Cookies and Capacitors

Why floppy disks were great

Tue, May 1, 2012 at 7:57PM

Today, cloud computing is becoming the choice place to store data. However, where exactly is our data going, and who has access to it? Who owns it?

I’d like to go back to simpler times, where floppy disks were the preferred medium. With a floppy disk, one can physically hold, throw, or destroy its contents, file it in a cabinet, or store it in the ceiling. There isn’t enough space to store a song, but a thousand journal entries will fit snugly. Therefore, floppy disks can be more productive. But what really gets me excited is the ability to physically file them.

We live in a unique age, where our data follows us throughout our lives. What do we keep for the journey; what do we delete? More than likely, with the enormous amount of drive space available for such low costs, we’ll never have to delete that old book report from the fourth grade; with that comes great organizational responsibility. Is the general population wise enough, or knowledgable enough, to archive their files?

This is where, I believe, the floppy disk excels. I could have a “journal” disk, where I write my journal entries as single text files with the date for the file name. All of these files could be stored in the root directory of the disk; there isn’t any need for further directory structures. Then, I can physically label the disk “Journals” and store it in a cabinet when filled. It will, most likely, last for several years of writing. After all, 1.4MB is a lot of space to fill with words.

This method also address privacy and organizational concerns. In order for one to access my private thoughts, they would need physical access to the disk. Even then, floppy disk drives are somewhat obscure in these modern times. As for organization, my journal entries wouldn’t clutter up my hard drive. Once I fill a disk, I can file it physically and forget about it. When I need it, I can find it. Not only that, but all of my journal entries are in one place: on the disk. A quick search will yield the answer to any query I can give.

I’m only partly into my journey into finding a suitable replacement for these wonderful disks. For obvious reasons, mainly magnetic deterioration and the cease of floppy disk manufacture, I cannot condone using floppy disks. I’d like to find a replacement, so if any of my readers have ideas, please let me know.