Retrocomputing is a fun way to experience computing history, and most enthusiasts prefer to use as much original hardware as possible. But some sacrifices are often made for the sake of convenience and practicality. Loading software from floppy drive emulators is one of the most common changes enthusiasts make, but you do lose the familiar click and clack of the floppy drive working. Luckily, if you have an Apple II with the BMOW Flopply Disk Emulator, you can use the Noisy Disk Device to reproduce those nostalgic sounds.
The BMOW (Big Mess o’ Wires) Floppy Emulator is a device that connects to your Apple II, Macintosh, or Lisa computer and appears as a floppy drive or hard disk. The device has an SD card that you can stuff full of disk images, and then easily load them to the computer. It may not be “pure” from a retrocomputing standpoint, but getting your hands on real, functioning floppy disks from the era can be quite difficult. The BMOW Floppy Emulator makes it easy to download all the ROMs you want and then use them with your vintage computer. The only downside is that you don’t get to hear the floppy drive as it reads disks.
That’s where Noisy Disk comes in. It’s a small device that connects inline through the ribbon capable that runs from your old Apple II computer to the BMOW Floppy Emulator. When you’ve got the emulator configured to replicate a 5.25 inch floppy drive, a mechanical relay on the Noisy Disk will open and close in time with the disk access. Noisy Disk doesn’t serve any practical purpose, and was designed purely to replicate the sound of working with an old floppy drive. But it only costs $18, which is a bargain to relive the nostalgia of your early computing experiences.