For those who grew up in the age of CDs and USB drives, it might be hard to imagine that, not too long ago, floppy disks were all the rage. Floppy disks came in two varieties for PCs: the 5.25″ and the 3.5″.
The 5.25″ Variety
The first “Diskette”, often known as the floppy, became commonplace in the 1980s. The original 360KB 5.25″ diskette was stored in a plastic, flexible jacket. In 1984, the 5.25″ diskette was upgraded to 1.2MB. Interestingly, 360KB diskettes were still used to distribute software because 1.2MB drives recognized both formats.
The 3.5″ Variety
The 720KB 3.5″ floppy disk was first used in the Convertible laptop from IBM. Later, the capacity of the 3.5″ diskette quadrupled to 1.44MB with the PS/2 line. The 1.44MB diskette featured a hole in the upper left corner, which was the only obvious distinction between the two. IBM also provided an extra-high density 2.88MB disk, which could be used with a few PC models.
While the floppy disk has become obsolete, it was an important milestone in the history of computing. For those who grew up with these diskettes, they will always have a special place in their memories.
What is a floppy disk?
A floppy disk is an outdated storage medium that uses magnetic recording to read, write, and store data. It was first introduced in the late 1960s and became popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
Are floppy disks still used?
No, floppy disks are no longer used in modern computers. They have been replaced by more efficient storage devices such as USB drives, CDs, and cloud storage.
The 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks were instrumental in the early days of personal computing. While they might seem primitive by today’s standards, they were once at the forefront of computer technology. So the next time you come across a dusty old box of floppy disks, remember that they were once the cutting-edge of data storage.