3B1 Floppies

72 views
Skip to first unread message

Bill Gunshannon

unread,
Jun 15, 2015, 2:43:31 PM6/15/15
to
Does anyone know if the format of 3B1 disks allows for mounting and reading
on a BSD or Linux box? I have some disks that I would like to read before
it is too late and I really don't know when 9or even if) I will have a 3B1
running again.

bill

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

David Gesswein

unread,
Jun 16, 2015, 9:10:17 PM6/16/15
to
In article <cu8kmi...@mid.individual.net>,
Bill Gunshannon <bill...@cs.uofs.edu> wrote:
>Does anyone know if the format of 3B1 disks allows for mounting and reading
>on a BSD or Linux box? I have some disks that I would like to read before
>it is too late and I really don't know when 9or even if) I will have a 3B1
>running again.
>
From talking with my wife who has one the machine was capabile of writing
normal FAT disks that should be readable without issues. Some also were
cpio files written to the device without a file system. I don't know if
current cpio will process them if you point to the fd device. Other formats
were possible. Also some disks has strange number of sectors.

Do you know how the disks were written?

This page lists 3b1.
https://fdutils.linux.lu/Fdutils.html

I have used imagedisk to make images of 3b1 floppies. Its a DOS program.
http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm

Not sure if this is in a useable state to try to process floppy images.
http://www.philpem.me.uk/code/3b1emu/

DoN. Nichols

unread,
Jun 16, 2015, 9:52:23 PM6/16/15
to
On 2015-06-15, Bill Gunshannon <bi...@server3.cs.uofs.edu> wrote:
> Does anyone know if the format of 3B1 disks allows for mounting and reading
> on a BSD or Linux box?

I don't know about BSD boxen for this, but it at least used to
be possible to install drivers in a linux system to read them.

There are two formats. The first floppy of the install system
is always the older -- 8 sectors per track, and it must be that to boot
IIRC. Once booted (even with the start of the install set) it will read
subsequent disks of 10 sectors per track -- while the IBM PC (and other
Microsoft OS based systems) were 9 sectors per track.

> I have some disks that I would like to read before
> it is too late and I really don't know when 9or even if) I will have a 3B1
> running again.

Are they part of install sets, or something private? Most of
the install sets are available for download somewhere out on the net, so
you can rebuild sets at need. (Maybe some commercial packages are not
included there -- like a Wordmark "Composer" word processor, but I think
that anything from AT&T is out there somewhere. Someone who has more
recently used that can point you to where if searches fail.

Good Luck,
DoN.

--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> | (KV4PH) Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

Bill Gunshannon

unread,
Jun 17, 2015, 8:25:16 AM6/17/15
to
In article <slrnmo1kkj.40...@katana.d-and-d.com>,
"DoN. Nichols" <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> writes:
> On 2015-06-15, Bill Gunshannon <bi...@server3.cs.uofs.edu> wrote:
>> Does anyone know if the format of 3B1 disks allows for mounting and reading
>> on a BSD or Linux box?
>
> I don't know about BSD boxen for this, but it at least used to
> be possible to install drivers in a linux system to read them.
>
> There are two formats. The first floppy of the install system
> is always the older -- 8 sectors per track, and it must be that to boot
> IIRC. Once booted (even with the start of the install set) it will read
> subsequent disks of 10 sectors per track -- while the IBM PC (and other
> Microsoft OS based systems) were 9 sectors per track.
>
>> I have some disks that I would like to read before
>> it is too late and I really don't know when 9or even if) I will have a 3B1
>> running again.
>
> Are they part of install sets, or something private? Most of
> the install sets are available for download somewhere out on the net, so
> you can rebuild sets at need. (Maybe some commercial packages are not
> included there -- like a Wordmark "Composer" word processor, but I think
> that anything from AT&T is out there somewhere. Someone who has more
> recently used that can point you to where if searches fail.
>

They are (I believe) a tar set. I was mostly concerned about the
ability of another system to read the low level format. I actually
have at least two copies of the install set. Some of it still in
shrink-wrapped packages. Maybe I need to just grab my remaining 3B1
when I go to cut the grass at the old house (which I stil have not
cleaned out enough to actually put on the market) and see if it will
still run. Then I could probably read the floppies enough to use
kermit to move the data to something more reliable.

This is dats that I am sure there would be interest in but, unfortunately,
I can not release it to the publc. The labels claim it is 3B1 OS source.
But, I assume I could send a copy to Warren Toomey for inclusion in the
archives as I assume he still checks for possession of a valid AT&T
source license before giving out access. I know I had to provide a
copy of mine back in the day.

Dave McGuire

unread,
Jun 19, 2015, 4:47:11 PM6/19/15
to
On 06/15/2015 02:43 PM, Bill Gunshannon wrote:
> Does anyone know if the format of 3B1 disks allows for mounting and reading
> on a BSD or Linux box? I have some disks that I would like to read before
> it is too late and I really don't know when 9or even if) I will have a 3B1
> running again.

Bill, I should have a 3B1 running within the next couple of weeks (one
of your old ones, in fact!) and can assist you with pulling off that
data, if it comes to that.

-Dave

--
Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

Dave Brower

unread,
Jan 23, 2016, 11:11:44 PM1/23/16
to
I'm working on changes to the linux sysv filesystem driver so it can mount UNIX-PC filesystems -- there are some slight variations in the superblock format that need to be detected and automatically handled. It works OK for a hard-disk filesystem image, but I don't know about actual floppy disks or floppy images. I don't think there's any difference.

-dB

robert bownes

unread,
Nov 1, 2022, 4:58:09 PM11/1/22
to
Dave,

Did you ever get your 3b1 running?

Bob

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages