Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Punish Floppy Disks For Fun And Profit

Posted by Trixter on May 11, 2008

The question of which DOS-era floppy backup program was “best” has always bothered me over the years, so today I spent the better part of an afternoon satisfying my curiosity. (By “floppy backup program”, I mean programs that intelligently used high-speed DMA to format and write backup data while the computer was doing other things in the background, like reading from the hard disk and compressing the data.)

Results are here, for the curious:


If I missed an obvious one that runs on XT-class hardware, let me know.

6 Responses to “Punish Floppy Disks For Fun And Profit”

  1. Alkivar said

    you should test restore speed as well, I wonder if those proprietary backup formats unpack as quickly.

  2. Trixter said

    I didn’t bother, because restore speed is nowhere near as important as backup speed. You backup every night; you hopefully NEVER restore.

  3. Chris said

    Whats next, benchmarks of whole disk compression using the hardware assist cards vs. software?

  4. Trixter said

    Believe it not, I thought about that. I have the stacker 1.0 (8-bit) and 2.0 (16-bit) cards, so it would very possible to do a comparison between those and with/without their respective v1.0 and 2.0 software; I think a 6MHz 286 would do nicely. And then for good measure put PC DOS 2000 on there so that the very last version of stacker (4.0) could be tested without any hardware. And maybe DRDOS 6.0 to try SuperStor.

    Problem is, what would the test suite be? Average compression ratio, sure, but what else? Streaming read from a large compressed text file? Streaming read from a large uncompressable file?

    Anyway, that’s way in the future. Finishing v1 of montone currently.

  5. This reminds me of the 8-bit 80mb “Hardcard” that’s in storage somewhere. Full length monster that was my first personal storage in the Twinhead 286 that my father and I shared.

  6. Wohali said

    Peekaboo! I know you! :)

    Care for an old Copy ][ PC Option Board?

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