That was close. I didn’t realize that Debian’s latest release would eclipse Etch, and remove most every reference to the old installer structure from the main servers and mirrors. It’s only really important to weird people like me, who consider the floppy installers to be an excellent tool.
I kept copies of the boot.img, root.img and other floppies around because occasionally I still used them to build systems, skipping from Etch to stable or even testing. There are machines that still work, that don’t have a CDROM at all — this being one of them.
But when my disk jammed in the old Celeron machine, I lost my only copy of the boot.img disk, and this morning I realized that image isn’t around any more. And yes, the irony of that happening on the sixth-month anniversary of celebrating them is not lost on me.
Luckily I found an old, out-of-date repository here. Searching for directory tree structure “/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/floppy” did the trick. Of course, searching for “boot.img” would just be pointless. …
My fear now is that I haven’t needed or tried using those floppies in a long time, and it’s possible that the expiration of Etch means that there are no repositories for the floppy install to download from. So maybe it’s pointless to keep them around. That would be the way my luck would work.
But for the future, and in the odd case that they’re still usable and still needed, I’ll upload a copy here. Trim off the .doc extension and decompress, and maybe they’ll be useful somehow.