Back in 1998, when the first iMacs appeared, my father bought one and desperately needed a way to get his data off of floppy disks. He also had several programs that were on floppy that he needed to install ... I came up with this hack, submitted it to MacAddict Magazine and they later published it as part of a "Pirate Issue".
While Apple has not included floppy drives in Macs for almost 11 years now ... floppy drives are still very useful in many ways:
1) Small files are easily rewritten and backed up (including Quicken & Word documents)
2) No complicated drivers are needed (as they are for zip, superdisk, and some CDRWs)
3) Transfer is quick - CDs are a waste to copy files smaller than 2MB
4) There were several media readers made for the floppy drive - you could actually place a memory card from your camera into an adapter and read and write to the card quickly. Here's a pic:
5) Zip drives are expensive and tend to be "break prone"
6) If you're thinking thumb drives and USB connected devices you may not be thinking about Macs that don't have available USB or any USB at all.
7) Security: because of the lack of floppy drives - you get some security through obscurity
When I used to sell Apple floppy drives on eBay I got this question:
Will you be done listing these worthless things soon? I am tired of having them turn up in my other searches because of your 13,000-word essay. Apple quit installing floppy drives seven years ago for a reason ...
To what is he referring?
I had been selling floppy drives on eBay for almost 8 years after Apple introduced the iMac ...
Here is the 13,000 word essay to which the comment refers:
Place an INTERNAL drive inside* your 233 Rev A or Rev B iMac! + dozens of PowerMacs and the Performa series of Macs + many others including clones
If you want to use this drive for this hack remember it is **ONLY** for the Revision A or Revision B iMac Bondi!
Step by step color picture instructions (see below)
Bet you didn't know that Apple kept a floppy connector on the motherboard did you? This is the best drive to use for this rather simple project.
THIS IS FOR A COMPLETE DRIVE & CABLE and link to instructions on how to do the iMac floppy hack (if needed).
Now that your Apple Care warranty is out this is great project to enhance the value of your investment - your iPro raid Card your Voodoo video card - your iForce or iMaxpower or Sonnet HarmonI G3 G4 upgrade - - KEEP that iMac it will certainly be as collectible as the first macs and you still have infrared! This enhancement, if done right, can easily get an extra $200 for your iMac!
If grounded right, it is VERY hard to mess up your unit when performing this simple hack!
One other thing the instructions can help you do is learn how to use the floppy cable as power for a light to light up your iMac, tres cool!
Case must be modded for complete internal installation - otherwise drive is cabled to outside of iMac enclosure - see picture!
The information below is the original use for this floppy drive - making this auction a VERY valuable part to have in stock!
1.44 meg floppy replacement = Sony or Mitsubishi 2MB Model w/ black bay cover
Will work in all of the following desktop Mac models :
Quadra 650 660 Centis 610 PowerMac / Performa6100 6115 1116 6110 6300 6360 6400 6500 and any workgroup server based on this chassis
7100 7200 7300 7500 7600
Quadra 840 840 AV 8100 8500 8515 or any server model based on this chassis
Quadra 900 Power Macintosh 9100 9500 9600 or any server model based on this design
Beige G3 233 266 300 333 G3 All In One
Also fits the Apple Network Server 500 or 700 model
Great to have as a spare, if you use your floppy more than twice a day, you may fail and be stuck!!
20 pin connection
I say floppy disk drives are still useful - long live the floppy.