Conserving our history

Floppy disks: the sound savers of the past. They were handy and popular and convenient for sharing. likes them best with handwritten labels!

From the quickly scribbled description on a coffee-stained disk label to the carefully manicured collections lovingly maintained over many years. There is something about the use of early iterations of storage media to preserve the creation of sound that the Hard Disk Drive or SD card cannot compete with.

They provide a genuine – almost linear historical record. Which is mostly lost in the ‘delete and replace’ of modern storage formats, where the labelling nomenclature exists only as a digital file description.

As expedient and handy as these undoubtedly are. They don’t represent much the choices of the person who made them, or the individual who catalogued them. And therefore – in this writer’s opinion, the very beauty of them.

A far from floppy history!

Introduced in 1967 by International Business Machines (IBM). The floppy disk replaced the tape storage format, eventually going on to have a life span that ran all the way up the early 2000s. Generations of computer early adopters carried, traded, sold and spilt drinks on these portable data wonders for over 30 years!

Image shows a 1984 Dysan floppy disk magazine advert from the article: Conserving our history courtesy of
Floppy disk manufacturer Dysan entices us to buy better in this 1984 advert

During its peak in the mid 1990s there were five billion floppy disks sold per year

Whilst storage formats continue to evolve and servers become greener, I believe that the floppy disk will retain a fond place in the hearts of many. The legend of them lives on in “save” icons of thousands of programs that are used every single day.

And yes – in case you wondered you can still buy them. And not just on re-sell sites like eBay or Amazon. sells 10 packs of disks and offer data transfer and recycling services too.

If you’d like to learn more about transferable data mediums then the early internet adopter Computer Hope is a great place to start!

Conserving our history continues… was founded to produce interesting, reliable and informative articles. From short articles such as this Conserving our history to Cornerstone content such as Allen Adkins – Pioneer.

Fair use: images included on site (where applicable) have been accrued over a period of time and from various online sources; particularly those from historical sales. Those that are included are for research, general interest, preservation and non-commercial purposes.

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