If you’re of a certain age, you probably have a history with floppy disks. The moniker dates back to your first forays into computer games and later came to signify those multicolored, hard plastic contraptions you used to store college papers or work presentations.
It’s probably been a dog’s age since you even thought about floppy disks — let alone had a drive on your computer that could support one — but floppies are actually still popular in India and Japan. Sony is the last manufacturer of 3.5-inch floppy disks, and while the company sold more than 12 million of them in 2009, Sony has just announced it will stop making floppies as of March 2011.
“Due to dwindling demand, Sony discontinued European production of 3.5-inch floppy disks in September 2009. The last European sale of a floppy disk took place in March 2010,” a Sony spokesperson said.
Although these disks have already drifted into the realm of hipster-fueled, retro-ironic nostalgia (see also: SNES cartridges), we have a lingering love for the floppy. It’s a symbol of a simpler time — a time before cloud storage and Google Docs made it impossible to wedge a corrupted disk under your professor’s door at 5 a.m. only to claim that the paper had been on the disk the night before, a time when it took nine disks or so to get an OS onto your hard drive, a time when 1.4 MB actually meant something. We invite you to browse our Floppy Retrospective Flickr gallery, where we trace the evolution of the floppy from Bill Gates’s best friend to dumpster fodder to dearly loved — but seldom used — archaic trinket.