Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (794 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] OT: Strange Idea Proof of Concept
On 23/11/17 15:14, Paul Groves wrote:
Someone said to me the other day that it is possible to convert a linux install ISO, such as openSUSE, Fedora or Ubuntu and put it on floppy disks to install from directly with no CD.

Of course it would be very impractical and also would use many floppies. But then perhaps it could be useful for some uses (although I could not imagine any).

Now personally I have a few floppies with PLOP bootloader on them. I haven't used them for a while but occasionally I will come across a computer with a botched CD drive or the USB ports will not work in the BIOS so it is useful to boot to PLOP then choose the linux USB or CD.

However, I was quite intrigued by this floppy idea and thought it would be a good proof of concept. What ways are there that one would could use to achieve this?

When Windows 8 came out, I saw an image that was going viral on either Twitter or wherever, of somebody preparing to install the floppy version. There were a few boxes with a few thousand floppy disks inside, with what looked like rather plain but believable Windows 8 branding on all the labels.

At first, it just seemed like an amusing meme. But it may have been serious, I really don't know. This was about five or six years ago, but to this day there are always slow, stuffy, lumbering old organisations

* ...cough coughattachmate ahem... *

excuse me, something got stuck in my throat, that continue to depend on what seems like beyond ancient technology, or businesses that serve those same organizations, and Microsoft might well still have had contracts to fulfill and reasons to produce their OS in floppy form at that time, albeit for a tiny fraction of its clients.

Here in Lyon, France, as far as I'm aware, the tramway system, inaugurated in 2001, has driver cab technology still based on Windows 3.1. It's not that many years since Microsoft ended new Windows 3.1 activations and then support of the OS altogether. Around 2001, or the couple of years before when the tramway systems here were being thrashed out, with Linux still a relative newcomer and Unix looking like it was fading away, Windows 3.1 would still have been the sort of LTS trusted reliable OS. I dearly hope they have replaced it by now but I don't know.


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