It seems like only yesterday..

I haven’t used a 3.5” floppy diskette for quite some while, and the last time was to update the BIOS on an aging machine for which there was no Windows flash utility. I can’t remember the last time I saved a Word document or photo to one, and yet I flatly refused to remove all traces of 3.5” floppy stuff from my computer. For the longest time, I couldn’t visualise a computer without a diskette drive, but no more.

It is gone. I have a case type where there is a moulded slot where the FDD would be so I don’t miss it. In the back of my mind, a computer without a floppy drive is not complete, but I will get over it.

Removal of the drive and associated cable will improve airflow through the case, and I don’t have to wait for the system to locate it at boot up anymore. If I get withdrawal, I have a USB floppy drive which will fill the gap. So, should I keep the box of diskettes? Maybe just one diskette then. What use a USB floppy drive if I have no floppy diskette?

Looking back, they were a pain. If you didn’t freshly format each time, there was a good chance that anything saved would disappear. More than a few would fail format from new. Dust was their enemy, as was bending, heat and magnets. Head alignment was an issue in older drives, with users getting messages that a full disk required formatting, and dust was pulled through the floppy drive onto the heads, exacerbating all other problems.

In deference to the 3.5” floppy, it was more robust than its predecessors, and computer users were able to get programs for their computers from diskettes attached to magazines. New computer users would find it hard to believe that way back when, one could get a trial game, full office productivity suite and two or three utilities all on one disk.

What would we have done without them? :-) 

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