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     fdwrite -- format and write floppy disks


     fdwrite [-v] [-y] [-f inputfile] [-d device]


     The fdwrite utility formats and writes one and more floppy disks.	Any
     floppy disk device capable of formatting can be used.

     The fdwrite utility will ask the user (on /dev/tty) to insert a new
     floppy and press return.  The device will then be opened, and queried for
     its parameters, then each track will be formatted, written with data from
     the inputfile, read back and compared.  When the floppy disk is filled,
     the process is repeated, with the next disk.  This continues until the
     program is interrupted or EOF is encountered on the inputfile.

     The options are as follows:

	   -v	       Toggle verbosity on stdout.  Default is ``on''.	After
		       device is opened first time the format will be printed.
		       During operation progress will be reported with the
		       number of tracks remaining on the current floppy disk,
		       and the letters I, Z, F, W, R and C, which indicates
		       completion of Input, Zero-fill, Format Write, Read and
		       Compare of current track respectively.

	   -y	       Don't ask for presence of a floppy disk in the drive.
		       This non-interactive flag is useful for shell scripts.

	   -f inputfile
		       Input file to read.  If none is given, stdin is

	   -d device   The name of the floppy device to write to.  Default is

     The fdwrite utility actually closes the device while it waits for the
     user to press return, it is thus quite possible to use the drive for
     other purposes at this time and later resume writing with the next

     The parameters returned from device are used for formatting.  If custom
     formatting is needed, please use fdformat(1) instead.


     The fdwrite utility was planned as a tool to make life easier when writ-
     ing a set of floppies, one such use could be to write a tar-archive:

	   tar cf - . | gzip -9 | fdwrite -d /dev/fd0.1720 -v

     The main difference from using tar(1)'s multivolume facility is of course
     the formatting of the floppies, which here is done on the fly, thus
     reducing the amount of work for the floppy-jockey.




     Diagnostics are less than complete at present.

     If a floppy is sick, and the inputfile is seekable, it should ask the
     user to frisbee the disk, insert another, and rewind to the right spot
     and continue.

     This concept could be extended to cover non-seekable input also by
     employing a temporary file.

     An option (defaulting to zero) should allow the user to ask for retries
     in case of failure.

     At present a suitable tool for reading back a multivolume set of floppies
     is missing.  Programs like tar(1) for instance, will do the job, if the
     data has not been compressed.  One can always trust dd(1) to help out in
     this situation of course.

FreeBSD 5.4		      September 16, 1993		   FreeBSD 5.4


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