Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 18:38 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Invented by IBM, the death knell sounded by Apple. Sony has announced it is going to cease selling diskettes altogether, with the last bastion being Japan. Sales will be ceased there too, even though Sony still managed to sell 12 million of them there last year. While Memorex and Imation still produce and sell diskettes, this move by Sony surely means it won't take long for the rest of the market to vanish, too.
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Good riddance
by merkoth on Mon 26th Apr 2010 18:55 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

Now I need to find some way to lose my data... hmmm... where did I put those magnets?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good riddance
by elektrik on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:42 UTC in reply to "Good riddance"
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

Sorry, I don't share your opinion of "good riddance". The fastest easiest (IMHO) way to install NT based additional drivers will always be the floppy (just try to do that with a flash drive, go ahead, knock yourself out)....That may only be one example I can immediately think of, but it's a big one...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good riddance
by merkoth on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Good riddance"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

To be honest, I only had to do what you say once or twice, but I get your point. And reading through this thread, it seems that I was able to buy pretty much every faulty 3.5" diskette on earth. I lost countless hours and money to those things. So please forgive my bitterness.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good riddance
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good riddance"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Diskettes sucked... I'm glad the world has finally left them behind. It's been so long since I've seen a computer with a floppy drive that I think they were practically dead a long time ago. Not sure how it's "news" that one of the three remaining companies selling those things finally pulls support though... if anything's news, it's that people still are (for whatever reason) buying and selling those wretched things.

I haven't used them for very many years (and mostly for school) but when I did... I hated those pieces of s***. Slow as hell, and about as unreliable as anything can get in electronics. Used them mostly in the late 90s to early 2000s.

Edited 2010-04-26 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good riddance
by WorknMan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good riddance"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Diskettes sucked... I'm glad the world has finally left them behind.


Yeah. And I wonder when Windows users will actually be able to use our A and B drives for something useful ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good riddance
by joshv on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good riddance"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

"Diskettes sucked... I'm glad the world has finally left them behind.


Yeah. And I wonder when Windows users will actually be able to use our A and B drives for something useful ;)
"

I mapped my 500GB USB backup drive as A: two years ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good riddance
by computeruser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Good riddance"
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

NT5 is sooo 00s. Try upgrading to NT 6, which will accept drivers from a flash drive just fine.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good riddance
by dylansmrjones on Thu 29th Apr 2010 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good riddance"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Not really no. Depends a lot on the hardware as well. My Asus M2A-VM motherboard is supposed to support booting and what not from USB but it doesn't. This is particularly annoying in regard to bios updates. Only way in reality to update bios is to use floppies, since it won't recognize files on a usb stick (tried several different ways and none worked). Besides that some of us are still using windows server 2003 as a tertiary system ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good riddance
by darknexus on Thu 29th Apr 2010 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good riddance"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not really no. Depends a lot on the hardware as well. My Asus M2A-VM motherboard is supposed to support booting and what not from USB but it doesn't. This is particularly annoying in regard to bios updates. Only way in reality to update bios is to use floppies, since it won't recognize files on a usb stick (tried several different ways and none worked).


It's not one of those odd motherboards that only support loading firmware from a FAT16 filesystem per chance? Also, keep in mind that USB boot does not always mean it will read files off the USB stick. Sometimes that just means it will transfer control of the boot process over to a valid boot record on the USB media. USB BIOS upgrade usually isn't the same as boot from USB. As with anything PC, there's going to be years of legacy floppy-only boot systems yet. Floppies themselves are hardly a loss though in the grand scheme of things, and most new boards support USB BIOS flash and boot off USB both. The writing's been on the wall for a decade, so if some motherboard manufacturers haven't gotten with the times that's their fault. Not that it makes anything easier if you've got one of those boards of course.
As for Windows Server 2003, well you brought that pain on yourself. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good riddance
by google_ninja on Mon 26th Apr 2010 21:23 UTC in reply to "Good riddance"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Nothing worse then spreading an archive over 10 floppies, and have #7 get corrupted.

I bought a CDR drive _really_ early, and never looked back. Didn't really care so much with DVDR drives, or the new Blu-Ray recorders, but man, I couldn't wait to stop using floppies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good riddance
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 26th Apr 2010 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Good riddance"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Nothing worse then spreading an archive over 10 floppies, and have #7 get corrupted.

That's pretty good if you managed to get only one corrupted disk, #7, in a ten-disk set. With my diskette track record way back, I would've probably ended up with 7 corrupt disks...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good riddance
by google_ninja on Mon 26th Apr 2010 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good riddance"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Its worse when your near the end, cause after 20 minutes of "i'm gonna make it... i'm gonna make it..." it makes the "SDLDKFJ!@#@#" moment that much more painful

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good riddance
by steogede2 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Good riddance"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

Nothing worse then spreading an archive over 10 floppies, and have #7 get corrupted.


Please don't make me relive my worst memories of playing the Monkey Island 2 (11 disks on the Amiga)

Reply Score: 1

more space!
by Calipso on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:01 UTC
Calipso
Member since:
2007-03-13

My favourite part about floppies was the ability to increase the space on low density disks by drilling a hole in one of the corners. ah, good times ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: more space!
by ElCabri2 on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:19 UTC in reply to "more space!"
ElCabri2 Member since:
2009-03-11

Yes, I've been trying to do the same with SD cards and it doesn't work.

Reply Score: 11

RE: more space!
by Piranha on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:30 UTC in reply to "more space!"
Piranha Member since:
2008-06-24

Funny you should mention that. I was talking to a technically inclined person just last week and he didn't know that was possible.

I'm 22, he's 33. I think I was like 10 years old when I started doing that.

Edited 2010-04-26 19:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: more space!
by nbensa on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "more space!"
nbensa Member since:
2005-08-29

and what about doing one hole near the center of the disk (I don't know its technical name) on a 5" 1/4 ti99 disk to make it double sided ? :-) (yes, I AM that old)

Reply Score: 1

Ode to Diskette
by Leroy on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:34 UTC
Leroy
Member since:
2006-07-06

O' little plastic square.
Your shield blocks my touch.
I write but your tab block my path.
Yet your lock needs no key.

I claim you with my marker.
Label your contents for all to see.

Read but no write,
Lock tab might!
Read and Write,
Grinding noise and light!

You had many accessories.
Labels, pouches, large plastic bins.
I bought you in boxes of ten.

Oh no I lost one!
Format A: again.

Reply Score: 6

one wasn't enough
by weorthe on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:38 UTC
weorthe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ha, I remember trying to convince my mom that my Mac Plus needed an external floppy drive, because just one wasn't enough. I eventually got it, and then a 20MB hard drive, too. And my friends were jealous!

Reply Score: 3

Perfect size...
by sergio on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:43 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

CDs are too big and pen-drives are too small, 3.5 floppies are perfect... and they last forever!

It's funny, I can use my 20+ years old AMIGA floppies without problem... but my 5 year old DVD-Rs are unreadable. Writable optical media sucks, I've lost tons of data with CD-R and DVD-R. 3.5 floppies aged really well.

PS: OTOH 5.25 floppies were unreliable sh*t. I hate them so much.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Perfect size...
by umccullough on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:54 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

3.5 floppies are perfect... and they last forever!


Correction: They used to last forever.

At some point in the last 10 years, it seems 3.5" floppy disk quality dropped to less than dismal. These days, I'm lucky if I can get a floppy disk to last two weeks after writing some files to it. I know it didn't use to be like that, but it seems like it is now.

And yet, I can pull disks out of a box from 10 years ago and read them just fine!

Maybe the drives just aren't writing the bits hard enough any more ;)

Update: BTW, same with CD-R - I've got a ton of Kodak "gold" CD-R from the late-90s that are still readable.

Edited 2010-04-26 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Perfect size...
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Apr 2010 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfect size..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"3.5 floppies are perfect... and they last forever!


Correction: They used to last forever.
"

I still have to use 5,25" floppies for museal purposes - use, not just show them. Most of them are older than 20 years and still work perfectly - in the computers they are intended for, also 20 years and older, still in perfect and working condition, like the robotron A5120 I recently got with a bunch of 5,25" floppies, taken out of service in 1989.

For the form factor, I think 3,5" disks and CF cards (and MiniDiscs, if you still now them) are ideal - not to big (as CDs and DVDs and their successors), not to small (as USB pen drives or SD cards). Sadly, MiniDiscs haven't prevailed for purposes we have to use CDs or DVDs today.

At some point in the last 10 years, it seems 3.5" floppy disk quality dropped to less than dismal. These days, I'm lucky if I can get a floppy disk to last two weeks after writing some files to it. I know it didn't use to be like that, but it seems like it is now.


I still have to use 3,5" floppies in very few places, and today's products seem like "use once, throw away" disks. After some short time of use, errors apeear, and using fdformat on the disks doesn't "repair" them, but shows more and more errors if you continue formatting them.

Finally, I'm glad that disks are not in use anymore, but the alternatives aren't so much better as advertisement wants us to believe.

And yet, I can pull disks out of a box from 10 years ago and read them just fine!


Same here, too. Even 20 years old disk work - but finally, it's a matter of how you store them.

Update: BTW, same with CD-R - I've got a ton of Kodak "gold" CD-R from the late-90s that are still readable.


I often say, with a bit of truth in it: "The older hardware is, the longer it lasts." For example, old 16x CD-ROM drives seem to be much more error tolerant than today's modern high-speed DVD drives. Hard disks, in use since 1995, often still work flawlessly today, while you already plan to substitute a hard disk in 6 or 12 months if you buy it today.

Just try to image if CDs, burned today, stored without any packaging (just like disks) can be read in 10 or 20 years. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Perfect size...
by leech on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:55 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Yeah, I was just thinking, "Crap, where am I going to get floppies for my Amiga 4000?" Then again, I have always had bad luck with floppy drives, and disks becoming bricks, but for some reason... only PC floppy disks. The Amiga and Atari STs I have still work.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Perfect size...
by righard on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:56 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Last forever? In my experience it was the exact opposite. Mine even got bad sectors when I looked at them in a wrong way.

Do miss the noise they made though

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Perfect size...
by WereCatf on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfect size..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

While I still used floppies heavily I noticed there was a huge quality difference between manufacturers; with some manufacturers the floppies would go bad in 2 weeks, and with some manufacturers the floppies would last for 10 years straight. After a while I had learned which brands to trust and only bought those. I suppose the disks would STILL work if I still had them and a working floppy drive! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Perfect size...
by Punktyras on Mon 26th Apr 2010 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Perfect size..."
Punktyras Member since:
2006-01-07

Yeah, BASF and TDK were unbeatable...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Perfect size...
by telns on Mon 26th Apr 2010 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Perfect size..."
telns Member since:
2009-06-18

Thumbs up for TDK.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perfect size...
by Zbigniew on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:53 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

CDs are too big and pen-drives are too small, 3.5 floppies are perfect... and they last forever!

It's funny, I can use my 20+ years old AMIGA floppies without problem... [..]
PS: OTOH 5.25 floppies were unreliable sh*t. I hate them so much.


I've got quite different experiences: my floppies for Commodore 64 (the oldest ones from 1985) are still readable, while 3,5" diskettes I've found as unreliable. Not sure, maybe DD 3,5" (you mention "Amiga floppies") were a bit better, but not HD ones. The exception again are 5,25" ones... my 200 diskettes 5,25" HD from 1990-95 are still readable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perfect size...
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:35 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

CDs are too big and pen-drives are too small, 3.5 floppies are perfect... and they last forever!

So duct tape a pen drive to a floppy.


Writable optical media sucks, I've lost tons of data with CD-R and DVD-R.

Well now you know why there's still a tape drive market.

Blu-ray is supposed to be better in this area though.
http://www.delkin.com/products/archivalgold/archival-blue-ray-delki...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Perfect size...
by Gone fishing on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:23 UTC in reply to "Perfect size..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

My experience is that 5 1/4" disks lasted for ever but 3 1/2" you'd be luck to get 2 writes out of them. Gosh makes me feel nostalgic for the day when Norton was actually useful.

I find that although flash drives are vastly superior to floppies, students are still adapt at loosing their coursework etc.

"We have a file server why have you carefully avoided using it?".....sometime it makes you want to weep

Reply Score: 2

a few short years ago...
by kaelodest on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:52 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

Well a little more than a few years ago you could get a whole OS in a small box of floppies. Information density has increased dramatically. It seems to be the way of immersion

Reply Score: 2

RE: a few short years ago...
by funny_irony on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:16 UTC in reply to "a few short years ago..."
funny_irony Member since:
2007-03-07

You still can fit FreeDOS in a floppy ;)

Many companies still use DOS programs that control production machines.

These PC still use MS-DOS and still need their floppy to change their production machine setting.

Reply Score: 1

Best thing about 3.5" floppy disks
by umccullough on Mon 26th Apr 2010 19:59 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

The best part of 3.5" floppy disks that I remember was that AOL was always sending me free ones! ;)

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, once worked for a company that sent trial software on a floppy for free. When cleaning up the database of customers, I noticed that there were 50 duplicate addresses. We contacted the guy and he just admitted he was signing up under false email addresses to get the free floppies. We stopped sending free floppies after only a web visit. You'd have to call and talk to a sales guy to get the demo.

Reply Score: 3

ARF
by fretinator on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:01 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

But I never solved the mystery of whether I should [A]bort, [R]etry or [F]ail.

Reply Score: 6

RE: ARF
by Quake on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:42 UTC in reply to "ARF"
Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

Lol!, good times, good times...

Reply Score: 1

Bring Back the Shielding
by Nathan O. on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:02 UTC
Nathan O.
Member since:
2005-08-11

When CDs became a big deal, I wondered how they could make them so sturdy that they didn't need a shield like a floppy disk (obvious differences in materials aside). It wasn't long before I figured out that CDs only live long if you handle them like they are precious.

Wouldn't CDs be better if they were encased in a plastic shield?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bring Back the Shielding
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:50 UTC in reply to "Bring Back the Shielding"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

And that's why I thought MiniDisc's were awesome and going to take over the world. The awesomeness of a cd combined with the protection of a diskette. If the price had dripped to $100 before they were obsolete I would have bought in.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bring Back the Shielding
by Zbigniew on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:56 UTC in reply to "Bring Back the Shielding"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

Wouldn't CDs be better if they were encased in a plastic shield?


Remember s.c. "caddy" for CD? Always been wondering, why actually it didn't become a standard.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring Back the Shielding"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yea my cousin had one of those. I think I remember hearing that it was dumped because it increased manufacturing costs.

Blu-ray was actually supposed to use a caddy but they went with a polymer coating instead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding
by abraxas on Fri 30th Apr 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring Back the Shielding"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

"Wouldn't CDs be better if they were encased in a plastic shield?


Remember s.c. "caddy" for CD? Always been wondering, why actually it didn't become a standard.
"

We had those at my high school when I was younger. The only discs I remember was the encylopedia britannica set. When I bought a MD player later I thought of those discs and wondered the same thing. Why did they ditch the caddy for CDs?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bring Back the Shielding
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:47 UTC in reply to "Bring Back the Shielding"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Wouldn't CDs be better if they were encased in a plastic shield?


One word: MiniDisc.

The disc is inside a kind of caddy, and it's almost the (handy) size of a 3.5" floppy disk (in fact, it's a bit smaller, a size between the mentioned disk and a CF card). So both data carrier protection and form factor are quite intelligent.

With today's DVD drives, you really wonder why you need a drive the size of a whole computer (like a Mac Mini) to read a medium the size of a 5.25" floppy that hard unreadable when the surface (on the downside) is minimally scratched... or when it chemically or biologically dissolves into funny colours and patterns. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding
by Nathan O. on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring Back the Shielding"
Nathan O. Member since:
2005-08-11

But isn't MiniDisc proprietary? Hi-MD, the new variety of the format, seems to be.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bring Back the Shielding
by Toonie on Tue 27th Apr 2010 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding"
Toonie Member since:
2007-11-19

> But isn't MiniDisc proprietary? Hi-MD, the new variety of the format, seems to be.

Yes it is. Isn't the Micro floppy, the 3.5" floppy this article is referring to also, just licensed to many companies?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding
by Zbigniew on Wed 28th Apr 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring Back the Shielding"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

"Wouldn't CDs be better if they were encased in a plastic shield?


One word: MiniDisc.

The disc is inside a kind of caddy, and it's almost the (handy) size of a 3.5" floppy disk
"
OK, two more words: ZIP and LS - both well-protected, and of capacity over 100 MB each.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Bring Back the Shielding
by Doc Pain on Thu 29th Apr 2010 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bring Back the Shielding"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

OK, two more words: ZIP and LS - both well-protected, and of capacity over 100 MB each.


Oh, you mean the one with the ongoing media and drive deadjustment "hardware virus"? :-)

Still, 100 MB is a capacity that doesn't impress anyone today. Even 10 times as much - 1 GB - is considered "too few" today...

Reply Score: 2

Does anyone still manufacture punch cards?
by Tuishimi on Mon 26th Apr 2010 20:08 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I am surprised they are still being produced at all. And now we have the cards and sticks and what-not... I wonder what will be next ... maybe instead of a USB stick, a bluetooth device? They probably already exist, don't they.

Reply Score: 2

Die!
by 3rdalbum on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:16 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Can we please just kill off floppy disks already? And while we're at it, kill off the best reason to use floppy disks as well: Windows XP and its stupid "You can't install on a SATA hard disk without putting SATA drivers on a floppy" installer.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Die!
by Brendan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:38 UTC in reply to "Die!"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Can we please just kill off floppy disks already? And while we're at it, kill off the best reason to use floppy disks as well: Windows XP and its stupid "You can't install on a SATA hard disk without putting SATA drivers on a floppy" installer.


Unfortunately, I agree, but for different reasons.

The best reason to use floppy is that it's very well standardised and relatively simple - you can write a floppy device driver in 2 days (including testing) and know that it'll work for all floppy drives (even those ancient 5.25 inch things) in 99.99% of computers that have floppy drives.

On the other hand, for USB flash you'd be looking at a few months work and enough (PCI, UHCI, AHCI, EHCI, etc.) code to fill a floppy, and never be too sure if it works for all flash/storage devices and all USB controllers. CD-ROM is much worse (ATA/ATAPI, SATA, SCSI, SAS, USB, etc.).

The problem here is "need a driver to install a driver". For example, if a company creates a new type of USB controller that an older OS doesn't/can't support, then getting the USB controller driver from a USB device isn't going to work.

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Die!
by computeruser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Die!"
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

The best reason to use floppy is that it's very well standardised and relatively simple - you can write a floppy device driver in 2 days (including testing) and know that it'll work for all floppy drives (even those ancient 5.25 inch things) in 99.99% of computers that have floppy drives.

If you are writing your own drivers for commodity platforms that still support floppy drives, you're wasting your time. There are multiple open source projects available with various licenses that already provide drivers. (And new hardware generally supports floppies only via... USB.)

The problem here is "need a driver to install a driver". For example, if a company creates a new type of USB controller that an older OS doesn't/can't support, then getting the USB controller driver from a USB device isn't going to work.

When was the last time you had a USB controller that didn't work? EHCI is the standard interface for USB 2.0.

Reply Score: 1

Re: Minidisc
by Toonie on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:14 UTC
Toonie
Member since:
2007-11-19

To me, the biggest problem with Minidisc is that it was from Sony. They tried very aggressively to monetise the format before it really took off. It was firstly launched as a music format, and as such was very appealing. However, it was launched in a hurry, due the the already launched Philips DCC format. Hence it sounded crap, due to unfinished ATRAC development, was VERY expensive, and the portable units (one of the big selling points) were huge (no smaller than available CD players) and the battery didn't last long.

There was a re-launch of the the format in 1996, and in fact I bought a hi-fi deck (which I still have), with all of its problems solved, at least as an audio format. However, even though there was a variant called MD-Data for use as a PC storage medium, Sony had nobbled it so that you had to use special MD-Data discs which had the same 120MB (from memory), but were VERY expensive. Only much later, after CD-R already had a stronghold did the situation improve.

To be honest, I really loved the format when I got into it, but it suffered by being too little too late in many ways, and more frustratingly, more for marketing than technical reasons. sigh...

Sorry for highjacking this thread. I have fond memories of floppies too, honest! ;)

Toonie.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re: Minidisc
by abraxas on Fri 30th Apr 2010 21:50 UTC in reply to "Re: Minidisc"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

To be honest, I really loved the format when I got into it, but it suffered by being too little too late in many ways, and more frustratingly, more for marketing than technical reasons. sigh...


I owned two MD players and loved them both. Even after the mp3 player craze caught on I still used my MD player because the sound quality was so much better than any mp3 mplayer I listened to. The biggest reason for me ditching my MD player was that it could not interface with Linux. I got a Cowon iAudio after that. It has excellent sound quality AND interfaces with linux without a problem. I think being a closed format was another big reason MD and Atrac died.

Reply Score: 2

Still alive and kicking!
by RavinRay on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:55 UTC
RavinRay
Member since:
2005-11-26

Years ago Verbatim made a selling point of marketing fungus-resistant floppies in tropical countries where humidity is high, and fungal growth has cause the death of many a disk. (I remember one article saying that for 5.25" floppies, carefully cut open the jacket, slip out the disk, wash gently with a none-abrasive solution, air dry, then insert back into the jacket, and then into the drive to backup the contents onto another floppy.) Those Memorex and Imation-branded floppies are very much on sale here in the Philippines, and I still buy them! So many utilities (PartitionMagic, memtest86+, NTFSDOS etc.) can be installed on bootable floppies, and unlike many USB drives they can be write-protected. BIOSes today still support booting from them.

It's not just in PCs that floppies still have a use. Yahama made keyboards with floppy drives that read FAT floppies. That's one reason why I still buy them: our church organ can play MIDI files off floppies.

Reply Score: 1

Great, now the smallest size is 700 MB?
by phoenix on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:53 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Great, so now, to transfer a single document/file/app from one system to another, I have to waste a 700 MB CD-R, instead of a 1 MB floppy? Or grab an 8 GB USB key?

What about the needs of those with just a little data to transfer? Think about them.

:)

Reply Score: 2

Toonie Member since:
2007-11-19

> What about the needs of those with just a little data to transfer? Think about them.

Pen and paper? Or if you need erasable then pencil and paper. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by frood
by frood on Wed 28th Apr 2010 09:37 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

In case you're wondering - I prefer the term 'diskette' for the 3.5" variants, and reserve the term 'floppy' for the 5.25" and 8" variants, for obvious reasons.

The term floppy refers to the disc inside the plastic shielding. Also hence the term "disc".

I think it's a shame, in some ways. XP installs require a floppy disc for adding raid drivers which is just easier than slipstreaming drivers into the install image.

Firmware upgrades, too. It just seems wasteful to use an entire CD for this.

On the other hand, of course, it's rare to find a PC with a floppy drive anymore. I don't think cases even have a slot for them. So unless you come armed with a USB floppy drive, a CD is always the best safest bet anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by frood
by darknexus on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by frood"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I think it's a shame, in some ways. XP installs require a floppy disc for adding raid drivers which is just easier than slipstreaming drivers into the install image.


XP just needs to die. It's worn out its welcome. As for slipstreaming, sometimes that's actually more productive if you've got a lot of installs to do on identical hardware but for whatever reason can't use a drive imaging solution.

Firmware upgrades, too. It just seems wasteful to use an entire CD for this.


Why use a CD at all? Firmware upgrades could be read off of an SD card or USB stick, some BIOS actually do support this such as those in the MSI line of Netbooks.

On the other hand, of course, it's rare to find a PC with a floppy drive anymore. I don't think cases even have a slot for them. So unless you come armed with a USB floppy drive, a CD is always the best safest bet anyway.


Nah, most PCs still have one external 3.5 bay. Typically it's filled with a card reader on modern desktop systems instead of a floppy drive, but most desktop tower-style cases still have a slot for them and all motherboards I've seen still have that floppy drive controller and port. Smaller desktops though, like Nettops, don't. And, even if you're armed with a USB floppy drive, there's no guarantee that the BIOS will be able to boot from it if need be, or that the os on the floppy will handle it correctly. USB floppy drives use the mass-storage protocol, so behave more like a hard drive than a traditional diskette drive. Some older operating systems like MS-DOS can't handle that and won't boot properly unless the BIOS provides USB floppy emulation.

Reply Score: 2