Yahoo! News Story - Floppy Disk Becoming Relic of the Past (fwd)

From: Computer Collector E-Mail Newsletter <news_at_computercollector.com>
Date: Sun Sep 19 17:39:24 2004

Hmmm... well here's a two-part story (the page 2 link is at the bottom) that I
wrote back in March 2003: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1577143,00.asp

 - Evan

--- Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com> wrote:

>
> I told ya so!
>
>
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040906/ap_on_hi_te/floppy_d
> ath_4
>
> Mon Sep 6, 5:17 PM ET
>
> By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Writer
>
> ATLANTA - Long the most common way to store letters, homework and other
> computer files, the floppy disk is going the way of the horse upon the
> arrival of the car: it'll hang around but never hold the same relevance
> in everyday life.
>
> And good riddance, say some home computer users. The march of technology
> must go on.
>
> Like the penny, the floppy drive is hardly worth the trouble, computer
> makers say.
>
> Dell Computer Corp. stopped including a floppy drive in new computers in
> spring 2003, and Gateway Inc. has followed suit on some models. Floppies
> are available on request for $10 to $20 extra.
>
> "To some customers out there, it's like a security blanket," said Dell
> spokesman Lionel Menchaca. "Every computer they've ever had has had a
> floppy, so they still feel the need to order a floppy drive."
>
> A few customers have complained when they found their new computers don't
> have floppy drives, but it's becoming uncommon as they realize the
> benefits of newer technologies, Menchaca said. Almost all new laptops
> don't come with a floppy.
>
> More and more people are willing to say goodbye to the venerable floppy,
> said Gateway spokeswoman Lisa Emard.
>
> "As long as we see customers request it, we'll continue to offer it," she
> said. "We'll be happy to move off the floppy once our customers are ready
> to make that move."
>
> Some people may hesitate to abandon the floppy just because they're so
> comfortable with it, said Tarun Bhakta, president of Vision Computers
> outside Atlanta, one of the largest computer retailers in the South.
>
> At his store, the basic computer model comes with all necessary
> equipment, but no floppy.
>
> "People say they want a floppy drive, and then I ask them, 'When was the
> last time you used it?' A lot of the time, they say, 'Never,'" Bhakta
> said.
>
> But plenty of regular, everyday computer users don't want to let their
> floppies go.
>
> "For my children, they can work at school and at home. I think they're a
> pretty good idea," said shopper Mark Ordway.
>
> "I just want something simple for me and my husband to use," said Pat
> Blaisdell.
>
> The floppy disk has several replacements, including writeable compact
> discs and keychain flash memory devices. Both can hold much more data and
> are less likely to break.
>
> Even so, floppies have been around since the late 1970s. People are used
> to them. They were the oldest form of removable storage still around.
>
> "There's always some nostalgia," said Scott Wills, an electrical and
> computer engineering professor at Georgia Tech who has held on to an old
> 8-inch floppy disk. "It's a technology I'm glad to be rid of. I'd never
> label them, and I never knew what any of them were until I put them in
> and looked."
>
> In a sense, it's amazing floppy disks have hung around for this long.
>
> They only hold 1.44 megabytes of space still enough for word
> processing documents but little else. By comparison, CDs store upward of
> 700 megabytes, and the flash memory drives typically carry between 64 and
> 256 megabytes.
>
> And it's been a long time since floppy disks were even floppy. They used
> to come in a bendable plastic casing and were 5.25 inches wide, but Apple
> Computer Inc. pioneered the smaller, higher density disks with its
> Macintosh (news - web sites) computers in the mid-1980s.
>
> Then Apple become the first mass-market computer manufacturer to stop
> including floppy drives altogether with the release of their iMac model
> in 1998.
>
> "It's not officially dead, but there's no question it's a slow demise,"
> said Tim Bajarin, principle analyst for Creative Strategies, a technology
> consulting firm near San Jose, Calif. "You had a few people ... who were
> screaming, but in a short time, they adjusted."
>
> It may not be too many years before floppy disks are joined by DVDs.
> Microsoft founder Bill Gates (news - web sites) recently predicted the
> DVD would be obsolete within a decade.
>
> --
>
> Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer
> Festival
>
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>


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Received on Sun Sep 19 2004 - 17:39:24 BST

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