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You have probably seen a photo of the floppy disk prop from Aliens. You know what I mean? This one:
It’s supposed to be one of the disks that contains Ripley’s report. Lt. Gorman suggests the Colonial Marines study it before they head down to LV-426?
Right. That one!
So, I wondered: what if there was a similar artefact bearing information of equal importance to the plot of ALIEN?
Except maybe this time, the information was never intended to be seen by the entire crew…
Taking this idea a step further, I have made a couple of props that I wanted to share with you. I have here for you to enjoy two versions of what I’m calling “The Special Order Floppy Disk”.
This one (I like to imagine) might have been found, forgotten at the back of a secure documents safe in the office of the Director of Special Ops, Weyland-Yutani Weapons Division.
This one on the right is meant to look like it might have been recovered by a deep-space salvage team, somewhere between Zeta 2 Reticuli and the Outer Rim.
We won’t argue the feasibility of a 3.5-inch floppy disk surviving the multi-megaton detonation of an M-class starfreighter, and its payload, but I think it makes a pretty cool ret-conned prop for my collection.
Perhaps Ash’s Special Order was conveyed to Mother’s database by floppy disk. A direct download might have been too risky, given the sensitive nature of the order.
If the 3.5-inch was still in use around the time of Aliens, people were probably using 8-inch or even 5.25-inch floppys aboard the Nostromo. Like these shown here:
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of those to play around with!
For those of you who have never heard of “sneakernet”, the term is a play on “sneaker” (or tennis shoes) and “network”. It comes from the old days when local networks were not common. The floppy disk was used to store data that needed to be transferred to another computer. It was moved from computer to computer by someone physically walking (perhaps in their sneakers) the disk to the other computer, where it was moved to the local drive or accessed directly.
This sounds technologically perfect for the low-tech gear seen aboard the Nostromo.
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