Out with the old tech, in with the…slightly less old.

I finally removed the floppy disk drive from my desktop. I don’t know why it took me so long, except that it wasn’t in the way of anything. Living with a small, inquisitive child means either making hardware changes at night or keeping the work brief, and timing it so that he still has enough metaphorical spoons to keep his hands to himself.

A while back I bought a card reader to put in the case, figuring I’d do it when I upgraded the motherboard and processor, then forgot about it. But I clearly mentioned it somewhere in front of my son, because he started asking about it this morning, and really wanted to watch me install it. As I was telling him I couldn’t remember where I had put it, and didn’t want to search for it right now, my eyes fell on the box. OK, why not?

He helped clear off the table (a minor miracle in itself), and I opened up the case, popped out one of the panels, and he started asking about the various components again.

Somehow the discussion turned to the floppy drive and I started thinking….

When had I last used it?

I honestly cannot remember having used a floppy disk within my son’s lifetime (5 1/2 years). I checked the small box of floppies that I still have: all rescue tools like tomsrtbt. Nothing I’d need to save, and nothing that wouldn’t be better handled by a thumb drive or CD-ROM these days.

So: Out it went, along with the last ribbon cable in the box!

And in went the card reader. I powered the system up with the case open (which turned out to be what he really wanted to begin with) and tested it on the camera’s SD card. Satisfied that it worked, I shut things down and put everything back.

Fast forward to this evening. I’m doing something on the computer. He wants to put the camera card in again and see the pictures. This time it won’t read it. I figure the software upgrade I did in the middle of the day broke a driver or something, but then I try the portable card reader I’ve been using: It works perfectly, even plugged into the USB port on the new component.

Then I try a micro SD card from an old phone in the smaller slot, and it works perfectly. Not that I ever need to transfer stuff from a phone using a card. I put it in the adapter and the larger slot, and it fails just the same as the other card.

The system log shows IO errors, but only when a card is plugged into that slot.

So the one slot that I would use most often has gone bad, within hours of installation!

And then, as I keep testing various cards (and keeping the five-year-old out of the way), the tiny slot stops working too.

At this point I’m fairly certain I just got a bad piece of hardware, but of course it’s been long enough that it’s outside the return policy. Whee.

At least it was cheap.

I guess when I do that processor upgrade, I’ll be taking the card reader out instead of putting it in. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Meanwhile, I’ll just use the portable card reader for those rare occasions when I actually need to transfer something from the camera. 😒

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