Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Mystery of the mega-selling floppy disk

Just read a surprising news article on BBC: apparently, millions of floppy disks are sold in Europe every year. For real. I thought those relics from my childhood suffered a natural death in the '90s...apparently not. Only a few days ago did Sony announce that it will stop all sales of the 3.5inch floppy disks in Japan by March 2011. That means that floppy disks have been around all along, existing with the 2 TB HDDs. Who are these people still buying them and why? BBC suggested a few possible candidates - English National Opera, developing countries with second-hand computers, etc but concluded those wouldn't account for the millions of sales. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

3 comments:

  1. I guess they are most likely to be used for backing up legacy IT systems that were written in the 1990s.

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  2. Maybe 3 years ago, I was clearing house and found a couple of unopened boxes of floppy disks. Within hours of posting their availability on a Freecycle group in Singapore, various people had called dibs on them. The guy who eventually took them off me said he still used them a lot at work!

    Btw BBC Magazine has compiled readers' responses about what they still use floppy disks for: "40 ways we still use floppy disks". #20 is an interesting one.

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  3. Mark: Backing up must be an onerous task.

    Tym: I'm amazed by how many have crawled out of the woodwork to write about using floppies. My favourites are #11 and #18.

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