Remember floppy disks? Remember how we thought they were so damn cool? It seems hilarious now, in retrospect -- my iBook doesn’t even have a floppy drive, and why should it? Anything small enough to fit on a floppy is small enough to email to someone. I, for instance, regularly receive files by email from clients that would maybe just about fit on one of those 3.5-inch floppies, but not at all on those 5.25-inch babies we all had hanging around in the late 1980s.
The blog Fosfor Gadgets has a sweetly hilarious look back at gadgets now and then, one of which is the late and not at all lamented 5.25 floppy:
In the end of the 80’s the most popular removable storage media was the 5 1/4 inch diskette, capable of storing 360 KB (later 1200 KB). If you compare that to a big compact flash card of today, you could store close to 25 000 diskettes on ONE 8GB CompactFlash card…
25,000 floppies? In the weird and roundabout way in which my brain makes connections between all sorts of seemingly distantly related stuff, this makes me think of the quote, from IBM’s Thomas J. Watson, who said, circa 1950ish, that “I think there would be a market for about five computers.” Which is funny now, but of course we have the benefit of hindsight, and of seeing what computers would do in the half century since he said that. If you had told me in 1986, only 20 years ago, that I might someday need to store as much as info as could be held on 25,000 floppies, I’d have laughed. And yet today, my already pathetically out-of-date digital camera uses a disc that can store more than my 1986 brain could have ever conceived of ever needing. And it’s all just dumb pictures of my cats.
I don’t have any old floppies still hanging around (though my mom may still have them in her attic, even though I keep telling her she can throw away all my old Commodore 64 shit that for some reason got left behind at my parents’ house), but if you do, you could always make a Starship Enterprise out of one of them. Or if you’re merely nostalgic for the old days, you could buy a floppy notebook from Acorn Studios -- very reasonable priced, and you’ll be the envy of all the equally nostalgic geeks in your social circle. (Acorm has lots of other cool geeky crap on offer, too. I love the creativity of geeks.)