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Flopper -- The Bootable Floppy Disk Emulator

Introduction

Welcome to the home page of the Flopper Project! Flopper is a bootable-disk emulator--it reads a diskette image file (a file that contains all the sectors of a floppy disk) and boots it. This way, you can boot (and run) a bootable diskette off of your hard drive. It also can take screenshots (pictures of the screen) and perform speed throttling (slow the CPU down to simulate the speed of an older PC).

Flopper was created to run older bootable games (and other boot-only programs) from the early era of IBM PC software. Many early PC software titles between 1981 and 1988 came on a 5.25" disk and booted directly. "Booted directly" means that you stuck the disk in drive A: and turned on the machine, and the custom operating system on the diskette took over, booted the computer, and ran the program. The diskette was not formatted with DOS, did not require DOS, and was not even readable by DOS! (attempts to read the diskette return the familiar "Abort, Retry, Ignore" message) So, if you have these old programs and want to run them but don't have a 5.25" drive as your A: drive (or don't have a 5.25" drive at all!), Flopper is the answer.

Practically everything you ever wanted to know about Flopper is in the current documention release, which is included in the latest distribtion .zip file.


Distribution

Flopper is currently at evaluation release 1.0.2 Download the Flopper 1.0.2 distribution. Documentation, binaries, and source code are all included.

If all you want is the most recent version of the disk2img program, with speed and bugfixes, you can get it here.


Disk Images

The best on-line resource that exists right now for PC bootable diskette images is Retrograde Station, which has over 50 images you can test with Flopper. Not all of them work yet, but most do. You may just find some buried gem from your youth, so check them out.

In case you can't get to Retrograde Station, here is a small sample of the diskette images we have available locally for you to test with Flopper. Remember--you can dump your own disks to image files; these files are provided as demonstration images that you can use to test Flopper.

Name Title Screenshot Gameplay Screenshot
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein screenshot screenshot
Summer Games screenshot screenshot
5aSide Soccer screenshot screenshot
Winter Games screenshot screenshot
Jumpman screenshot screenshot
World Games screenshot screenshot

Unfinished Features

There's still work to be done on Flopper, which we haven't gotten to for one of two reasons: We don't have the knowledge to implement a feature, or we've run into problems trying to implement it. See the "Contributions and Contact Info" section at the end of this document to help!


Contributions and Contact Info

Development for Flopper has pretty much ceased at this point. A mailing list was available, but has since been disabled and archived. The floppertalk mailing list archives are available for download.


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This page's content was last modified on Sep 3, 2013 8:21 am.
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