It wasn’t so long ago that 3 Ã?Â½ floppy disks were the ultimate in portable storage, but it appears those days are long gone. Most desktop computers are still equipped with the drives, but laptops rarely come with them. Most of the laptop manufacturers no longer provide the drives even if requested and an external may be the only option. In this article I hope to explore some of the devices that have replaced the floppy.
Its important to remember that the floppy disk was never really designed as a storage backup device. They were really just gave users a way to transport small files. With that in mind the real replacement are the Flash drives. We have known for a while that USB allows very fast connection speeds, which is why many computer peripherals now connect via USB. The USB Flash drive is designed to transport files, and is not really designed as a backup device.
CD-ROM’s are hardly new technology, but the ability to copy them is rather new. These days DVD’s can be copied as well. I consider them more for hard drive backup and music, but they can also be used as portable storage for files. They also have a lot larger capacity than floppy disks which makes them an advantage. Generally CD’s take a while to write to which is a disadvantage.
There are of course other options for portable storage. Zip drives allow for large capacity, but have been somewhat fazed out by CD’s. Also Zip drives do not come standard in computers and are often sold as external devices. E-mail is also now heavily used to transfer files, the disadvantages are upload and download times. These transfer times have been reduced by high speed Internet connections. One of the newest form of storage is online storage. In many cases the entire capacity of hard drives can be stores online.
As sad as it seems floppy disks may be in the past. They have been a very useful storage medium in the past. Problems such as low capacity space and problems occurring that can make this storage unreadable. USB drives are very small and offer fast transfer times and with the prices continue to go down are likely to totally replace floppy disks. Most of the other formats are unlikely to fully replace floppy disks because they are not small enough.