The Hyper-V and the virtual floppy shuffle

One of the favorite ice breakers for computer geek get-together is to talk about your first computer. Hey, I still remember the TRS 80 (who people in the know call it the Trash80). If you liked something and you are proud of it and still refer to it as trash, well… So, I am usually sucked into that conversation, geek that I am, and talk for a few brief seconds about using my paper route money to buy a Commodore 64. Usually, after laughing about the old Atari 400 and 800s someone brings up punch cards. And that is usually when I bust out with “Okay, my real first computer was the Abacus.” Seriously, some people consider that the first computer, as in The Abacus: The World's First Computing System book.

At this point, I imagine anyone still reading this is wondering “What about the title that included Hyper-V?” Oh yeah, well, you know how us old-timers are (I am not really that old, by the way). They just had abacuses in my elementary school and we used them. They also had calculators – not solar ones or watch ones, but at least they had numbers and performed +, –, /, x, and the all important =. Am I doing it again? Okay, let’s get back to Hyper-V and the floppy shuffle. There was a day when floppy disks were actually, well, floppy. Not quite like a noodle, but more like a thick piece of paper. Yeah, I know you punch card guys are going, “Yeah, I remember how fancy those were. So thin and fast and held so much data!” Okay, come back to me here. Oh man, there I go again!

Okay, okay… so, you don’t have a computer network because say you have something like an offline root certification authority (a special computer that should never be connected to a network). Oh, man, I am tempted to make up some crazy reasons for that, but it would be a total digression and a bunch of fabrication. The whole “real” point is to ensure that no one can ever hack it over the network. Okay, so you are trying to write up some steps to simulate such a system or you just have two virtual computers on different networks that you don’t want to go through all the trouble of making them connect through the network. You can use the virtual floppy shuffle (floppy shuffle used to mean physically walking a floppy disk from one computer to the other. Yeah, that is what the punch card guys will tell you was the very first computer network. Personally, I think the very first computer network was two kids with abacuses and a string and a can. Ha! I am cracking myself up here. Anyways, the punch card guys called it shuffling instead of walking; hey they were not pithecanthropeans, but they did have some different words).

I have already lost everyone with any type of attention span issues, so for those three of you still reading this post (me, myself, and I): I wrote an article on the TechNet Wiki that explains how to step-by-step do the floppy shuffle on Hyper-V, but it has a much more boring and discoverable title: Creating, Using, and Transferring Files using Virtual Floppy Disks.

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