3.5 Floppy Drives Is There Any Point To Them Anymore?

Mine’s been broken for about a year, and while I could get a replacement for about $10 I just haven’t seen the need to. I mean, floppy’s only hold 1.44 megs and since I’ve got a CD-R/RW drive, I don’t really need the floppy at all. Anyone else (besides Mac users, of course) think that 3.5 floppies are about to go the way of the 5.25 floppies?

Sure, I always find the need to boot from a floppy at my job. You ever try to edit a file on a CD-RW while in DOS mode? And we have a lot of PC’s that still don’t have CDROM drives (of course with a network there’s not much issue in transferring large files between computers). On the flip side, I’ve used my floppy drive at home approximately twice in the last two years.

They are waaayyyyy past their prime. I mean look at a memory stick. 64mb in something 1/9 the size of a 1.44mb 3.5 floppy. Sure its more expensive but there are also 4mb,16mb etc etc. Less resources wasted and they look real cool. IBM’s next models should just scrap the disks. I know we’ll form the D.T.T.G.R.O.T.S.F.D (Dopers together to get rid of those stupid floppy disks) Or we could just…not. Yeah, I’m all for laziness. :smiley:

But they aren’t automatically supported by BIOS (to the best of my knowledge). Floppy disks are. Sometimes, you have a computer-killing error, and the only way to fix it would be through generous use of the floppy drive.

For example… when I wanted to format my computer and reinstall Windows XP (I wanted to make the system drive bigger), I had to download an automatic XP boot program that took up six floppies that made the whole process easy as pie. Without a floppy drive, it woulda been a bitch.

If it weren’t for my Sony Mavica camera I’d probably never use my floppy drive. About the only other times I use it is to copy stuff for a friend who picks up older computers for cheap and doesn’t have Internet access for me to email to him.

My kids use the floppy drive to copy stuff for taking between home and school or school and friends’ houses. it would be a major disadvantage to them if they weren’t able to do this, as I have no intention if buying a ZIP drive or similar.

Wearia is referring to RAM, which is recognized by the BIOS (otherwise the computer wouldn’t start). But I agree that they still have a use. You also need one to flash (update) certain hardware items, such as an IDE device, or your BIOS. But they are being phased out (slowly).

Sorry. I just read that wrong. That wasn’t about RAM sticks at all… they don’t look cool.

I use mine all the time for school,our local JC does not have CD-RW drives so a floppy is the only option for transporting school work.

Nah, there’s no point to floppies. As for the emergency boot function, just use a bootable CD. CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier) has allowed CD-RW discs to work just like floppies (change, delete, add files on the fly). Slow speed burners are ridiculously cheap, and CDs are UNIVERSALLY compatible. Not to mention you can put a CD-RW disc through a HECK of a lot of abuse, you can get them for CHEAPER than floppies, and they don’t randomly corrupt themselves or become erased by magnets.

The only reason I still use floppies on occasion is that my school requires some assignments to be turned in on floppies. VERY annoying.

I will admit that 90% of the time the are useless but, the thing is, there has not been any “killer device” that has come along to replace them. Zip drives didn’t catch on, memory sticks are still not prevelant enough and CDRW’s are wrong for so many reasons. So far, floppy is still the “universal format”. And, lets admit it, its small, reasonably reliable and will fit most bit of data that require frequent editing. So unless photochopping and movie making overtake word processing, floppys are still useful.

BTW: I still use it a lot to move source code between the lab computers at uni and my laptop. Somehow, I feel a lot more secure about it when it travels on a physical medium as opposed to an online one.

I think the problem with a killer device is not that there aren’t far, far better easier and more advanced devices around, but there is no standardised format. CompactFlash - Memory Stick - SmartMedia - all are great but expensive, and not inter-compatible. Likewise burning to CD everytime is time-consuming and a hassle.

They are needed to put cdrom drivers on, so you can use your new cdrom drive.

I use floppies to carry around copies of word processing files and such. It would be a major pain in the ass to have to burn every little change to a file onto a CD, since burning takes a lot more time than saving to a floppy (especially on the cheapest external burners, which are all I would be able to afford if I wanted to put one on my computer).

Yeah, the boot floppy, and the emergency repair disk, stil come in handy from time to time. And there are all sorts of legacy data files stashed around on floppies that I’d hate to be unable to access.

So, while I rarely use a floppy at work, and at home I only use it to backup my financial spreadsheets, they do have their occasional uses; and I’ve yet to find myself needing that last drive bay for something else.

I use floppies a lot, to transfer files between my work laptop and home PC. Emailing files can be a pain since I have to go through a convoluted dial-up procedure on my work account, and I’d rather not sit there uploading 1-Mb on my 56k dial-up, then connecting to the internet on my home PC to download it on a 56k dial-up. I don’t have a CD burner, and even if I did it’s no different transferring files on CD than it is on disk in terms of effort. With floppies I can leave my laptop at work and still work on files at home.

Floppies are cheaper, and the drive is included in different types of PCs and laptops (external or internal). I use floppies mainly for transfering files between school and home, and if I need to make a Powerpoint presentation I save it on the floppy for use with the classroom’s PC or laptop.

If you do not transfer large amounts of data, what is the use of having anything that holds more than 1.44MB?

Not really. When Windows 95 came out, generic CD-ROM drivers were included. Later versions of Windows expanded the number of availible drivers. Linux also provides drivers as part of the installation. A drive that isn’t recognized is, more or less, unheard of.

I use them frequently, but only because some combination of lame Windows networking software and lame Dell hardware means that my laptop won’t reconnect seamlessly to the network after sleeping. So it’s easier to put small files on a floppy rather than go through the reboot the laptop/poke it with a stick routine.

Same as everyone else.

Transferring data to and from school. All of my assignments are small files, and they don’t have burners at the school, so any assignments started in a lab have to be put on floppy to come home anyway.

All of my boot-up discs are on floppy.

My teenage neighbour can do her homework on her ancient computer at home, and bring it over on floppy to print off.

Basically, they’re cheap and very portable, since pretty much every computer has one. And you can fit a lot of text files on one floppy. Also, I buy mostly CD-R’s, so if I have a small file that needs to be saved externally, I don’t want to waste an entire CD-R on one file.

I find that my CD burner takes care of 90% of my external saving needs, and the floppy drive takes care of my other 10%, so I haven’t bothered to buy a Zip drive or anything similar.