Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Thu 13th Jan 2011 12:53 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Hardware, Embedded Systems "The question that forms the title of this article has recently been posted on the Super User Q&A site for computer enthusiasts. At first I was shocked at how silly a question it was as everyone should know that, right? But then I started to think about it and realized anyone under a certain age probably has no clue."
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RE[3]: Scary.
by DOSguy on Thu 13th Jan 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Scary."
DOSguy
Member since:
2009-07-27

Maybe they originally weren't, I don't know... all I know for a fact is that when I was using them (mostly for school) in the 90s, all they ever did was magically wipe themselves.


I'm sure that everyone who has used floppy disks in the past, can still clearly remember the sound of a floppy disk drive trying to read a bad disk.
However, apart from the occasional bad disk, my experience with floppy disks isn't as bad as yours.
I still have lots of floppies, most of which are somewhat around 15 years old. Every now and then I pop one of them in a computer and I rarely have problems retrieving my old junk.
Floppies where not as durable and tough as usb sticks nowadays, but as long as you handled them with care and stored them in a good environment, they did their job.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Scary.
by Moredhas on Fri 14th Jan 2011 20:43 in reply to "RE[3]: Scary."
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

They did get cheap at one point, though. I found packaged software came on pretty high quality ones, which would last for years and years, and until about 2000, blank ones were alright too. After that, blank floppy disks became less reliable than your average weather forecast. I remember making sure to buy the "double density" ones, so I'd get the whopping 1.4 MB of memory, instead of 720 KB... Now I have a 1.5 TB external hard drive, and a 16 GB flash drive. Not to mention buying 4.7 GB DVDs by the hundred. We've come a long way in terms of data storage.

EDIT: It occurs to me, I think you can judge the age of a computer user by their discerning use of "disk" and "disc" ;) I see people today calling CDs and DVDs disks, but that may just be because they can't spell...

Edited 2011-01-14 20:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Scary.
by DOSguy on Sat 15th Jan 2011 00:50 in reply to "RE[4]: Scary."
DOSguy Member since:
2009-07-27

until about 2000, blank ones were alright too. After that, blank floppy disks became less reliable than your average weather forecast. I remember making sure to buy the "double density" ones, so I'd get the whopping 1.4 MB of memory, instead of 720 KB


I'm note sure if you meant to say you've bought new 720KB disks after the year 2000, but that would really surprise me. I haven't seen those in store from the mid nineties at least.
Anyway, I remember bad quality 3,5" floppy disks on the market. Some where almost as floppy as the original floppies! However, some brands never disappointed me, like TDK.
I guess the situation isn't very different with CD-Rs and CDs nowadays. The first pressed CDs where a lot more durable and scratch resistant ( also a lot thicker! ) than the ones you buy today.
CDRs also tend to rot fairly quick nowadays, unlike those gold/green ones from the early days. ( which costed a lot more! )

Edited 2011-01-15 00:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Scary.
by spiderman on Sat 15th Jan 2011 08:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Scary."
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

"double density" disks were more expensive than "simple density" disks but they were exactly the same. You just had to add a hole on the upper right corner to make them "double density".

Reply Parent Score: 2