Comment #1 posted on 2019-03-12 18:51:48 by Joel D
The Letters C and F
Klaatu mentioned he wasn’t sure what the ‘f’ in ‘fdisk’ stood for. I had always been positive it stood for “format” because DOS had an fdisk command and that was pretty much its main use. However, I looked it up just now and turns out I was wrong, it stands for Fixed, as in Fixed Disk Setup Program.
He also seemed unsure of the reason why the main hard disk is usually C in Windows machines. PCs would originally boot off the floppy drive, which was always A, and for convenience, a second floppy drive was often added and it was always B. So the hard drives started with C. I don't think there's any technical reason A and B haven’t been reclaimed, but when I read `A:` or `B:` in a path, I still think “floppy disk”. At any rate, the whole scheme is sad and dumb!
Comment #2 posted on 2019-03-13 19:21:21 by Klaatu
Thanks for the info Joel
I guess I could have looked up fdisk. Thanks for overlooking my laziness.
Very enlightening about the C drive! I can respect extreme backward-compatibility, so I don't mind that they don't reclaim A or B. That said, the scheme is pretty stupid. I'm surprised it stuck around, but I guess once they'd made the decision, they just figured it was too late to change. It seems the more I learn about the historical Microsoft, the more I feel like it was started with no prior research, but then again maybe I'm biased because we live in such an open source world. After all, maybe back in the early 80s you couldn't just call up Bell Labs and ask if the way you're programming disk detection made sense or not.
Comment #3 posted on 2019-03-14 13:12:14 by Ahuka
Old drive letters
klaatu, remember that inertia is the most powerful force in the universe.
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