recently, i acquired an Apple II clone, called a Laser128. it was essentially a reverse-engineered copy of the Apple IIc (or //c) – i’ll leave the history lesson and semantics to wikipedia.
in the process of reacquainting myself with the old 8-bit machine, and reliving a bit of my youth – my first computer was an Apple ][e, later enhanced – the understandable flood of memories took me only slightly by surprise.
what i wasn’t expecting was the tactile muscle memory associated with notching floppies with an x-acto knife.
you see, to use the B side of a cheap floppy disk, one employed the technique of “notching” it, or removing a small piece of the edge of the disk associated with read/write access. one notch exists on the right side for side A, and by creating a corresponding notch on the left side, a normally single-sided disk could be written on both sides.
it was in perfecting my own notching techiniqe where i first mastered the use of an x-acto knife.
while my friends were using hole-punches or mangling their disks with scissors, i raided my brother’s room and purloined an x-acto handle and chisel blade whenever i needed more floppy capacity. it was then, and not in design school or my high school art classes, that i first shed blood and little black rectangles of plastic with an x-acto knife.