[ALUG] wintar floppy archive

(Ted Harding) ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk
Thu Jun 7 10:07:21 BST 2007

On 07-Jun-07 08:29:33, Wayne Stallwood wrote:
> As far as I can tell WinTAR writes standard tar archives..the key
> thing being of course that it looks like they are written as such
> straight onto the floppy as if it were a raw block device rather
> than being written to a file on the floppy filesystem.
> I am guessing here but I would have expected that dd'ing the floppy
> into a file and then using tar to extract from that would work.
> so dd if=/dev/fd0 of=floppy1.tar
> substitute the device node for whatever the floppy device is on your
> system...you don't mention if you are using the original SCSI floppy
> drive or not.
> Set the write protect tab on the floppies so that no silly mistakes
> can be made..naturally

The above looks plausible to me ... the only thing I'd add is that
a lot of these old archive-to-floppy programs supported multi-volume
archives -- i.e. the archive can be split across several floppies,
so you could do as Wayne suggests, concatenating the outputs for
conxecutive floppies, but you'd have to ensure:
a) That you have the floppies in the right order
b) That you take account of any "sellotape" in the archives which
   is there to support transition from one floppy ("volume") to
   the next.

'info tar' leads me to the "-M" option:

     Informs `tar' that it should create or otherwise operate on a
     multi-volume `tar' archive.

along with which it may be useful to consider:

     (see -info-script)

     When `tar' is performing multi-tape backups, SCRIPT-FILE is
     run at the end of each tape.  If SCRIPT-FILE exits with
     nonzero status, `tar' fails immediately.

("tape" includes "floppy" here, of course).

The other thing to watch out for is that backup (at least) archives
may have different files with identical names in different archives,
so watch out that you don't zap one file when extracting another!
One directory per archive is a good idea at this stage.

> What did you do so wrong that your punishment is to extract data
> from 500 floppies...must have been pretty bad :-)

Lived too long ago, I should think.

Those who made history are condemned to dismantle it later ...

I remember from a mere 10-12 years ago using 250MB tape cartridges
(on Linux with 'mtst') in precisely this way. I later moved on
to Iomega "mega-floppies" ... 100MB on a floppy, COR!!!


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 07-Jun-07                                       Time: 10:07:18
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