A farewell to floppies

GuyClapperton

Sony has confirmed that it will stop manufacturing and supporting floppy disks from next year. That's it, there will be no more.

This tells the technology community a number of things. First, if anyone actually cares about this then the end user community, and particulary the home worker, are further behind the times than we might have thought. I can't remember the last time I used a floppy, and I can't say I recall exactly which was my first computer not to have the right sort of drive.

Second, it tells us we can expect a lot of support calls from people who have been backing up onto floppies religiously for years. They'll be concerned and you can understand why. It's easy to forget, when you're either like me and writing about stuff or like most of the Daniweb community and supporting stuff, that not everybody keeps up like many of us do. They don't upgrade their computers immediately they could and they don't expect manufacturers to bin the media they work with.

At first glance, the passing of the floppy looked a real non-story. My guess is it's going to occupy the support community quite considerably.

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About the Author

Author, 'This Is Social Media' (Capstone Publishing 2009); freelance journalist in the UK for the Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Independent and others.

sergent 52 Posting Pro

What is a floppy?

rubberman 1,355 Nearly a Posting Virtuoso Featured Poster

What is a floppy?

A hat with a big brim? :-)

I still have a couple of systems (rarely used/booted) that have floppies, and I have a bunch of data (programs - some major R&D work) on floppies I REALLY need to extract before they become landfill...

jingda 135 Industrious Poster Featured Poster

you guys are a funny race. You replied to a thread one year later

rubberman 1,355 Nearly a Posting Virtuoso Featured Poster

Sometimes, you see something that grabs you, and you just have to respond. A year later? So? :-)

jingda 135 Industrious Poster Featured Poster

How about replying to a thread 7 years ago? Do you still use floppy rubberman

rubberman 1,355 Nearly a Posting Virtuoso Featured Poster

Have them, and drives on a couple of old workstations I keep around for "historical" purposes - a Gateway 486 (w/ EISA bus and SCSI array) and a Dell P2-450. My current laptops and workstation don't have floppy drives. I use micro sd cards in a USB carrier instead. A 2GB chip is about $5USD, and a 4GB one is almost as cheap... :-) So, in storage terms, my fingernail size micro sd cards have about 2000x-4000x (over 3 orders of magnitude) more storage, at a small multiple of the price of a floppy disc. I also have IOMega Jaz and zip drives and media on them. In fact, the Gateway boots from a 1GB Jaz disc.

rubberman 1,355 Nearly a Posting Virtuoso Featured Poster

FWIW, the Gateway 486 EISA bus system is what I used to develop a clean-room implementation of TCP/IP for the QNX 2 real-time operating system back in the early 90's. That was before the BSD TCP stack was released into the wild (open sourced). We were building systems to run the US Navy's RAMP (Rapid Acquisition of Manufactured Parts) project, and they needed a secure TCP/IP stack to communicate with the manufacturing cells and assembly lines that our software was controlling. Two of us built the entire stack from the DDN White Book specifications. It is still running today, speeding the turnaround of US Naval vessels when they are in port for repairs. What used to be a 3-6 month stint in harbor/dry-dock, was reduced to a couple of weeks.

usahomegoods -1 Newbie Poster

Here's bidding adieu to floppy disks.;)

darrylpatterson 0 Light Poster

Farewell to thee, oh beloved 3 1/2 inch floppy drive. I shall remember using you to diligently store my Diablo saved games.

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