Homemade Floppy Archiver

The original iMac in 1998 signaled the death of the floppy drive, but we still have a lot of floppies lying around and don’t want to throw them away. One guy came up with an ingenious solution.

Ozzy Dweller, a geek and musician thought there had to be a better way to archive his several crates of Amiga floppies from back on the day. He tried LEGO Mindstorms, but the robotics kit wouldn’t work very well for the desk of inserting and removing the floppies. These crates contain 500 disks each, so I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to automate things a little.

He did find a professional disk duplicator, and cannibalized it, replacing the controller with  an Arduino board and a kryoflux floppy controller. He also built a hopper that can hold many more floppies.

Floppy archiver

A camera snaps a picture of the label of each disk, before it’s unceremoniously dumped on the floor.

Here it is in action:

The piano piece, also composed by Dweller, makes the video seem poignant.

Now that not only floppy disks, but physical media itself, seem to be dead, the risk of losing information seems to be greater, since a lot of older floppies (especially the 5.25″ ones) don’t work so well and were not meant to store long-term data.

If you’re into preserving the memory of the Amiga, here’s a post on how to use it on modern hardware. You might also like the Pirates of the Carribean theme on floppy drives.

(H/T How-to Geek)