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Topic: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

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  1. #1

    What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    I know from nothing about much and even less about Bill's Windows world. So here's a question that lurks in the back of my poor little Apple infused brain.

    Why in PC land is the C drive your main drive? What ever happened to drives A and B, and if I had a PC (shutter) why aren't the A and B drives more important than C? They come first in the alphabet, why not on your computer?

    Karl

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Talking Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Karl, Karl, Karl, ... In the beginning there was God. Then, God made man and from man he made woman. Soon, after lengthy negotiations, bribes, tons of flowers,a car, a house, candy and millions of dollars, man finally won the heart of woman and they had children. It wasn't long before a little child was born and was named Bill. Bill never liked carpentry so he began to wonder what it would be like to make a machine that could rival God's abilities. Along came the first PC and Bill needed some easier way to load the PC with software. Bill invented the "A" drive (otherwise know as the Floppy disc drive). Bill was glad and slept on the seventh day. So, now you know what the "A" drive is. As for the "B" drive, Bill left that out because his technical crew always "bitched" when Bill asked them to change something or do something seemingly impossible. Hence, "B" isn't used.
    Do I know what I am talking about? Does anyone really care? Not really ...
    Styxx

  3. #3

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Ahh, Styxx, though you are a fine and intrepid Bibleorian, one thing you missed whilst Gospelizing theologeriffically was that the B DRIVE is Bill's Drive: BILLS DRIVE TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! BWAAAA HA HA HA... er...
    or

    perhaps it's more Hamletty - To B drive or not to B drive.

    Apparantly, NOT.

    or

    perhaps the question can be answered in terms of Quantum Physics. The fantastically phasinating question of the nature of this theoretical 'B drive', which has shown to exist only when observed, and sometimes in more than one place at a time.

    or, maybe, we are all Bill's little B drives - where he stores his hopes and dreams... or maybe it's our Automated Bank Teller slots, wherein we insert the floppy disks that are our bank cards, to purchase further MicroGod products...

    or maybe no or maybe!

    Adrian

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Actually, in the beginning back in the early 1980's, PC's didn't have ANY hard drives because they didn't exist for "personal" computers. Instead there were one or, if you were rich, two floppy drives and they were 5 1/4 inches in diameter to boot. The first one was the A drive and if you got a second one it was the B drive. Later hard drives came along toward the end of the 80's and so the decision was to call it the C drive and it has stayed that way because up until the last few years 3 1/2 inch floppies still came with PC's. Now it is simply "legacy" holdover from the "old" days.

    Tom

  5. #5

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    I still have an old computer (which my parents want to throw away) which has both A and B... ahh, the memories...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6

    Lightbulb Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Garrett
    I know from nothing about much and even less about Bill's Windows world. So here's a question that lurks in the back of my poor little Apple infused brain.

    Why in PC land is the C drive your main drive? What ever happened to drives A and B, and if I had a PC (shutter) why aren't the A and B drives more important than C? They come first in the alphabet, why not on your computer?

    Karl
    Before there were hard drives in PCs, you had to load everything from floppy disc. Typically, the first had two 5.25" drives. After 3.5" discs were developed, the typical configuration was A:=5.25", B:=3.5". The hard drive, when introduced, became C:. Eventually, the 5.25" discs became obsolete, and the typical configuration evolved to A:=3.5", no B:, and C:=hard drive. With the advent of USB memory sticks, 3.5" discs may be on the way out too.

    Grant
    ==============================
    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

  7. #7

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Styxx!! What are we going to do with all these rational, pragmatic, logic pushing Enlightement junkies??

    I'm disturbed!

    A~

  8. #8

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Ah so! This forum tells all. I had an Apple II, sometime in the late ‘700s I think. I was actually making some money in music then, and felt rich. I bought an extra 16K of ram, which gave us a grand total of 32K. We got a dual floppy drive and a color monitor. The whole thing set us back over 5 grand. We used a program called, I think, Apple Writher II. If you wanted to do anything more than type with it you had too use a word processor programming language.

    But the excitement in those days was incredible. It was thrilling to just tell the computer how to draw a little blue box. Almost anything you wanted to do you had to write some code for, including making the computer sing a song. It was a great time to be alive, and to struggle through so many things we now do with just a click and a drag.

    I remember, about 1980, I could be off a century or two, I walked into my doctor’s office and saw this strange little box on his desk. He informed me that it was Lisa. It was the most adorable thing next to a human Lisa that I had ever seen. Later, of course, we found that it was the direct ancestor to the Mac. I was hooked then and have been an Apple user ever since.

    Come to think of it we called our floppy drives A and B also, but I guess Apple people found it easier to forget those days.

    So I guess when last night my son called my external drive that F’n drive, it held no relation to Bill’s earlier letters.

    Thanks,

    Karl

  9. #9

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    Ahh, those weren't the good old days - those were either hand-toggling your Altair 8080, or for those of us with smaller purses, the Kim 1! 6502 processor, 1K (that's K, not M) RAM, hex pad data entry and display.

    Funny thing was, a few years laterI was invited to tour the Standord AI lab, where all the professors had their names and titles on the door - in Elvish! The music computer was a Foonly(!) mainframe upstairs, downstairs in the programmers/composers' den, there were about a dozen geeky-looking guys and gals with odd looking scanneing piano-style keyboards all being timeshared up to the mainframe - through a Kim 1!

    No A or B drive for these babies, you saved your data to cassette, or hand coded it back in.
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  10. #10

    Re: What ever happened to poor old A and B?

    BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the first thing that boots in all Intel-based computers up until the present day. It start the process of bootstrapping (as in "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps") the operating system that runs on top of it.

    BIOS has always required that certain peripherals be designated "A", "B" and "C", and the main hard drive that contains the main operating system has to be identified by the BIOS as "C" to do anything.

    BIOS has changed very little at all since circa 1978.

    Obviously Macintoshes (and Ataris, Acorns, and anything else) have never had the "A", "B" and "C" designations because they ran on systems that did not use BIOS at all.

    That's why you've always been able to hook up any old external hard drive to an ailing Mac and boot from it--something Windows has never ever supported. Windows will only boot from a drive that the BIOS recognizes as C, period.

    Just now, Intel is encouraging all hardware and software developers to transition away from BIOS. The Apple Macintosh on Intel is the first widely available Intel-based system that does not use BIOS at all. Windows Vista won't use BIOS either.

    I wonder if Windows Vista will dispense with the designation of the main boot hard drive as the C drive. Such a designation will serve no purpose in the post-BIOS world. Does anybody out there know if this is the case?

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