Floppy Disk Resume

a floppy disk business card that boots to a resume

Posted by eric on November 22, 2016

I’ve been interested in a few posts I’ve found about creating code that boots a computer. This led me to combine the ideas of a bootable resume and booting on real hardware from a floppy disk into a floppy disk as a business card that boots into a resume. I’m condensing other tutorials into a quick guide to make floppy disk business cards in just a few minutes.

You’ll need a Linux machine, floppy disk drive (inbuilt or USB) and at least one floppy disk, or a USB stick.

Get this bootable Linux poem project. Follow their example and edit the text as your resume.

Run make to create the binary. Then, if you have the emulator QEMU installed, run make qemu. Running make test will do both, create the binary then run QEMU.

qemu booting the floppy disk image qemu booting the floppy disk image

Following the guide to get it to run on real hardware, create a floppy disk image file. You may need to intall the dosfstools package to do this.

mkdosfs -C floppy.img 1440

Copy your bin file into the floppy disk image.

dd conv=notrunc if=myResume.bin of=floppy.img

You can test this again on emulators like DOSBox or QEMU.

dosbox floppy.img
qemu-system-i386 floppy.img

If you have an inbuilt floppy drive, insert your disk. Then run this command to copy the floppy image to it. You’ll probably have to run as root. This will erase the disk’s previous contents.

dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024

If you have a USB floppy drive, insert your floppy disk into the drive then plug the drive in.

Find the device name by running the command dmesg after plugging in the drive. It will be the one of the last messages. For instance, my USB floppy drive was named sde. So I ran the command with that name.

dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/sde bs=1024

Wait until the command stops and the drive stops writing to the disk. You should then be able to boot from the floppy disk.

If it’s not working, I’ve found with my USB drive at least that you can’t have the drive plugged in then insert the disk. It only works if you have the disk in first and then plug the drive in. This means if you want to write multiple disks, you have to unplug it for each one.

Also make sure the disk isn’t locked when writing to it. There’s a slider on the back. If you’re not sure which position is locked, then try writing once for each position until it works.

To write to a USB stick instead, do the same to find the device name for the stick with the dmesg command and run the dd command for it. This will erase its previous contents.

dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/sde

Like I said, I’m just following these other tutorials. My next step is figuring out exactly what all the code and commands mean.

What else can be done with this project? Put games on it instead, using floppies like cartridge games, making and trading them.

Is it a good idea to run arbitrary code from a stranger if you get one of these? Probably not. Should you hand this out in an interview? An HR person would probably look at you weird. But I think it’s cool, and maybe there’s someone I can give it to that would think the same.

floppy disk business cards my retro nerdy business cards