[pups] Duh - how do you format an RX50?

Bill Gunshannon bill at cs.scranton.edu
Sun Feb 10 03:14:36 AEST 2002

On Sat, 9 Feb 2002, Jay Jaeger wrote:

> Um, bzzzzt.  Wrong.  I have a floppy labeled:  BL-FN7AP-MC CZFNAP0 M-11
> FORMTR RX50  .  This is a formatter program for a Micro PDP-11.
> It is a *diagnostic* program (not a user program) for formatting these
> beasties.  Mine is for the -11, I would imagine that there is one for the
> MicroVAX as well.

I guess this constitutes the last straw for this myth.  Or was it merely
a business decision intended to promote the sale of pre-formatted RX-50
diskettes. (A practice not uncommon in those days.  For example, at one
place where I worked we were responsible for maintaining Terak Micros, a
LSI-11 based system.  Any time we reported a floppy problem the first
question was, "Are you using Terak brand diskettes??"  Of course, everyone
at that time knew there were only 3 manufacturers of platens and everybody
else just supplied labels!!)

Other arguments:  I have an Andromeda Disk Controller.  I know one of the
supported floppy formats is RX50.  I'll bet the their formatting program
won't care what drive is there and will happily format diskettes for use
in this and other RX-50's.

By the way, I mnentioned having a n on-DEC 80 track 5.25 drive.  I was
wrong about one thing, though.  It was not a Shugart, it was a Tandon.
Sadly, I don't think I still have it.

But I think it is time to dig up some drives and controllers and see
just what can be done to create RX50 diskettes.  Who know, maybe I can
take over the business that DEC had.  Hmmm.  I think they used to get
$10.00 a diskette.  They're rarer now.  Maybe $25.00 each??  Yeah, that's
the trick.  I'll tell my daughter she can register for the next semester
now....   :-)

> Of course, it is copyrighted.

I wonder if there is anyone who could be contacted about releasing it??
Maybe even the VMS version, too.  Or even, the source??  Somehow, I doubt
that Compaq still sells many pre-formatted RX50's.

And while we're on the subject, what about this supposed problem using
anything put certain kinds of diskettes??  I used my 80 track 96tpi drive
all the time with the same diskettes I used in my other SS/SD, DS/SD drives
all the time and never had a problem.  Is this perhaps another myth intended
to foster the sale of pre-formatted diskettes??


Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves
bill at cs.scranton.edu     |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton   |
Scranton, Pennsylvania   |         #include <std.disclaimer.h>

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