for W98 - but who uses that any longer?!

Zip disks vs USB drives
Username: pakt
"I have a couple of 100MB Zip drives that I last used when developing WakePup. They now sit in a carton on the shelf. USB Flash sticks are much cheaper and faster. If an old PC or laptop doesn't have USB ports, they can be added using PCI cards or PCMCIA adapters. This has worked well with my old relics, er, test machines.

vote from a 'yank'
Username: John Doe
" this 'yank' votes for leaving the options in and having a message with 'full disclosure'. it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, I've heard it said.

Username: mouldy
"I still have a parallel port super floppy drive. Have to admit that I havent used it in few years. Mostly back when I had a laptop that didnt have usb. I've only hung onto it cause it can read regular floppies and seems to have a knack of reading some of those that throw up an error on regular floppy drive. The 120 disks are so expensive thats not even a consideration anymore. Thats interesting bit of trivia that they at one point made a 240 drive and disk. Thats probably a collectors item as dont think I've ever seen one.

Tags: puppy