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R.I.P. Floppy Disks


I was cleaning out some old stuff the other day and ran across a box that contained every disc and set of instructions for every bit of software and every single laptop I’ve bought over the last few years. But when I dug a little deeper, I found a huge pile of little black 3.5-inch floppy disks. Instantly, memories of old college and high school papers came flooding back as I sorted through them and saw labels such as “Shakespeare,” “Mrs. Yates’s Class” and “English 101.” I was tempted to take a look into my past, especially when I found one called “story,” which I’m pretty sure contained what I thought was gonna be the Great American Novelist at one time. I’ve been telling myself I was going to get the data off of them for years anyway. But there was one small problem. My laptop doesn’t read those types of disks. As a matter of fact, the one I had before this one didn’t either.

It seems as though Sony has also noticed just how irrelevant those little 3.5-inch disks are. The company announced that it will end sales of the disks in Japan in March 2011, eleven months from now. Sony Tokyo has been shipping the disks since 1983, but in recent years they have become almost obsolete. As I mentioned, many computers don’t even have disk drives anymore and people have turned to cloud computing or USB drives for storage purposes.

Actually, Lance Ulanof of PC Magazine says this is yet another reason to move your important information to cloud, because eventually, other types of storage will become obsolete,

“The fact is that storage mediums and the drives that read and write them are not permanent like Mt. Rushmore. Instead, they’re more like our sandy beaches, which seem permanent but are slowly but surely washing out to sea. One day you’ll come back for a swim and they’ll be gone entirely.”

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