Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Ten Practical Uses for a Floppy Disk
Amidst talk of U.S. military drones and the rise of cloud computing, a story that sneaked through recently caught our attention: That there is actually still a government agency that uses floppy disks to exchange information.
Yes, floppy disks. You remember those, right? The little square, plastic disks that came in different colors and usually had a stick-on label so you could jot down what was on the disk? Yeah. They’ve been obsolete longer than Vanilla Ice, yet according to the New York Times the Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, still receives much of the information for that online journal via 3.5-inch floppy disk.
I remember working jobs in which floppy disks would get passed around the office, even after e-mail became a popular way to transfer files. While working at a newspaper in the late 1990s, co-workers used to bring me floppy disks with information such as movie times, new video releases, listings of bands playing around town, and the like. At the time? Modern and high-tech. Now? The floppy disk is the mullet of information management.
FedTech Magazine noted that a floppy held only 1.44 MB of data, meaning that today one of those disks wouldn’t even hold most JPEG files. Or a single MP3. Or that really bad poem your boyfriend wrote you in Word and added the stupid Valentine’s Day gif. Or even 10 seconds of “Gone With the Wind.”
And yet, somehow, our federal government is still using them to store and transfer information. It boggles the mind.
And so, in the spirit of making the best of disappointing news, here is our list of the Top 10 Practical Uses for a Floppy Disk, circa 2014.
10. Emergency ice scraper. (Hey, they have edges, and they fit easily into glove compartments.)
9. Attractive carry-all bag. (Stylish AND practical.)
8. Putty knife. (Really, this is probably what floppy disks should have been used for in the first place.)
7. Conversation piece. (Place one on your coffee table and delight as guests at your swanky dinner party coo and exclaim, “I used to have some of these!”)
6. Dog chew toy. (Gives your beloved pet something to do, and promotes strong teeth!)
5. Beverage coaster. (They don’t absorb much moisture, but they also won’t stick to your glass.)
4. Chopping device for really, really small vegetables and fruits. But mind your fingers. (That metal shutter is spring-loaded, man!)
3. Car finish protection. (You paid a lot for that car, and you don’t want all the dings and faded paint. It’s natural.)
2. Gutting and cleaning deer and other wild game. (Works just as well as a Bowie knife. Right? Right???)
1. Deadly ninja throwing star. (Just sharpen the edges and dip in poison to ensure evil can never co-opt your valuable information again.)
And these are just a few of the great everyday ways to use a floppy disk. Get your floppy disks — along with a wide variety of swell floppy disk accessories — now at floppydisk.com. You can thank us later.