Floppy disks were once the data storage medium of choice. All software came on floppies, as CD-ROM drives cost as much as a car, and you weren’t cool unless you had at least two floppy drives in your computer. Those days are long gone, but there’s now a way to connect any floppy drive to a modern PC. It’s the Greaseweazle, a USB to floppy adapter distributed by Tindie Seller Emmy Bear Holdings.
The Greaseweazle is an interface board that treats an old floppy drive as a USB drive – genius! This includes PC and Mac disks (including 400k and 800k disks), Apple II, Amiga, weird CP/M disks, and even old PDP-11 disks in an 8″ drive. It does this by reading the magnetic flux on the disk, then that data is converted and read by a number of programs.
While the Greaseweazle is just hardware, there are a few software tools to read disks. The official Greaseweazle Host Tools will get you started, and FluxEngine is also supported by the Greaseweazle hardware.
If you’ve got a pile of floppies sitting around in storage and are looking for a way to bring that data to new hardware, it’s hard to go wrong with a Greaseweazle. Just add a floppy drive, a floppy drive ribbon cable, and you’re on your way to reading all those old floppies.