Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Thu 13th Jan 2011 12:53 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Hardware, Embedded Systems "The question that forms the title of this article has recently been posted on the Super User Q&A site for computer enthusiasts. At first I was shocked at how silly a question it was as everyone should know that, right? But then I started to think about it and realized anyone under a certain age probably has no clue."
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i know, i know
by adinas on Thu 13th Jan 2011 14:31 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

a: is for the 5 1/4 inch drive and b is for the 3.5 inch drive. no?

Reply Score: 2

RE: i know, i know
by Kroc on Thu 13th Jan 2011 14:36 in reply to "i know, i know"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

What about 8" Floppies? … Ladies.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: i know, i know
by dylansmrjones on Thu 13th Jan 2011 15:50 in reply to "RE: i know, i know"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I've touched such a disk once. They were used for backup in a local bank back in the beginning of the 90'es - and the system ran OS/2 (which I kinda thought was cool, because I used that at home).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: i know, i know
by lopisaur on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:11 in reply to "RE: i know, i know"
lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

Or the stuff real power users had... 21MB Flopticals!
I actually once had a setup with two 2.88 (ED) drives as A: and B: and people thought that was overkill.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: i know, i know
by tchristney on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:15 in reply to "i know, i know"
tchristney Member since:
2005-09-21

No. Which is which really only depended on how they were connected to the system. You could have 2x5.25", 2x3.5" or any combination of them. In later days you would often see a drive that looks like a standard 3.5", but was actually a LS120.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: i know, i know
by M.Onty on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:16 in reply to "i know, i know"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Usually its the other way around, as in usually B: is unused. I'm surprised people don't know what A: stands for as most computers (read; most current PCs, not most new computers being sold) still have the 3.5" drive.

Edited 2011-01-13 17:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: i know, i know
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 13th Jan 2011 23:24 in reply to "i know, i know"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

No, a: is for the primary drive, b: is for the secondary drive. This is based on the order in which they're connected to the controller. Just like IDE/ATA controllers, one controller is usually capable of controlling 2 devices.

P.S. I'm 32. I started dabbling with computers when i was about 7. Back when Mac users were building CatMac's & PC's didn't have ASIC chips, the chipset were individual chips.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: i know, i know
by bassbeast on Fri 14th Jan 2011 08:08 in reply to "i know, i know"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Actually back when Hard drives first came out having dual floppies was pretty much the norm, so DOS (and I believe others as well) reserved A and B for the master and slave floppy.

Of course now with 2TB+ HDDs it isn't like anyone is ever gonna use enough letters to actually make it to Z although IIRC Windows since Win2K will allow you to just use mount points so one can have an infinite number of drives simply assigned as folders.

You can't boot off them of course but if you are actually trying to boot more than 24 different OSes on a single computer drive letters are the least of your worries ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: i know, i know
by daedalus on Fri 14th Jan 2011 15:07 in reply to "i know, i know"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Not necessarily. It just depends on what drives the PC was fitted with. Originally (the first PC I used anyway), A: and B: were both 5.25" drives. Then 3.5" drives began appearing as the B: or A: drive, then it was just the A: drive, and now it's gone... But you can still connect a 3.5" or 5.25" floppy drive as A: or B: on some motherboards...

Reply Parent Score: 1