For those who remember, there was another option before the Universal Serial Bus (USB). But, those options were often 100 times bigger than the USB’s we have today and while 5 MB looked like a combination of two refrigerators with external buttons in a room. Now, storage memory is able to fit in our pockets with no hassle and portability is always there.
The years leading up to the first signs of storage memory start off in the year 1971 with an 8″ inch Floppy created by IBM using magnetic film material on the inside followed by a plastic sleeve on the outside. It could only hold up to 80 KB in memory. The next passing years more floppy disks would appear in smaller size with more memory. In 1975, a 5.25″ inch disk was introduced by Allan Shugart with an 110 KB option. Six years later the 3.5″ inch floppy would be the standard storage device for home computers in the 1980s and 90s. Until, other storage inventions like CDs came into place and made the floppy disk outdated. Companies producing floppy’s would soon stop producing them around 2011.
Being outdated means that they are not used in today’s technology standards or so we think they are not. But when it comes to old industrial machines there are some that only accept floppy disks. Then there is the other corner of the spectrum involving government and military operations. This is where the floppy disk reigns at the top of the charts. While most of today’s computers have replaced the floppy disk drive with USB ports. Floppy Disks are not necessarily extinct when it comes to using them.
The importance they have are particularly in the military usage of nuclear weapons. It is still used in the setting of old military technology that favors disks as a primary storage device. As, it is safe to use a device that is not connected to the internet for the fear of an online cyber attack. It is preferred to use a machine that is old and dependable. Making the same machine with newer technology are often avoided making it difficult to reconstruct and companies that have made that particular machine are longer in business.
It is mind blowing to think something we thought was abandoned is still being used in different ways.