Why such a small floppy disc

  xplatinum 16:54 11 Aug 2003

I cannot undersyand why the floppy disc has such low capacity

  DieSse 17:00 11 Aug 2003

Because it's such an old design and technology.

  tenaka 17:20 11 Aug 2003

Woah, it was big when I started using them buddy.

And then they brought out a bigger disk that was physically a smaller one?????????? (think 5.25 then 3.5)

and then High density, what on *earth* would I need a whopping 1.4mb for ?????

thanks for reminding me of the "good old days".

  DieSse 17:38 11 Aug 2003

I used to use single sided 8" floppies (now they really were floppy) - with a whole 180Kb per disk.

  tenaka 17:42 11 Aug 2003


180Kb !!!

what on earth did you do with all the spare space?

I remember seeing a few of what might have been them at uni during a lecture on media technology.

  Diemmess 17:46 11 Aug 2003

I was a little later, my 8" floppy held a dizzy 320Kb. ....... Don't forget that this had to hold the O/S as well as the application and data.
The computer memory was 64KB

  Gemma 17:47 11 Aug 2003

Try click here for more.

  Peter 17:51 11 Aug 2003


About 22 years ago, if you were lucky, on your CPM machine you had two double-sided, double density 8" disk drives giving a meg per drive. You loaded the programme (WordStar Ver.3 for instance)on one disk and kept you files/documents on the other disk. No hard disks for most people then!

DieSse - Yes those 8" disks were floppy and some were flippy. Flippies? you may ask. Double sided disks for single sided drives. To access the other side you ejected the disk, "flipped" it over and put it back in the drive.


  Terrahawk 17:56 11 Aug 2003

when programs were first introduced they where small by todays standards thus the floppy had it place teneka and Diemess have opened my eyes a bit i only remember as far back as 5.25. It still has its place today usefull for storing docs and such like, bit of a waste burning a 20k doc onto cd but you can throw it on a floppy with no hassle

  DieSse 18:10 11 Aug 2003

Interestingly (or boringly if you prefer), floppy disks were invented by IBM for use on mainframes. As mainframes got more complex, troubleshooting was getting to be a problem, as so much of the system had to be working before a diagnostic ptogram could be loaded, that it became a catch-22 situation.

So IBM invented this ultra simple, low cost device, and built it (hidden) into the computer. The idea being that an engineer could load test/diagnostic routines, with only the minimum of the system actually working.

  Stuartli 18:12 11 Aug 2003

Only used to be 720Kb until around the early 1990s..:-)

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