ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2021

Entry 17th February 2021: Post 1: Power Computing - Floppy Expander.

Power Computing - Floppy Expander.

It is not unusual to use a compression program on an Amiga so save
space. For any large data storage it pays to first compress the
files before saving them to disk. The process is much quicker when
undertaken in RAM and then moved over. For some time a number of
products came on the market to automate the process. One such bit
of software was Floppy Expander.

I never actually used this software as I preferred to manage the
compression process myself and then choose whether to store onto
disk or save to the hard drive. With every process on a computer
there is a risk and I guess I was always kinda troubled that the
process may fail and I lose the raw data.

Floppy Expander basically sets up the drive to give you options
over automated file compression. Remember with such compression
in place the door swings both ways and so what ever machine reads
the disk will need to uncompress the files first. I always recall
the annoyance of full backups on computers as you both needed the
backup software and all disks working in the sequence made.

For a while I did use a bit of software called Archandler on the
hard drives. This basically compressed everything on your drive
and so before using data it would go through a process of taking
the files and de-crunching them. What you gained in drive space you
lost in time. In the early days disk and drive storage cost a lot
so using these programs was popular. However as drive costs began
to reduce the compression process became less important. The big
jump for me was from high density disks on the XLDrive to the
100MB disks on the ZIP drive. Each disk cost around 19 UK pounds
where a pack of ten HD floppies cost around ten UK pounds. So
cheaper with floppy but way less flexibility and the ZIP was much
faster and quicker to access. [ 10 DD disks 5.99 UK pounds ]. I
could also save much bigger files with the ZIP.

For me there was never anything to match good old LHA though
I did dabble in DMS for a while for whole disk contents. Either way
there were plenty of ways around the storage issue, eventually I
just hooked up bigger external hard drives and even other Amiga
computers using Parnet.

Power Computing - Floppy Expander.

A1200 Sperlunk with RAM card

Amiga 600HD with 1MB RAM card.

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Last updated 17th February 2021

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