[Techtalk] USB thumb drives -- VFAT vs Ext3 format

Miriam English mim at miriam-english.org
Thu Jul 10 01:00:40 UTC 2008

Rudy Zijlstra wrote:
> Miriam English wrote:
>> It annoys me that we must be oh-so-careful about unmounting a thumb
>> drive when finished reading/writing it lest the data be mangled, 
>> wrecking the filesystem on the drive and requiring it to be 
>> reformatted. It seems to me that this problem was solved two decades 
>> ago with floppy disks.
> It was solved by now keeping any disk information in memory, but always 
> working from the floppy... At least on DOS.
> That way this particular problem does not occur. You also have no 
> performance :D

When I wrote that I was thinking of how the Amiga handles floppies.

You can eject a floppy disk in the middle of writing a file to it. The 
Amiga patiently puts up a non-blocking message explaining that it hadn't 
finished writing to the disk and asking for the disk to be reinserted. 
You can then put the disk into a *different* floppy drive attached to 
the Amiga and the computer will notice that it is the disk it is waiting 
for, and continue writing to the disk. This is done without corrupting 
the floppy's filing system.

It seems to me that we could really use this kind of behavior in Linux 
for USB thumb drives.

I have to admit I haven't tried ejecting floppy disks on Linux or 
MSWindows during writing. There is not much call for floppies anymore 
and my computers have taught me to be their obedient servant.

It would be nice for our computers to do what *we* want them to do 
rather than us having to learn to act like computers for the convenience 
of our tools.

Best wishes,

	- Miriam

My time wasn't completely wasted last year.
I went on a 940 million kilometer journey.
Website: http://miriam-english.org
Blog: http://miriam_e.livejournal.com

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