Postcards from Tradocia

army pictionary 2


Yes, I’m old enough to know that this is a pair of 5.25″ floppy disks. But what the hell could these be used for in the 21st century Army? (And yes, they are really a part of our inventory – I didn’t find them in a garbage heap.)

Small-scale pornography storage? A 3-DES encrypted copy of Pac-Man, playable on the 7-character display of the UHF radio? Fire away!

UPDATE: These disks are for a (thankfully) deprecated piece of equipment: the “Packet Switch,” which was replaced by a Cisco router. Darth Pontificus wins the guessing game with his description of the dual-eyeball retinal scanner.


  1. Mrs. Melobi

    I think you found these at the DFAC and they’re actually recipe cards. Without them you won’t be having any more chicken surprise. Or perhaps they contain the secret formula for that strange version of Mountain Dew they make there.

  2. Jason Schneider

    One time use Crypto codes, you know those disks aren’t any more reliable then that anyway. So the codes can’t be captured by the insurgents.

    Or it could be Oscilliscope screenshots that look like Mary. Quick sell them on ebay.

    ASCII porn.

    On a side note, what is the cost to manufacture those now that they sell several dozen of those a year.

  3. cindy

    They store the instructions for upgrading from the UNIVAC mainframe. Have you found the punch cards yet? (You may not be old enough to remember those!)

  4. Spc. C

    Looks like a really expensive coaster. “We at BASF don’t make a lot of things you use in the Army; We make a lot of things you use in the Army more expensive.”

  5. YankeePaPa13

    ..Butt Wipe..??..

  6. SGT "Doc" Thompson

    IMPERIAL OFFICER: The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.

    Vader squeezes the neck of the Rebel Officer, who struggles
    in vain.

    VADER: Where are those transmissions you intercepted?

    Vader lifts the Rebel off his feet by his throat.

    VADER: What have you done with those plans?

    REBEL OFFICER: We intercepted no transmissions. Aaah….This is a
    consular ship. Were on a diplomatic mission.

    VADER: If this is a consular ship…were is the Ambassador?

    The Rebel refuses to speak but eventually cries out as the
    Dark Lord begins to squeeze the officer’s throat, creating a
    gruesome snapping and choking, until the soldier goes limp.
    Vader tosses the dead soldier against the wall and turns to
    his troops.

    VADER: Commander, tear this ship apart until you’ve found those plans
    and bring me the Ambassador. I want her alive!


    LEIA: Lord Vader, I should have known. Only you could be so bold. The
    Imperial Senate will not sit for this, when they hear you’ve attacked
    a diplomatic…

    VADER: Don’t play games with me, Your Highness. You weren’t on any
    mercy mission this time. You passed directly through a restricted
    system. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by Rebel spies.
    I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you.

    LEIA: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a member of the
    Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan…

    VADER: You’re a part of the Rebel Alliance…and a traitor. Take her

  7. Metaframer

    I love the BASF comment .

    I bet it is an original Leisure Suit Larry disk….

  8. Jason Schneider

    No the Leisure Suit Larry disks wouldn’t last long with all the loading and reloading during the casino scenes where you need to make money.

  9. MetaFramer

    LOL, gotta love Larry. I remember playing Leisure Suit Larry on my old TRash 80 II in the late 80’s.

    maybe they are worn out, thats why they were laying around…

  10. TOM-The Other Mac

    Between 8 tracks and cassettes, this was cool. This is the original album cover of a recording by James Brown, BASF so good – Because Army Stuff Feels so good — and I knew that you would. Back then it was called ‘slipping a disc’, but that is all behind us now.

  11. Darth Pontificus

    Good guesses by all, but I will reveal their true use within the Army. The SEN, being a highly critical/sensitive piece of equipment, requires authentication before users can access the switchboard or Trunk Encryption Device.

    These are portable retinal scanners, right and left eye respectively. You need only place the holes up to your eyes and the scanners transmit via Bluetooth to the SEN.


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