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Using a Floppy Disk

A 3-1/2 inch floppy disk can hold 1,440,000 characters (letters or numbers), or 1.44 MB (megabytes). Information on disks is stored in "files". The files have names and are listed in directories. A floppy disk can be moved from one computer to another, and any computer can access the files. So if you have your own floppy, you can work on your own files no matter what computer you are using.

It is very important that the disk be put in the right way. The side with the center open so the drive can spin the floppy goes down. The side with the metal cover goes into the computer first. Floppies must be kept clean. They should be stored inside an envelope or some kind of protective cover.

Activity: Save and Restore Your Work

  1. In Windows, use the Paint program make a simple drawing. Save this to your own floppy (A: drive). Exit the Paint program, then start it up again, and open your drawing on the A: drive. Try to hear the floppy when it loads.
  2. Using the Windows Write or Wordpad program (in Accessories folder) write a letter and save it to the A: drive. Here is a sample letter, but write your own:
       Dear Uncle  XYZZY,
          I am learning about computers in the Anguilla computer
       club.  One of my instructors says that many people in
       the USA get a new computer every 3 or 4 years and keep 
       their older computers unused in a closet.  Could you 
       ask around and see if you can find anyone who has an old 
       computer that they would be willing to give to me?
          If you know someone or some company that wants a tax
       deduction they can donate computers to the club.
       Info about this can be found on the Internet at:
       Thank you very much,
  3. Save your letter to your floppy.
  4. Take your floppy to a computer with a printer and print your letter. Then take your letter and put it in an envelope and mail it. If you do not have time to finish your letter, or print it, just bring the floppy in during the week or at the next club meeting and print it then.
  5. If you later think of someone else you could send a letter to you can just load up your letter from your floppy, change the name, and print it again.
You can also put your favorite program on the floppy disk, if it isn't too big!