Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way
Really? This really happened?
I can't speak to the veracity of photocopying disks, but I have personally seen the "floppy disk stuck to a filing cabinet with a magnet" in person, back in 1984.
I was on contract at $BIGCOMPANY, and it had a the usual Dilbert-isms you'd expect. Software developers were given 8088 PCs with 64K of memory, a single 360KB floppy, and a 25x80 monochrome CRT, while the department secretary had top of the line, just-released IBM AT, with a 80286, dual 1.2MB floppy drives, a 20MB hard disk, and, of course, a 43x80 colour EGA monitor.
And when I say just released, I mean the serial number was under 100.
Of course, despite (or because of) having ten times the computing power of any developer, the secretary didn't really have much to do on it. Type up the occasional memo and print it off on the line printer, but that was about it, really. And despite having a 20MB hard disk to boot off, they'd screwed up the hard drive so it didn't boot, and the user had to boot off of floppy. So, sure enough, there was a boot floppy stuck to the filing cabinet next to the computer.
That wasn't actually so bad, since it was only the boot media, not actual corporate data. However, I still remember cringing when she was asked to type up labels for a release. In those days, 5.25" disks had sticky labels, inkjets were in their infancy, and laser printers were still a year away. So, when a release went out, you had to put a disk label in a typewriter, and type up the label, then apply it to the floppy. If you were doing a release of 8 floppies to 20 customers, that meant manually typing up 160 labels.
The secretary did this on the Friday. On Monday, we saw the output, and we were quite surprised. Our process had been to place label in the printer, type up the label, remove it from the typewriter, stick it on the floppy, and then go on to the next. Her approach was much more efficient. First, she applied all 30 blank labels to the 30 floppies. She then put the 5.25" floppy, with label, through the typewriter, and typed out the label. If any floppy survived being run through the typewriter (unlikely), the high impact of the typewriter keys would probably finish it off. And if that didn't do it, stapling it to the release notes surely would have.
The really scary case was my next job, however.
In 1985, I went to another $BIGCORP. And like the secretary above, one of the developers also had an AT, which required a boot floppy. In fact, every month or so, he asked me to format him a new one. After the third time, I jokingly asked him if he was using a magnet to stick his boot floppy to a filing cabinet. He said no, of course not, and showed me where he kept it.
In order not to lose it, he'd taped the floppy envelope sleeve to the side of his colour EGA monitor.
Oddly enough, every few weeks, the floppies seemed to become demagnetized. This electrical engineer just couldn't understand why IBM had such poor quality control in their floppy disks.
The secretary, I could sympathize with. This was new tech, she wasn't familiar with it, and she'd received no training on it. So although we laughed at her abuse of the floppies, we could underestand why (and after it was explained to her, she never repeated the problem). But an electrical engineer who doesn't understand that colour CRTs have magnetic fields?