Important Note: It’s useful to have a decent understanding of computers and of last Century’s pop culture to get the first of these two stories. The second is, I think, pretty near universally comprehensible.
Both are absolutely true stories.
Here’s the first story:
A friend called me and asked me if I had a new toner cartridge that he could use in his HP LaserJet 4100 printer. He said that he was tired of “shaking the toner cartridge” and that it was now producing lighter and lighter pages.
I said, “Don’t forget the old song: Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your toner, I (sort of) sang. Without skipping a beat, my friend replied, “Wasn’t that by HP and the Sunshine Band?“
I almost fell out of my chair I laughed so hard!
Here’s the second story:
I do a lot of computer/web/marketing/software consulting for a lot of companies and entities. I have to stay very current on all the latest and greatest technologies, as well as the uses for said technologies. So, I was a tad taken aback when a client called and asked me whether I had a “bootable DOS diskette.”
People haven’t been using either DOS or diskettes for a very long time. My immediate response, after I picked up my jaw, was, “I can probably find one, but it’ll take a while.”
My client explained that he had a very old test fixture that was quite reliable, and that still booted up with 3.5″ DOS diskettes, and he needed one, as his had finally worn out after a lot of years (and he didn’t have a backup… shhhhh…). So he waited as I searched for a bootable DOS diskette on the internet.
Well, whaddya know?!? You can find them! I offered to procure one for my client and he declined after I explained a workaround that he might want to try with his test fixture.
However, in searching for the DOS diskette, another link intrigued me. It’s here. The headline was interesting: “Want to Get Files Off Old Floppies? Here’s How“
Sure! Absolutely! I’d love to know how this person, short of loading a floppy diskette into a floppy diskette drive, proposed to extract data from old floppies.
Well, I went to the link, and it was a video produced by the Wall Street Journal. Well, thought I, this has to be credible. I mean, the Wall Street Journal don’t produce slop! It’s a very, very serious publication. Right? Right?
The problem was that I didn’t want to sit through the whole video to see how the comely young lady in it proposed to pull data off diskettes, so I looked for a transcript of the video. Well! Turns out there was one! And it was one of the funniest things I’d ever read, beginning with the opening disclaimer: “This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.”
Yep. That’s what it said. And it was right. Kinda like saying, “Shaquille O’Neal is tall,” or “some stars are quite distant,” or “Nancy Pelosi is a moron,” or “Chuck Schumer is a lunatic.” Like that.
Now, keep in mind, this is The Wall Street Journal… the hoity-toity, upscale, a bit snobbish, high-end, a tad nose-in-the-air Wall Street Journal.
Here’s the rest of the transcript of this disquisition on data extraction from floppy discs that they published on their web site:
(I’ve helpfully highlighted in red, some of the passages I thought most poignant. Honestly, it’s well worth reading it all the way through… )
… I why I reporter contest for all things a bang for my call was the guy decided to move away from modern day technology like tablets and smartphones and apps and Web services … at last from the pass … happy about … the floppy disk … now what what they doing with the floppy disk … I’ve that this pilot is here at my desk from back when I was using an old Gateway … and later on or Compaq desktop computer and now that my laptop is an emptiness Lacy I no longer have a floppy disk drive and kissing me you don’t either so this the this is a lot of different options for getting your files of your old floppy disk drives and they came up a treat for me is the … belief he found something situation impasse … maybe this will help you the first batch is the case or to do this for you … I found him online and seam treatments and insight into the first one is called retro floppy in the second one is called simply Floppy disc … that also operates is something called is cheaper … but Sir Richard floppy this is the time I hear Oliver Carolina in the next tackle files from three point five assists and five and a quarter inch discs … I guess that’s … just because charges Tennessee price is six eighty five for instance extraction … the ASA Chief authentic reform minded disc surgery if your puppy has created an … analyst at the time to find compatible software and get … conversions for you address the pop yet when I was back in a few days now so I know this … is this even files on … the floppy disk dot com conference is based in Southern California church the more reasonable price of one ninety five for its three point five inch floppy disk a second thought this race and myriad than … on … up to six ninety five that that will depend on whether you send in really older specialty desks … and the flooding is not coming out my files back duty in just over a day in the following week I might get sent back to me along with the USB flash drive … with my files on … unfortunately no one of my discs was deemed unreadable … and then as I mentioned before … software compatibility could be an issue for example a handsome old final draft screenplay files on the spot the best … and while the Services Islands you’re able to get the files offered me … I have a draft supper my laptop crabby so I still was unable to open those documents … that sickly old Microsoft word documents and old Statement Photos Enel PDX and things like that I could go and … now … another chance to buy an external hard drive yourself … when this … year … I actually got this one off the Floppy disc stock on for twenty five dollars this is an old Dell external hard drive its platinum age computer via USB … if I is for pretty cheap on Amazon dot com e Bay … I just made sure that the region and floppy disks you have and make sure that compatible with your current operating suspends the … end of the disk reader that can read your puppy is lastly there’s the library … PCCW Rebuts … well some men still has ample old computer systems that are available to the public were to BlackBerry numbers and the benefits of this is that some of those computers so … floppy disks giants so I called around him bolting from libraries and it turns out that loving your public library and Washington DC public library … you can share Suspends and a floppy disk drives anymore … the Boston Public Library actually dies the San Francisco public Library will let people with my keys … check out an external try it on to use the library for a period of time due to … access and rebuild files on so this is just a little research if you really don’t mind spending money on this … call … your local libraries and see if they might have a computer system that’s well below that you can use them … so hopefully you found this helpful if you do have a high-level puppy sitting around in my as a cop than these for state and city at its peak … I learned of AllThingsD and a
Wow! That is informative!
A quick recap? Sure, why not. Here are the passages I highlighted in red:
- “what what they doing with the floppy disk” Indeed! What they doing?!?
- “this pilot is here at my desk” Great! Now we can take our high-level puppies and head on outta here!
- “my laptop is an emptiness Lacy I no longer have a floppy disk drive and kissing me you don’t either” This was beautiful! It’s almost like a wonderful Haiku, just waiting for some editing. It really needs to read something like this:
My laptop is an emptiness Lacy
I no longer have a floppy disk drive
And kissing me you don’t either
And isn’t that just the story of life, all wrapped up in a beautiful, neat, eloquent package?
- “they came up a treat for me is the … belief he found something situation impasse” I always found that to be a real treat too! Despite the impasse.
- “I found him online and seam treatments and insight into the first one is called retro floppy” Yep. Current floppies are nothing like the retro ones! It’s because of the seam treatments.
- “Sir Richard floppy this is the time I hear Oliver Carolina in the next tackle files from three point five assists and five and a quarter inch discs … I guess that’s … just because charges Tennessee price is six eighty five for instance extraction ” Wow! This is yet another magnificent passage that requires just a bit of reformatting, and assistance with punctuation to show its true majesty:
Sir Richard floppy,
This is the time!
I hear Oliver Carolina
In the next tackle files!
From three point five assists
And five and a quarter inch discs …
I guess that’s … just because charges
Is six eighty five
For instance extraction
Shakespeare himself couldn’t have expressed it better! And the shape of the text looks a bit like Missouri!
- “ASA Chief authentic reform minded disc surgery if your puppy has created an … analyst” Yes, my puppy is always creating analysts, and leaving them lying about analyzing things. I’ve learned to put them to work analyzing my finances and personal life and other pertinent things.
- “a handsome old final draft screenplay” Ah, yes… and what a handsome rake of a screenplay he was!
- “the Services Islands you’re able to get the files” Ah! It’s looking as if you might have to go to the Services Islands to get the files!
- “and the flooding is not coming out my files back duty in just over a day in the following week” You know? I had that very same problem with my files back duty too! No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the flooding to come out of them! I had to bring them back to the store.
- “I have a draft supper my laptop crabby” Aye, Matey! The draft suppers don’t taste half as good as the final version, but they are cheaper, me laptop crabby! Aaaarrrggghhh!!!
- “sickly old Microsoft word documents” Ah, the poor dears!
- “the disk reader that can read your puppy” Now, that’s a disk reader! I can hardly get mine to read my cat, much less my puppy! And when I try to read my ass?(1)
- “floppy disks giants so I called around him bolting from libraries“ This is a plague afflicting much of America today… floppy disks giants are bolting from libraries in towns big and small across the land. When will it end?!?
- “you can share Suspends” I hope she doesn’t mean: Depends. That would be unfortunate.
- “the Boston Public Library actually dies” Awwwww… what a shame!
- “the San Francisco public Library will let people with my keys … check out an external” Note to self: Don’t give keys to the San Francisco Public Library… at least until I’ve locked up all my externals!
- “call … your local libraries and see if they might have a computer system that’s well below” Yes, well below… you don’t want to have to climb too high to use one of their computer systems.
- “so hopefully you found this helpful if you do have a high-level puppy” Well, as it turns out, I do happen to have quite a high-level puppy, who creates very fine analysts! I found this all very helpful indeed!
(1) My donkey! Get your mind back in the proper place!