The Null Device

Found object: 31/12/2006

I recently visited Dave's Boutique, a veritable treasure trove of junk and ephemera in Smith St., Collingwood. As well as picking up a stack of CDs (at well below the standard second-hand shop price; A$10 for a recent release (before negotiation) is not bad), I found the following unusual artefact sitting in a glass cabinet, below rows of old Sega cartridges and PlayStation discs:

Weird game diskette (3180) Weird game diskette (3182)

There were several such discs there, each in its own jewel case, though they varied in colour (most were black, this one is yellow). The tray card in the jewel case is, in each case, a printed photograph (a similar technique was used on Indonesian copies of cassette albums in the 1980s). The diskettes are neither 3.5" disks of the sort used on PCs, Macs and Amigas, nor the disks used on Amstrad 8-bit computers, but some other format; perhaps the same as the disks used on some old samplers and dedicated word processors?

Does anybody know what kind of system this disk was created for? I'm guessing it's either an 8-bit computer or some type of floppy-based game console that didn't make it out of Asia. Then again, given the photographic tray cards, perhaps it was designed for some illicit cartridge-copying device that piggybacked onto a better-known system. I vaguely recall seeing these disks at a flea market a decade or two earlier as well.

There are 6 comments on "Found object: 31/12/2006":

Posted by: threeze Wed Jan 3 22:53:16 2007

looks like a pirated copy of a game (I am assuming its Contra) for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System (

Posted by: threeze Wed Jan 3 23:03:19 2007

after re-reading that article, i remembered i had seen one of those Disk Writer machines in a department store in Tokyo when there on holiday with my parents. i wanted one so much, the idea of it seemed a total winner to me. it was just like going around to my mates house with a box of 10 Nashua double densities, only for Nintendo Games (except it cost money).

Posted by: showercurtain Thu Jan 4 07:31:25 2007

Apparently these things are collector's items now. You should've nagged your parents more vigorously.

Posted by: gusset Fri Jan 5 15:28:50 2007

Yes, but does anyone who has something from childhood that has become a collectors item ever sell it? Or simply put it in a box somewhere and not bother to throw it away "because its worth something"?

P.S. This is attempt two. I think this is the most difficult text id test I've come across!

Posted by: showercurtain Sat Jan 6 11:28:35 2007

Depends what the owner values more - the money, or the cachet of being the proud owner of a collector's item. And then there are others who keep things out of nostalgia, even if it's worthless or they never use it.

Posted by: acb Sat Jan 13 13:58:33 2007

Well, I've got one in a storage locker in Melbourne. If you want it, remind me next time I'm in town.

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