RIP The Floppy Disk: 1971-2011

Just when you thought 2010 was filled with enough completely useless things (the iPad, the Northern Line, Gordon Brown), Sony has decided enough is enough and decided to scrap producing floppy disks.

Darth Vader chops a floppy disk in half
Darth doesn't go for retro storage solutions (flickr user: nhussein)

According to the BBC, Sony still manufacture them and ship them by their millions. The rest of the market has long since gone off the floppy, with Apple abandoning them in 1998 and Dell following suit in 2003. Despite this, Sony’s decision will not come into effect until March next year.

But who is it that’s still using them? My laptop can’t read one, and I can’t remember the last scenario in which I needed less than 1.44MB of storage space.

I can remember my first use of a floppy disk though, with much fondness. My brother returned from university for the summer in 1995, with a pirated copy of Championship Manager 1994/95 (Italia edition), which was spread over four separate disks. So retro is this game that I can’t even find it on eBay!

Disks have long since passed into retro chic; these earrings would hardly look out of place in Hoxton, or on the set of Nathan Barley. However, it’s hard to imagine floppies garnering the same kind of fond nostalgia as music geeks reserve for vinyl. Perhaps it’s because techie geeks are so innately addicted to the new, whereas musos tend to live in the past. Nonetheless, I’d be interested to hear your recollections – when is the last/first time you used a floppy disk? Will you be at all sad to see them go?

One thought on “RIP The Floppy Disk: 1971-2011

  1. I still actually have some but I’m not sure why… I think the last one was at a Model United Nations conference! My general recollections however are once slicing my finger by playing with the metal bit at the top causing much blood and ruining one by waving a magnet over it… I read on the bbc website though that some people use them now as beer mats in retro restaurants!

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