Why Floppy Disks Are Still Not Dead
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Hey, kids. You know that icon you click to save stuff? That used to be a physical format on which users could save a whopping 1.44MB of data. Impressive, eh? So, why did floppy disks dies off? The answer is, they never did. You or I may not use them anymore, but the outdated format is still alive and kicking in many industries.
Tom Persky in particular owes his livelihood to floppy disks. His company, FloppyDisks.com is a profitable business that, as the name suggests, deals exclusively in the 1.44MB disks. But who’s buying them?
“There are people who love floppy disks,” Persky said, citing a particular journalist who relies on the format for publishing articles. “There’s a large embroidery company that does 500 jobs a day,” adding, “They could do that on a hard drive — except their machinery doesn’t work with a hard drive.”
Persky and his business, being what he describes as the “last man standing”, provides a service that computing and office supplies stores no longer cater to. While Persky’s persistence with floppy disks, which his company has been selling since the early Nineties, might seem prescient, he concedes that he “just forgot to get out of the floppy disk business.”
As Persky puts it, manufacturers use systems that were designed for long-term use. What were these systems based around when they were built? Floppy disks. “In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of industrial machines were built around floppy disks, which were high-tech of the time,” he says. “They were built to last fifty years.” This antiquated design means that even U.S. Air Force nuclear silos rely on 1.44MB disks.
Thank you Digital Trends for providing us with this information.