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View Full Version : Why are we still using disks?



mouse
03-09-2003, 08:22 PM
In a day that I can buy a 128mb Sony memory stick half the size of my little finger [most of that packaging] Why is it we're still using mechanical disks rather than EEPROM?

Seems to me that reduced access time would be made up for easily using raid-esque arrays. The drives wouldn't have mechanical parts so wouldn't make the noise conventional hard disks do.

Maybe I'm missing something. :confused:

Thejavaman1
03-09-2003, 08:41 PM
cost cost cost. Hard drives are cheap ($1 for 1GB) EEPROM is expensive (~ $250 a GB). At those prices, the 80GB hard drive in my computer would have cost $20000, 50 times as expensive as the most expensive part in my computer (Radeon 9700Pro, the first week it came out)

Alex Vincent
03-09-2003, 10:22 PM
Heh, when I saw this subject, I thought he meant floppies...

I for one can't see why we still use these dinky little 3.5in square disks anymore, except maybe for documents we write when we don't have an Internet connection (and I am very familiar with how that feels). You certainly can't move a lot of programs on them.

joh6nn
03-10-2003, 12:00 AM
i'll never give up my floppy drive. NEVER!

because sometimes, i just don't want to use a whole cd, for something that's less than a meg.

cg9com
03-10-2003, 06:53 AM
wheres a floppy that actually holds something.
floppy is such a cool word. :cool:

i guess if its cheaper for disks then they will win out over something like EEPROM

Roy Sinclair
03-10-2003, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by cg9com
wheres a floppy that actually holds something.
floppy is such a cool word. :cool:

i guess if its cheaper for disks then they will win out over something like EEPROM

The IOMEGA Zip drive holds up to 150mb per disk, too bad the word IOMEGA on any hardware is the same as saying "This is a piece of garbage!".

If you want smaller and more portable though you should really look at the 3 inch CDs and the credit card CDs. They also hold a fair amount of data but are more easily slipped into a pocket than a full size CD.

cg9com
03-10-2003, 05:30 PM
i meant, a 3.5 floppy that will fit into any regular drive, but holds more than its 1.44 limit ( or whatever it is ).
without actually buying a different product.
(scared of going off topic)

scroots
03-10-2003, 07:12 PM
you can get an LS120 floppy drive or something, similair to floppy disk drive, same slot and they hold 8 megs a disk

I will find out the propper name if necessary.
scroots

Roy Sinclair
03-10-2003, 07:44 PM
The biggest problem with alternatives to floppy drives is that they need to be universal. You've got to be able to count on being able to carry a disk to any other computer and still be able to read it. The floppy disk is the closest we have to that with the CD/RW drives being the next closest. The LS120, ZIP and other alternative drives that were developed worked but were unable to unseat the floppy drive initially and by the time things grew too large for distribution on floppies the CD drives had taken over.

The next best bet for replacing the floppy are the USB connect drives. You can get them from full size, full speed hard drives down to the Flash memory "thumb" drives. For people who need to "sneakernet" things from one place to another those may be their best bet since USB is also close to being universal these days.

cg9com
03-10-2003, 08:20 PM
no chance of a floppy ever being developed that will fit the same drive but hold more?

mouse
03-10-2003, 08:24 PM
You can get floppy adapters for flash memory and memory stick's enabling their use in floppy drives. Doesn't speed up read/write times though. Floppies suck, nice that Dell are rebelling against them too.

cg9com
03-10-2003, 08:45 PM
floppies owned me back in the day.

Roy Sinclair
03-10-2003, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by cg9com
no chance of a floppy ever being developed that will fit the same drive but hold more?

I wouldn't say no chance but don't hold your breath. Too many of the alternatives were stymied by either not being compatible with the floppy (requiring an additional drive bay), too much proprietary technology (greedy developer of the technology refusing to license or wanting to much $ for a license) or was simply too expensive during a time when the cost of the system was a major selling point. The alternative drive's capacity still fell short and inexpensive CD/R and CD/RW drives came along before any of them had a chance to become an expected part of a new system.

Itll likely be the next upgrade (Post DVD/RW ?) before another drive will have a chance to be as easily portable as a 3 and 1/2 inch floppy. Honestly, it's surprising how many systems still ship with floppy drives. Most people buying a new system these days will never use the floppy drive.

cg9com
03-11-2003, 02:19 AM
i wouldnt say that, they are pretty handy, i can keep a website on one floppy.
yea now instead of going for the floppy, its just as easy to burn a CD that will hold much more, but i guess theres still some use for them otehrwise they would be gone?

i know im not the only one who uses them ... :D :D :D :D

Roelf
03-11-2003, 06:34 AM
I use floppies frequently. When i go to a customer, and have to get some of his files on my laptop, most of the times i use a floppy. My laptop has no cd burner, at the customer site its most of the times faster to copy some floppies than find a pc with a cd burner. Its also not common practice to hook up my laptop to their network. Sometimes i will install a parallel cable to my machine and one of their machines, but then i have to be able to install some software, or change the windows installation to allow direct cable connect. Most of the times, the network rights of the client don't allow that. So floppies are my best friend :o

chrismiceli
04-06-2003, 12:25 AM
I love floppies, sure they are slow, hold little info, etc, but when your network is down and your internet drivers are on them, or when you need to move one pic to your friend down the road. They are secure being they are physical, people can't intercept a floppy unless you are robbed.

liorean
04-06-2003, 12:53 AM
There's pretty many computers that come with SmartCard or Flash memory for portable device instead of floppy. There's also a load with both IOMEGA 100 and 250 MB zip drives. There's no cost-effective replacement for harddrives yet, though.

Besides - I think the CD is getting a bit on the small side. DVDs are not that much costlier, and a dvd-rw- can be used as a good replacement disk. You don't even need to write/read the whole thing, you only need to use a portion of the disc.

brothercake
04-06-2003, 01:52 PM
Yeah I just got a DVD[-+]R[W]? burner; you gotta love those disk properties saying "4,500 MB remaining" :D

Floppies are on the way out; more and more computers are being made without them - iMacs haven't had them for ages.

Roy's suggestion - USB flash memory - I think that's what will replace the "plug and go" functionality of floppy disks.

Tails
04-07-2003, 08:13 PM
Whoa, $1 = 1 GB? Maybe I should upgrade my hard drive if 80 mb = 12 cents lol. Anyway, I depend on that old machine. Especially since when I copy files onto floppy disks from my other machine, it eats them or something. Every time I have ever written to a disk from it, bad sectors develop each time. So far my plan is use one disk I call the "victim disk" and transfer important on-the-go stuff to my old computer on that disk, and then use reliable disks from there. The reliable disks lasted so far, 6 months without a need to be scandisked, while the victim had bad spots in 2 hours. It now has over 200 kb of bad sectors. I wonder if its a FAT32 thing, but even if it were reformatted in Windows, the problem still continues. Yet Windows won't let you format a 1.44 mb disk as 720 kb (low level format to rewrite sectors). Why is that? It won't work, but it should be an option. It's just one of those things DOS users will have that Windows users -- and especially XP users will never have.

Roy Sinclair
04-07-2003, 10:27 PM
If you want to format a 1.44 floppy as 720 just put tape over the hole opposite the one with the read-only tab. Back in the early days they use to make "disk doubler"s that punched the other hole into 720k floppies so your 720k floppies (which were much cheaper) could be used as 1.44s and it usually worked since the main difference was simply the presense or absense of that hole.

oracleguy
04-08-2003, 05:06 PM
Last christmas I got one of those USB keyring drives. About the size of my thumb (okay, well maybe a tad bigger) and its 64megs and I know the company that made mine makes them up to a gig in size. And i found the one I got online for only 40 bucks and they are very handy little things to have. And as long as the computer is using Wink2k or XP then it doesn't need drivers and computers have had usb ports for years so I can always find a place to plug it in.

Has anyone else had some serious reliability issues with floppies? I never used to way back in the day when they were used all the time but it seems these days I write something to a floppy then when I get where I'm going, half the time the floppy is corrupt. Maybe they just make cheaper floppies now...

And Tails, yeah $1 for 1GB, I just saw an ad in the newspaper for a Western Digital 250GB Hard Drive for $250. I believe IBM has a 320Gig drive out too.

Sparky
04-08-2003, 11:07 PM
Whats more silly than us still using floppies is the fact that we have not found a much better alternative. As mentioned earlier in the thread, the fact that lots of computers dont have CDRW drives. And i dont like having a media that many OS's need software installed too run/work, not too mention the fact that its not simple 'cut and paste' like hard drives and floppies. And LS120/Zip/Jazz/Orb is no alternative.

Wouldnt be great if some kind off 'supper floppy' drive were too be created, faster and larger than the 1.44 meg disks, but still cheap media. Only problem is, getting such new technologies introduced into the IT industry is a very difficult task. Convncing people too make it in the 1st place, then getting mobo makers, OS makers and OEM peeps too buy into it...

Thats one of the (few) things i like about Macs - the ability too just say 'this sucks, lets get rid off it'. It must be nice as a mac user too not be worrying about ISA/PS2/Serial/Parrallel ect ect (most off which make even less sense than the floppy too keep around). And also being able too introduce new and advanced technology so quick (CDRW's/USB2/Firewire/wireless networking/DVDrw's ect ect).

bobble991
11-21-2006, 11:24 PM
Is there any way to convince an old midi sequencer that a modern floppy drive (as opposed to a 2dd drive) and a floppy using the tip mentioned by Roy Sinclair is actually an ancient 2dd floppy drive with ancient floppy?

Thanks
Bob

daniel_g
11-22-2006, 07:23 AM
I was going like "what about USB drives?" :confused:
Then I realized this post is 3 years old.
Then I read Roy comments, and whish he could predict what the big thing will be on 2009 so I can get ready.

Anyways, 1Gig USB drives for $12 at radioshack on the 2006 black friday is not such a bad deal.

croatiankid
11-22-2006, 08:35 PM
Wouldnt be great if some kind off 'supper floppy' drive were too be created, faster and larger than the 1.44 meg disks,
That's exactly what LS120/Zip/Jazz/Orb are/were supposed to do/be (well idk about orb/LS120, never really heard of them except maybe orb)

rpgfan3233
11-22-2006, 11:12 PM
I personally have a fondness for floppies. I detest writing small things like a boot disk to CD and my current motherboard won't boot from USB either. I believe floppies still have their place today, at least on PCs.

Carter_23
12-15-2006, 12:01 PM
I was going like "what about USB drives?" :confused:
Then I realized this post is 3 years old.
Then I read Roy comments, and whish he could predict what the big thing will be on 2009 so I can get ready.

Anyways, 1Gig USB drives for $12 at radioshack on the 2006 black friday is not such a bad deal.


Yes! I wanted to say about USB too!
What about them?? :)

Graft-Creative
12-15-2006, 11:16 PM
Disks are cool. I still use 'website on a floppy' as a benchmark (client-side at least).

Gary

Carter_23
12-18-2006, 09:51 AM
Disks are cool. I still use 'website on a floppy' as a benchmark (client-side at least).

Gary

I don't understand u... :))

rpgfan3233
12-18-2006, 01:59 PM
I don't understand u... :))

I think it is the fact that floppies are slow, which allows you to simulate how your Web page would load on a dial-up connection.

Graft-Creative
12-20-2006, 01:12 AM
None of the above points really.

I was recalling a time where we did the 'reveal' on a design by presenting the client with a floppy disk.

The point being that if a site cant fit on a floppy (apart from server-side stuff) then it's too heavy - this is going back to the days when 56k and T1 connections where 1337 - but it's still relevant IMO.

Gary

Karen S. Garvin
12-21-2006, 01:29 PM
Floppies are still useful for small files. Plus, mine are in neat neon colors... I mean, hey, CSS and HTML files usually aren't that big!

Plus, floppies make great coffee cup coasters! :cool:

GO ILLINI
12-21-2006, 11:08 PM
I have one floppy drive at my house and 7 computers... floppies are useless

-ILLINI



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