People who won't give up floppy disks

Cindy Claveau

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Obsolete, but not gone: The people who won't give up floppy disks

The last floppy disk was made over a decade ago and doesn't even have enough capacity to store a modern smart phone picture, so why do some people still love using them?
I have a few stacks of them on my shelves, but right now they're mainly objects d'art. I don't even remember how long it's been since I had a floppy port on my main PC. Everything else I own - games, documents, etc - is stored digitally.

As I recalll, floppies had a failure rate after a certain age. I've lost more data and game saves that way than I can count, but here we are in 2024.
 
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Noodles

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Whenever I hear about this, it seems weird.

Not that there are still ancient systems using them.

But because it feels like by now someone would have invented some kind of adaptor device for modern storage. Like those old Cassette adapters for cars, but for USB drives.

Maybe stick some kind of micro controller in to detect the read write spins in the little "disk" and rapid output the data as if it's a floppy.
 
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Free

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I don't have any floppies at hand, but I do sport an external floppy-drive I can plug into my PC on the rare occasions I've been required to pull data off of one. There are people who think any storage solution should last forever. And try to make that so.
 

Argent Stonecutter

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I had a keyboard that used smaller than normal floppies for its samples and voices (you could save analog synth settings on them too), 3" I think. They were super expensive and hard to get.
 

Kokoro Fasching

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One of the owners of the company I work at collects player pianos. which use 3.5" floppies. So before the stock vanished, I had to buy up 1000 of them, so that he would always have blanks to copy music to for the pianos.....
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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Whenever I hear about this, it seems weird.

Not that there are still ancient systems using them.

But because it feels like by now someone would have invented some kind of adaptor device for modern storage. Like those old Cassette adapters for cars, but for USB drives.

Maybe stick some kind of micro controller in to detect the read write spins in the little "disk" and rapid output the data as if it's a floppy.
It might be a speed issue. I have to reach waaaaaay back, but I seem to remember that loading something from a floppy wasn't exactly instantaneous; I don't know what a floppy controller's throughput is, but trying to load a 150MB file through it might be like...better grab some coffee, y'know? And the smallest USB drive I own has a 16GB capacity.
 
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Noodles

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It might be a speed issue. I have to reach waaaaaay back, but I seem to remember that loading something from a floppy wasn't exactly instantaneous; I don't know what a floppy controller's throughput is, but trying to load a 150MB file through it might be like...better grab some coffee, y'know? And the smallest USB drive I own has a 16GB capacity.
Yeah, but it feels like there could be some kind of hardware emulation, that reads data from a large drive, pretending to be a 1.44mb drive, and spits it out at the expected speed.
 

Noodles

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But I may still need my undergraduate art history papers from the early 90s some day.
The bigger issue will be getting the software.

I went and recovered some old school documents off of floppies fairly recently. I had to run DOS BOX to open some of the files and run First Choice. Another I had to set up Windows 98 in Virtual box so I could run the right version of MS Publisher.
 

Caete

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Well no surprise here but I've several hundred of them still. I have an awesome camera that uses them for storage of pics and short videos. Show me a decent camera that works with low light, has a 10x optical zoom plus 10x digital zoom and maybe I'll give it up but then again, I only paid $100 for it lol.
 

CronoCloud Creeggan

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Obsolete, but not gone: The people who won't give up floppy disks
As I recalll, floppies had a failure rate after a certain age. I've lost more data and game saves that way than I can count, but here we are in 2024.
5 1/4's were less reliable than the 3.5's. I think they're supposed to be stored vertically or something? Though some later machines had trouble writing to the 720k 3.5's in a way that machines with 720 drives only could read them. There's a technical reason why they can't make USB 5 1/4'" drives.

Well no surprise here but I've several hundred of them still. I have an awesome camera that uses them for storage of pics and short videos. Show me a decent camera that works with low light, has a 10x optical zoom plus 10x digital zoom and maybe I'll give it up but then again, I only paid $100 for it lol.
Sony Mavica, isn't it?
 

Argent Stonecutter

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But because it feels like by now someone would have invented some kind of adaptor device for modern storage. Like those old Cassette adapters for cars, but for USB drives.
Olympus Camedia FlashPath floppy disk adapter.
 

Khamon

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But I may still need my undergraduate art history papers from the early 90s some day.
Mine are printed copies from an Imagewriter II using ClarisWorks, The Print Shop, and supercool ASCII art downloaded from a local BBS.

edit: no idea how a slash got into the post but it is now removed
 
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