Labels and floppies

Removing labels:

You got a bunch of AOL floppies that you want to reuse? You gotta get them labels off if you want it neat. Maybe you don't care about neat, but there are two small tricks.

While there are a variety of adhesive substances in use, they often have this one thing in common: once you get a corner started, if you exert a steady pull straight out, the adhesive will release. But note that the force with which you pull has very little effect on how fast it comes off. They release at their own rate and you just have to accept that. If you try to go too fast, you exceed the tensile strength of the paper and it just tears.

The second trick, if you want to call it that, is to put some lighter fluid on the label, or the remains thereof, and walk away and let it dry. Most label stock will become less attached to the floppy and can be removed easily. You might also scrape it off wet; use a plastic tool or you'll gouge the plastic case of the diskette.

Affixing labels:

You got either new disks or some recycled AOL disks or whatever and you got some labels. You wanna put them labels on in such a way that they don't try to come off inside the disk drive. You have a good thumbnail? It helps. Anyway, put the label onto the front side of the disk and leave the wraparound part sticking out. Then make a nice crease with your thumbnail or whatever as you turn the 90 degree corner. Good sharp 90 in the label stock. Then do it again down the back side of the disk, that 3/8 inch or so place on the back.

If you just wrap around the top of the disk with no sharp folds, the label stock exhibits some tendency to straighten back out. We don't want this.

America On Line disks:

These are not always top quality disks, but I keep using them for non-critical stuff. And it's story time: I took a plane ride in the summer of '96 and got some of that delicious airplane food -- a bag of pretzels. In the bag was an AOL DISK!! I kid you not! So, having thought for a couple of years that I should maybe give out AOL disks for Hallowe'en, I firmly resolved to do just that. I called AOL and told them I wanted to do so, and they sent me a box containing 100 Windows floppies and 25 Mac floppies. I gave away a total of 87 of them at Hallowe'en, and did not have to endure a single lawsuit or criminal complaint resulting therefrom. And that means, simple math here, that I had 38 floppies left over for my random usage. Some reformatted better than others.

Printing labels:

The new thing I'm about to try is using Zip labels on 3.25" floppies. They are slightly smaller than regular floppy labels, so I wouldn't be able to neatly use a floppy label on a Zip, but I can use a Zip label on a floppy. I'm not sure why I would want to relabel any of the hundred or so floppies that I have*, but I had occasion to buy some name tag stock for my label printer and the minimum order was $30, so I bought some Zip labels too, bringing the total to $30.10 (plus shipping). I guess I'll have to figure out something clever in terms of what to put on the labels. I have a backup set of Zips that I could number nicely. This is of course a high-priority project. Like backing up, which I haven't done lately.
*news flash -- I have just been given several hundred more used floppies. I don't know what I'm going to do with them, but I've just about cornered the market.

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