UDEV - Not Leaving Well Enough Alone

alupu at verizon.net alupu at verizon.net
Tue Nov 24 18:29:35 PST 2009

Hello Simon & Linux Fan,

The thread started as a complaint about UDEV
eliminating the only workaround, "last_rule",
I could use to avoid the pollution of the
/dev with a relatively large number of
nonsensical floppy nodes (from my standpoint),
which was followed by a pleading for help.

It's taken an "off-topic" turn now about the
wisdom of still using floppy drives, but what
the heck, in a global economic downturn any such
subject is a good way to cheer you up while sitting
idle at home.

Now, a few comments around Simon's words:

> Is this a machine predating USB?
Not exactly.
In Linux terms, the subject machines are one
rather modern, the other leading edge.
In technical terms, one was built on an
ASUS P4S533-MX, the other on an ASUS P5E-VM HDMI
In technology terms they are about 5 generations
and 2 generations, respectively, behind current.
Unfortunately, both boards come with an internal
(CMOS :) controller which as it turns out is nothing
but trouble.

> no idea where I could buy a new floppy disk
> these days
Same place you can buy an USB floppy drive :)
BTW, I reuse old floppies (disks and drives).
Sony's are "notoriously" reliable.
In general, old floppies never die nor do they fade away.

> I can't imagine any other reason not to use flash
> drives for that purpose these days -
> dirt cheap, fit in a pocket ...

As to why I use floppies in the first place 
(against all odds), my main principle in life has been
 if you paid for it use it,
 if you don't use it don't pay.
Thus, always hook an internal floppy drive off the
relatively expensive board.
Please note, in my previous post I explained why
I still find a floppy convenient in practice (as
opposed to principle), like moving a typical Linux
small file around.
Beats a dirt cheap 32G USB Flash any day.

I know there's no more exhilarating feeling then seeing
the amazed and appreciative looks on the faces of neighbors
and friends when I'm whipping out from my pocket and then
plugging my shiny new USB flash in the front panel jack.
But all this production for 'fstab'? :-)

As to why floppies still exist and what their
future is, I look at it this way:
There MUST be a _sizable_ number of people somewhere
(probably where the glaciers are melting),
who are important enough for the UDEV and LFS developers
to carefully issue and maintain "CMOS" rules like
50 and 55 for now and apparently foreseeable future.
Rules that actually break the main UDEV philosophy:
keep it small and dynamic.

Note:  For a good, solid rant against internal floppies
I recommend AnandTech, the premier source for technical
They cannot believe that the latest Pacific Rim boards
STILL come with a floppy controller.  Life's like that.

> have a 3.5" drive in my machine ... not connected, [just]
> to stop dust getting in through 

I stop dust with a connected drive.
For as long as the majority of good cases still come with
a floppy drive bay, even for a Micro ATX form factor
(my favorite), I might as well.


Speaking of USB, I do have my own slide off topic.
I've been wondering why people still prefer/use _internal_
opticals when USB, modern, versatile, sophisticated
(like Blu-Ray) drives are so convenient, easy to share
(especially with expensive burners), and easy to replace
when, the next day after you got one, there's a new
cheaper and better model hitting the market.  
Let alone mitigating the power woes of the machine.
True, some are not dirt cheap yet.

Thank you fro your comments,
-- Alex

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