The Diskette Workshop
            Birth of FLOPMANA


Understanding anything, is dependent on understanding the foundation for the subject. History is a part of this foundation. What came first. The egg or the hen? Impossible to answer and unimportant to history, as nothing develops in such a massive jump. Everything is a dynamic variation in minorities, every change being so minor, that hundreds or even thousands of such minor changes are necessary, for us to observe a change at all. Such minor changes are the cause of slow, subtle, but inevitable changes on our data storage media. ALL OF THEM !!


WE cannot see the loss of diskette data with our naked eye. Even standard DOS cannot see these changes, before it is too late. Somehow and at some time, we must take the decision to enhance our level of observation. To reach this point in a conclusion, one has to observe over a prolonged period, to understand the importance of action. I first encountered loss of data on a diskette, when I was working for a company , which assisted accountants in their job. This was around the time of the PC, just at the start of the fabulous small 5.25" diskettes. These 'small' diskettes held more data than their 8" predecessors. The accountant had used several days to enter his company data and store them on the diskette. When the diskette arrived at our company, some data were lost and the result was, that this accountant again had to use several days. A rather unhappy situation. Sadly enough, this was not th e only time. Something had to be done.


For diskettes since the late 1970's, you would expect vast improvements or at least some improvements. Improvements in the data density, diskette and drive size, as well as power consumption have certainly taken place. Actual improvements in drive and diskette quality are more subtle. Improvements in data safety, meaning the guarantee with which diskettes can be trusted to hold important data, have NOT emerged. It is rather the opposite. An ever confusing amount of manufacturers, manufacturing more and more doubtful products at ever lowering price and quality, have popped up like toadstools on horse manure. Add to this the quest for higher data densities on inferior material and the problem has increased. The diskette drives have followed troop. Slim line drives in PC's, seem to be the worst of the types. In fact: In the early 1990's, many programs were cheaper if you asked for 5.25" diskettes, the reason being, that they gav e less problems than the 3.5" diskettes.

Birth of FLOPMANA:

Just like the hen and the egg. Actual, sudden birth did not exist. It was rather a start of a chain of events, that finally led to FLOPMANA. My company, CompetiTronic Ltd., being a part of the EDLAB™ companies, was asked by a large military manufacturer to design a product, which co uld increase both data security and safety. Actually, data safety was something that had to be put into the equation reasonably early in the design of the product. The basic program objects, that were needed at the time, has since been vastly improved, in particular in the area of general use. To design a specific product for a specific use is considerably simpler, than making a general product, which must run perfectly on several operative systems and being of a sensible feel and look. In fact , FLOPMANA is really the addition of general 'feel and look' of these underlying, thoroughly tested program objects. FLOPMANA's underlying program objects are incorporated in SafeMark, DBSUPER, CMDEDIT, SafeWire, SafeName, SafeWare, Work In Progress, Wafer Analysis, EDLAB Business Management System, EDLAB Protect and EDLAB Vaccine. All products are copyright of the owners of the EDLAB trade mark.