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So Long Floppy Disc

ElectronicsHawksM30 April 2010

Remember that 3.5 inch square piece of plastic with the metal tip that fit so well into that small, skinny slot in your computer?

Can’t think back that far? Let’s refresh your memory; it’s called the floppy disk. Now that’s erase that from your memory, because if you didn’t know already, the floppy disk is well on it’s way to technology heaven.

Sony hammered yet one more nail into that coffin recently by announcing that as of 2011 it will no longer sell the floppy disk.

After nearly 30 years in the floppy disk market, the floppy disc began its demise in 1998 when Apple left the floppy disc drive off its G3 iMac. Now, according to the BBC. Sony has announced that it will cut off all sales of the antiquated storage medium in Japan next year. Earlier this year Sony suspended sales of its floppy disc in other international markets.

Floppies were initially introduced in the 1970s in an 8-inch format, available for use by Apple II and IBM personal computer users. In the 1980s the disc was reformatted to 5.5-inch version. After shrinking in physical size to the well known 3.5-incher, the disc continued to increase in storage capacity to the standard 1.44MB size.

While this move may come as no surprise to the millions of computer users out there, Sony’s competitors in the media storage industry, including Verbatim, Imation (3M), and Maxwell, have yet to abandon this sales chain.

After the floppy came the short-lived success of the Zip disk, Insite’s Floptical drive and the hybrid Imation’s 120MB SuperDisk, both serving merely as a transition medium to the CD disc – spurred on by the proliferation of CD burning – and then to thumb-drive storage. The future of the hard disc drive really came into question by analysts when personal PC computer giant Dell agreed to “drop the flop” in 2003, and it has been downhill for the disc ever since.

Farewell floppy friend; you served us well but your time has come.

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