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Re: Suggestion to Remove KFloppy and hold back K3b

On Friday, February 17, 2017 5:33:02 PM EST Jonathan Riddell wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 07:50:22PM +0100, Wolfgang Bauer wrote:
> > On 11 February 2017 at 13:44, Jonathan Riddell <jr@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > I recommend KFloppy be removed from Applications releases.  It
> > > couldn't find my floppy drive and when I hacked the code to tell it
> > > where to look it depended on an external tool fdformat which didn't
> > > work anyway.
> > 
> > KFloppy and fdformat work fine here in openSUSE, I do use it regularly
> > (with an internal floppy drive).
> I'm in the disk user group.  I'm using KDE neon which is Ubuntu 16.04
> as base.  The drive is external and attached by USB.
> fdformat doesn't work from the command line
> >fdformat --no-verify /dev/sdc
> fdformat: could not determine current format type: Invalid argument

This sounds like a compatibility issue between the USB drive and fdformat; 
fdformat is going to be trying to determine the drive's low-level format, not 
it its partition table or filesystem; Floppy drives traditionally are more like 
a 3d printer or CNC machine than a block device; you have to tell the read/
write head physically where to go. USB drives may hide those controls. I could 
store 1.9MB of data on a 1.44MB disk eons ago, through low-level formatting, 
but I can't do that with USB floppy drives today.

The problem is, you have a USB device that's more like a flash drive than a 
floppy drive, and KFloppy doesn't know which tools to access it with. Certainly 
a bug, but it's not a "this doesn't work with floppy drives" issue, it's 
(probably) a "fdformat doesn't handle the usb floppy interface" issue. Hang a 
ribbon cable floppy drive from your local computer recycle center off the MFM 
controller on a desktop's motherboard, and it will probably work just fine.

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