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

From: Bruce Lane <>
Date: Wed Sep 22 09:36:37 2004

Hi, gang,

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

On 19-Sep-04 at 15:26 Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

>I told ya so!
>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.


        Perhaps not, but I still don't see any way, in the systems I've encountered to date, to boot from the USB port (for a Jump drive). And, while some will boot from the CD-ROM drive (notably Compaq servers), it is NOT as common a thing as PC manufacturers would have us believe!

        Floppies are still my A-number-one choice for booting low-level diagnostics, and getting installations started for open-source OS's such as the BSD family. They will remain in that position until (1), someone comes up with a means to boot from a Jump drive. (2), Data I/O manages to convert the Unisite programmer to boot (or allow updates to be loaded) by something other than floppies.

        Like the horse, as the article says, they're going to be around for a lonnnnnng time to come, methinks.

        Keep the peace(es).

>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
>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
>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 &#151; 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
>International Man of Intrigue and Danger
>[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers
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Bruce Lane, Owner & Head Hardware Heavy,
Blue Feather Technologies --
kyrrin (at) bluefeathertech do/t c=o=m
"If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped with surreal ports?"
Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 09:36:37 BST

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