Anybody still use a:\ ?

  WhiteTruckMan 22:56 21 Apr 2008
Locked

Fot the benefit of the nit pickers, I'm talking about floppy disks and their drives, not the virtual a drive that you get with some usb pen drives.

I'm posting this because for the last year or so I have had the dubious pleasure of manually carrying floppy disks from my customers containing all the details of every consignment, to the place I work out of. Once there, I download them to an antique dos based legacy machine, which forewards them via modem to the companies main server, about 100 miles away. About half the time I cannot get a download from the disks, so I have to scandisk them, with variable results. Usually this results in lost data as all the disks have bad sectors, and if 3 consecutive scans throws up baddies then I bin the disk.

However, the point of this minor rant/ramble is that I was told today by the customers that all the data is emailed at the time of production (of the data). I can't bang my head against the wall to relieve the frustration as this is against company policy. Floppys arent reliable enough (well, these ones aren't) to be called a backup. Yet no-one will consign these ancient systems to the bin

Does anyone else feel as I do that floppy disks should be consigned to history, along with tape drives, paper tape and punched cards? Is anyone still actually making this technology, or is it coasting along on the remaining stocks in warehouses around the world??

WTM

  anskyber 23:03 21 Apr 2008

Some do love them, a thread a year or so ago saw a strong defence of this equivalent of the manual typewriter.

It's now rubbish techno. Nice for the quaint types though.

  Earthsea 23:18 21 Apr 2008

Floppy discs are a cheap and easy way of storing small amounts of data, so they're ideal for old machines with floppy drives. They were the norm for a good many years and generally pretty reliable, although there would be the occasional duff one.

I can't bring myself to slag them off, but would I want to use them again? Not a chance, unless I had to!

  jz 23:59 21 Apr 2008

I use them at work still. I use electronic test equipment where the only way to get data into and out of the equipment is with a floppy disk. Luckily, my work PC still has a floppy drive.

  interzone55 09:36 22 Apr 2008

I used to have to do a similar job at one place. I had to download the consignment data from 3 PCs in a despatch area, then walk across the building - it was a big building so it was about 100m walk - to my PC where I uploaded the data into a little DOS utility that calculated the costs.

Each PC used 3 floppies - single parcel consignments, multiple parcel consignments & manual despatches - so each day I had 9 floppies. They all worked at the time of writing, but each day at least 4 would fail due to CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) errors or sometimes they were just plain blank. Now I'm not aware of walking past any giant magnets on the way to my desk, so I can only assume that the disks were rubbish. The real worry is that these would often be blanks taken straight from the box.

I can see a continued purpose for the floppy, especially in places with legacy systems that can't be networked for security reasons, but the people running these systems need to start thinking of ways to join the 21st century because floppy disks are incredibly unreliable and most companies have stopped making the media.

  belfman 10:26 22 Apr 2008

We use them at work to rebuild our tills.

  techie4me 10:35 22 Apr 2008

Use Floppy Disks daily at work.
Most commands are DOS based & only work via a Floppy Disk Drive.

  Curio 10:56 22 Apr 2008

Still have use for floppies. Even have a 'mobile' floppy drive unit for use on any XP and above PC. While it works, I see no reason to bin it.

  Picklefactory 12:03 22 Apr 2008

Rarely, for SATA drivers on Windows recovery/setup etc.

  Legolas 12:29 22 Apr 2008

I will still defend the floppy and have a USB floppy disk drive for my laptop, although having said that I think I have used it once. It is certainly now seen as "old technology" but as we have seen from this thread it is by no means defunct.

Long live the floppy.

  Stuartli 13:25 22 Apr 2008

When my last floppy drive (a Hitachi) packed up after 11 years' use, I immediately nipped out and bought a Sony from a local computer outlet - it cost just under a fiver...:-)

Only used it about four or five times over the past year or so, but would have been stuck without it.

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