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Floppy disk icon

July 11, 2008 — BarryK
Puppy 4.1alpha3 does not have a desktop icon for a "legacy" floppy disk drive. The reason for this is the difficulty of detection if a floppy diskette is inserted. To do so requires the drive motor to startup, which is not something that you want to happen every 4-5 seconds. Linux does not have hotplug support for floppy drives.

However, if a PC has a floppy drive then you might want an icon on the desktop. So, I have added a checkbox in the Event Manager to turn an icon on or off. default is on.

Puppy does look to see if /sys/block/fd0 exists, and if not then will not draw a floppy icon on the desktop even if the above-mentioned checkbox is ticked.

However, some modern desktop PCs have motherboards with support for a legacy floppy drive, but no physical drive present. In that case, /sys/block/fd0 exists as Linux thinks there is a floppy drive -- as Linux only looks at the interface and does not actually probe for a physical drive due to the motor startup and slowness of the operation.


Username: ANOSage
I think we should get one thing straight - a floppy drive is NOT legacy, it is an essential part of every (desktop) PC. Vast amounts of data can be stored in 1.44Mb - some folks find it adequate for an entire OS. The FDD has been under attack by lazy, greedy billionaires trying to save every cent, notably Gates and Dell, for around a decade. That what I say is true is reflected by the header pins provided by virtually every board manufacturer - so far. Folks must learn to avoid any products without a FDD; indeed, avoid proprietary rip-offs and build their own machines. Gifted machines without this device should be fitted out, if necessary by resort to a tin-opener. The cost of a new FDD is ~4/$8/7, but almost any old unit can be cannibalised from a junkheap and reinstated with a vacuum cleaner and dab of oil. As for the electrics, it was my understanding that all FDD s generate a pulse when a disc is inserted; there will be others better able to confirm this or otherwise. In principle, there should be no problem with FDD detection and usage. Although Linux, generally, has not always been at ease with the device, that one of the world's poorest operating systems manages it suggests that it is Linux that needs to address the issue. It is heartening to know that at least this developer is on the case!

Tags: puppy