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Retrochallenge 2016 Introduction

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My first Retrochallenge... I've been meaning to figure out how floppy disks store data down to the magnetic transition level for some time. This gives me an excuse to learn and document my findings ! And there's a copious amount of documentation that I didn't know existed!

I am going to focus on documenting my findings for IBM PC-compatible DD 5.25" disks. These are the disk types where I understand the internals the best, even more so than 3.5" disks (which were still in use when I got my first computer)! Any proof of concept software/hardware will be verified against a real 5.25" double density drive that I have. However, when doing simulations to show how floppies behave under a variety of conditions, I will use any documentation I find to create my simulations, using Numpy/matplotlib or MATLAB (the former if it will behave) to create visually appealing diagrams.

So where to start? Well, the first part of a floppy disk controller I need to actually build is the Phase-Locked-Loop; but documenting the heads with a simulation based on a transfer function that I found is also appealing. I'll make a decision soon .

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Updated December 31st, 2015 at 03:29 AM by cr1901

RetroChallenge Jan 2016