Old School Hacks/1

Last week I reopened a drawer on my parents home where I had a bunch of old electronic stuffs.. It was at least 15 years that I did not open that drawer and I found a couple of cool hacks that I made when I was young that I think are worth presenting…

The first one is very simple one…Back in the days I was one of the lucky owner of the IBM with 80286 processor… I still remember that I had a 20Mb Hard Drive and a 3.5 floppy disk reader.  The 3.5 disks had mainly three capacities:
-The single sided with 360 KB capacity (with one hole on the base)
-The double side with 760 KB capacity (with one hole on the base)
-Double side High Density with 1.44Mb capacity (with two holes, on the base)

So all the diskette had one hole that you could open or close as write protection, and the second hole was only for the high density disks..

Now back then, i was probably 7 or 8 years old and i did not had any knowledge of disk capacity  and such. However, i had a lot of games.. And I could copy those games on some diskette and not in others… I quickly discovered that the disks “with two holes” where the good one, while the one with a single holes where not good 🙂 …  So one day i really needed to copy one game to the diskette but i did not had any high density one. So I got really angry and tried to manually drill the second hole. Here I have a picture of a floppy disk with the red circle around the drilled hole…


When i tried to copy the game it just worked!!. So what happened was that the PC used that hole to detect if the diskette was an High Density disk or not… Despite this trick was not always working, I was able to double up the capacity of most of my diskette for free..

Last thing regards the write protection hole… to reuse the floppy disks that were write protected (no sliding window) was enough to cover the hole with a small piece of tape.. This trick was also working with the Music Cassette. Speaking of which, next article I will discuss a more complex hack on Cassette readers…

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