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2023-06-14 19:21:54

Using a Floppy Disk Drive on a Smartphone

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Greetings and welcome to an L G R thing .

And today I was just thinking about modern smartphones and tablets and other such devices .

They're pretty neat and smart in things , but you know what ?

They could really use floppy drives .

Yes , that's right .

Floppy friggin discs and drives to go along with them .

And you know what I think we can accomplish that .

So to do this , all we really need is a phone .

I'm going to be using my Note eight .

It's not sponsored , it's just what I have and a floppy disk drive and in particular , a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive that runs using USB , one that I have applied a wood grain coating to because of course I did .

And yeah , I don't know what brand this is , what it is .

It pretty much any of them should work .

It's just a generic one I got from Goodwill and we of course , need a floppy disk to write to and read from .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I have a high density 3.5 inch disk here that we can fill with all sorts of unscrupulous nonsense .

And last , but definitely not least is one of these U B connectors or on the GO cables or adapters , whatever you want to call them .

In fact , this one I haven't even opened yet and actually just came packaged with my phone , which was quite nice as just A on the GO O T G adapter .

And this will allow you to convert the USB portion of your phone .

In this case , it's USB C to USB type A , you know , full sized USB port .

So I'll just plug in the O T G adapter right there on the end of the USB cable , the floppy disk drive , plug that into the phone and you'll be able to see the light come on and if we plug in a disk .

Mhm .

Yeah , we get floppy disk noises as the phone is attempting to read from the disk and at the moment there's nothing on it .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So let's go ahead and take care of that on a windows 98 PC .

So I'm going to be using the recently rebuilt Lazy Green Giant to write some stuff onto the disk .

And we have an installation here for Commander Ken episode one invasion of the Vons , the shareware episode , which will easily fit onto the disc itself .

Thanks for installing the shareware episode of Commander Ken .

You're quite welcome early nineties installation program .

So we have the game installed on the disk right there .

So just be able to run it like this and it of course will be just fine because why wouldn't it be ?

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So , yeah , let's go ahead and do the same thing on the phone and see what happens with a floppy drive attached to it .

Ok .

Now that the disk is full of things , let's plug it back in and see what happens .

It could take a little while here for it to read .

What I believe is the entire contents of the disk .

It may actually be loading everything directly from here into memory just so it knows how to read it from the file system .

And there you go , it shows up as a Y dash E data USB drive .

And so you can tap there to transfer the files .

And these are all the ones that we just copied over .

And of course , being that these are meant for MS dos , like if we're trying to open an executable , it's like , oh , you don't have any apps that can do that .

Well , I actually do .

So let's go and open one of those apps for this .

I'm going to be using an app called Magic Dos Box , which is just a DOS box variant made for Android .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And I find it to be quite nice .

It is a paid for app or at least this version is .

But in my experience , it's about the best dos box version for Android .

At the moment , you can see I have G of the Jungle already installed , but we're going to add the version of commander keen that we copied over to the floppy disk and it's already seeing something there .

Now , the way this version of DOS Box works is you configure each individual little icon or program to show up on your main menu by going through here and you select all of the different features that you would normally in DOS Box , in particular , we're just going to make it boot directly into this game and I'm gonna just leave it on the disk .

I don't even want to copy it over to the internal memory of the phone or anything global settings .

So if we go into here , we can show the detected storage devices and we have this one right here , which is the floppy disk drive says it's read only access .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So if we hit request permissions , this brings up the android request permissions thing , we have nonsense .

I just hit select there and we'll see if we can do anything with it now .

Yes , we can , we have full access to dis zero as it is now 0.0 gigabytes .

So we'll go back here and do the plus new game and now we should be able to choose the floppy disc .

Yes , we can directly right here .

Disc zero .

So we'll just choose the main folder here and that is that we'll type in the name Commander Ken one and it's already enabled it for us on the main menu here .

So if we wanted to and Magic dos box , we can adjust all sorts of other settings .

We do want the PC speaker because that is what that is no sound card .

We don't even need to bother with that .

We could even change the icon if we wanted to .

So if we want to give Commander Ken a nice little display on our menu , we could do that .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

But this is probably the more important thing for this individual program , which is choosing the main program , which is going to be keen one dot E X E .

So there we go .

So now when we tap this , we should just go directly into Commander Ken episode one booting directly from the floppy disk .

Yep , it sees it there and the dos box command prompt and there we go .

Wow , that's awesome .

This is the first time I've actually loaded something directly from a floppy disk and not just like copying it first over into the internal memory .

This is really cool .

Let me get the camera a little more adjusted , check that out .

So we can't actually tap on the screen or do anything unless we were to configure it to be able to do that .

So we can add virtual buttons or we can just bring up a virtual keyboard here , press enter , uh start a new game .

Yeah .

Yeah .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And obviously this is not ideal .

Um Even the virtual buttons that this program has while impressive in their own right .

They're still not particularly great .

So I can add like a virtual joystick or really keys over here and then I can apply some other keys .

And yeah , you see how this is , you just sort of add different keys to your screen that you can tap on at will .

Uh So yeah , it's , I , I , I don't like touch screen controls on like any game really , unless it's a game meant for just tapping only .

you know , this is why I'm not a fan of emulated games on Android I OS .

So you have to have to plug in an external controller to really get some sort of good experience in my opinion .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Or we could try plugging in the actual keyboard and this is an I B M model M and it has a P S two connection .

And if you remember some time ago , I did a video about plugging in one of these into an Android phone just through one of these USB P S two adapters that's totally doable .

But of course , we only have the one port .

So that means we're going to need a USB hub .

This is something I admit I have not yet attempted , but I don't know , in theory it should work .

So just grab a cheap hub online and we should be able to just plug stuff in here and uh make things happen and plug in the keyboard right here , the disk drive right there adapter right there and then we'll see what happens when we plug it into the phone .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Uh So if I used to say , do not try this at home , I cannot be responsible if you over voltage your phone or something .

So that's a good sign .

We've got the USB floppy drive attached and then physical keyboard settings popping up here , which that looks good .

You can see me hitting left and right and the arrow keys , keyboard does appear to be working .

So let's try it with dust box .

I really need like a stand or something for this .

Hm .

Can I just put it there ?

Yeah , I'm just gonna put it there .

All right .

Once again , I have not tested this yet .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So I don't know how well this program is meant to work with a physical keyboard , but let's just open up commander key and see what happens once again , loading directly from that floppy disk , which amuses me endlessly and it seems to be doing it at the , you know , pretty good comparable speed to like a actual PC of the time if you were connected to it physically internally and anything .

So .

Ok , let's see .

Oh , it works perfectly .

Oh , yeah .

Yeah .

Now this is how I would hope to play DOS Box on a phone with a frigging model and keyboard and an actual floppy drive loading from actual floppy disks .

Oh , it's wonderful .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Oh , excuse my giddiness .

But nah man embrace my giddiness because I am genuinely having fun with this .

This is so cool dude .

Quit to do , let's try uh the jungle .

I know it's not on .

Um Oh hey , we're right back to Dos .

Hi there doss .

Yeah .

Anyway , let's exit out of this .

I just wanna try the jungle uh for , but yeah , see I had these virtual things installed and I just don't wanna do that , man .

Get rid of those .

Goodbye screen widgets .

I don't need you anymore .

Yeah .

G of the Jungle Android not loading from floppy disk , but if I wanted to , I really could .

Ok .

Well , at this point now , I guess I'm just sort of getting off track .

Uh I'm just amused .

Oh , wrong button .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I am just amused by anything that involves plugging in like legacy hardware to modern hardware .

And I know it's like it's built to do that on the surface .

It's not impressive , but there's still something amusing about damn about seeing it in action .

All right .

Well , uh that's pretty much it for this video .

I just want to show that it is indeed possible and not only that , but it works pretty well .

In fact , it looks like it does cache stuff to internal memory in some way .

I mean , I guess I would expect it to , it would do that normally on a regular PC .

If you're just running something directly off of a floppy , it copied in the ram .

But I was kind of surprised curious , whatever seeing if it would do it even within the emulator here when I turn off the emulation .

And it seems to like now the floppy drive is not plugged in , nothing is plugged in .

So it's not copying everything directly .

It probably just had it saved to its own internal ram so that it doesn't have to load it all completely off the floppy disk .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

At first .

I don't know .

I'm just guessing .

Anyway .

Thank you very much for watching this little experimentation .

Perhaps you've already seen this done before , maybe you've done it yourself and you've been doing it for years and this is nothing new , but for me it was at least something a little different .

And if you'd like to see my older video where I covered plugging in a model M to an Android device , you can click that or stick around to see any of my other videos .

There's new ones every week .

And as always , thank you very much for watching .


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