Friday

Friday 7/2/2003So, farewell then, floppy disk. Dell is ditching the dinky data device from some of its top-end desktops, and the writing is clearly on the wall.

Friday 7/2/2003
So, farewell then, floppy disk. Dell is ditching the dinky data device from some of its top-end desktops, and the writing is clearly on the wall. I've seen 'em all, from 8" hard sectored giants to the long-forgotten Zenith 2" tiddler. I lusted after 5.25" floppies when I was stuck with Spectrum tape drives, and got my first taste of real mass storage with those enormously capacious 720k 3.5" Sonys that, in one variant or another, have stuck it out to the end. I came to those after struggling -- there is no other word -- with ZX Microdrives for a year. Despite my love of Sinclair goodies, it has to be said that moving onto a computer with a real display, keyboard, storage devices and operating system was always a euphoric moment. Now, I have bags of floppies and nothing to read them on. I have 5.25" floppies in BBC, Commodore, Apple II, QL and who knows what format, and as for the 3.5"s... IBM, of course, but various Macintoshes, Amigae, STs and QLs (again) have contributed their memories to the pile. What's on them? I fear many emails and documents too horrible to revive -- did I really write all that stuff? To that woman? Oh, dear -- but that one day may keep an aged Rupert in wry smiles and curled toes. So I can't throw them away, but I can't afford to spend the time or effort in getting them all copied across to something current. And every year that passes makes the conversion process more difficult. There'll be good work in the future for digital archivists.