Do you use floppies?

I sure don’t. All software comes on CDs and DVDs these days, and all file transferring I do occurs over an ethernet or the Internet. If it’s something that’s sufficiently huge that burning a CD or DVD will take less time than transferring over the Internet, then I’ll do that. But that’s pretty rare. And in any case, I wouldn’t want to copy multi-gig files on thousands of 1.44MB floppies.

So why in God’s name do PC motherboards still have floppy controllers?!

No, never. BIOSs these days can boot from CDs too, so that’s not even a reason to keep such a worthless piece of legacy hardware.

And along that line of thought, do PCs these days use PS/2 or USB mice and keyboards? We could also stand to modernize the keyboard itself, since it’s full of keys that have very little use in language (tildes and underscores, for instance; these are common in shell syntaxes and programming languages, though, because, well, they were there for some reason and they got used) or are only very rarely used in programs (scroll lock).

I use floppies for documents, or a few pictures. They’re faster, more durable, and you can edit them from any computer multiple times.

I still use floppies. I use them for transfering documents between multiple locations. These fit on a floppy quite nicely.

My own computer is quite old, and I’m not really sure whether those flash memory sticks work with it. Furthermore I’m not sure whether all other computers can immediately read those memory sticks. I don’t have a CD burner, and a lot of office/public computers don’t have a CD-ROM station.

E-mailing is not an option if you have to work with multiple locations. And sometimes e-mail gets lost. I do use a virtual disk at my ISP, but again not every computer may have immediate internet access, and sometimes the ISP has server problems.

Last but not least I find floppies a handy mobile backup system.

And welcome to the SDMB, Max Walrus.

Thanks. I was directed here because I was complaining about a lack of intelligent discussion at another board. Looks like a fun place, but perhaps a little stale.

I used to be the number one advocate of retaining floppies, but a new PC and a new USB pen almost converted me – until I discovered that half of my colleagues run Windows 98 on old laptops that don’t have the drivers to handle USB pens.

Until businesses like this one (80,000+ worldwide) convert en masse to newer hardware/OS’, and are willing to pay for USB pens or CD burners for all staff there will remain a market for floppies.

I haven’t included a floppy on either of the last two computers I’ve built, and haven’t missed them at all. E-mail handles anything that might fit on a floppy, and I can burn anything else to CD. I suppose some might still use floppies, but considering I can build a new office-jockey computer for something like $200-300 and the fact that broadband is nearly ubiquitous, I don’t see a huge need for floppies anymore.

I use floppies at least a couple times a week.

I do free work on old computers for friends, and the occassional paid job for a stranger. I don’t mean “old” as in “only a 1 Ghz processor and a 20 Gig harddrive”. I mean old as in, “still running windows 95 / 98, with at most a 1.5 Gig harddrive”.

Usually there is a CD drive on the computer, but I can never trust that it works properly. Moreover, I’ve yet to find a CD drive that could reliably read enough different types of burned CDs to make them useful. When I’m booting to DOS to check things out, a floppy almost always works best. I can almost always assume that someone has a working floppy drive on their computer.

Floppies are also, in my experience, more reliable. I’ve never wasted a floppy due to incorrect writing to it. That happens often with a CD. True, CDs aren’t particularly expensive, but why use a disposable media instead of a reusable one? I can recall only about 4 times that a floppy has gone bad on me. CDs get scratched all to hell if you look at them cross-eyed. An old Windows 95 CD of mine is nearly worthless because of its scratches, even though I’ve not abused it. Contrarily, my floppies for Windows 3.0 and DOS 5.0 still work like a charm.

The number of places where floppies are usefull are limited, and diminishing all the time. Still, I think they’ll be in use for at least 3 or 4 more years before they really start their mass extinction.

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giggles at broadband being “nearly ubiquitous”

Yes, I found that very amusing too.

One factor that never seems to get as much publicity as it should: lots of people don’t have internet access, even dial-up access. You’d be surprised at the number of small – and occasionally large – businesses that don’t see the need to provide web and email access (or find it too risky or costly). Also, for those of us that don’t often work from an office the need for a portable data storage and transfer device is a little more complicated too.

My students use floppies for transferring assignmets between home and school.

I got me a nice little disgo for file transfere etc.

Very rarley use floppies. I do have several on my desk however, boot CD’s mostly but haven’t used them in a while.

Unfortunately, I still have to deal with floppies. I use a USB pen or CDs to transfer files within my library and I’ve found that to be much more efficient and reliable. But the patrons who use my library either don’t have computers at home, or they have old machines and floppies are their only way of transferring files.

It seems like floppies have become much more unreliable lately, though. At least four times a week I’m being asked if I can find files on a floppy that was working just fine yesterday but now is coming up with error messages. I’ll be glad when we’ve gotten past floppies and I just don’t have to mess with them anymore!

I’ll only use a floppy to boot up to command prompt on old machines or to transfer a small file to a machine that doesn’t have ethernet. And I always make sure anything I put on one is backed up on a reliable format–the moment I copy to it, I just automatically assume it’s going to go bad instantly.

I haven’t regularly used floppies for about…6 years, I believe. They’re extremely unreliable. I’m tired of having 1 in 5 go bad with minutes of first use. Plus they’re small in capacity and slow.

I have a Sony Mavica digital camera that saves the pics directly to a 3.5 floppy. So I’ll still be using floppies until I can afford to upgrade to a newer camera.

My daughter uses floppies to bring documents to and from school.

Other than those two uses, though, I rarely use them anymore.

I still use floppy disks too for the occasional document or file transfer to another user’s machine. I also have a Mavica digital camera and those pics are stored on floppy too.

What are these things called floppies?

I still install my old floppy drives when I built new computers. I don’t know why, I just need to hear the the floppy make that little buzzing noise when it starts or things just aren’t right :smiley:

I still use some fairly unusual keys in my work (data entry type stuff generally) so I need my little tilde key. Scroll lock is useless and I haven’t used that key, ever.

I use a USB wireless mouse and keyboard at home but my older keyboards are still PS/2 and so I like the ability to change back and forth.

I use diskettes a few times a month. The desktops here at work have USB ports in the back of the machine. Although I prefer to use my USB key to transfer files to stand-alone machines, it’s a bitch to get to the back of the machine.

For personal use, I either burn a CD or use my USB key.

I also have a Mavica camera, so I still use floppies. I don’t use that camera much anymore, but I do once in awhile.

I use floppies while traveling too - I take pictures with my non-floppie Sony digi cam (I have 2 digital cams), transfer them to my laptop, resize, then transfer to floppy to bring to internet cafés fro emailing. Most internet cafés won’t allow you to install software for picture transfer, so floppies are convenient.

Unless someone else has a better way to get 2MB pictures emailed when the only access is through internet cafés? I suppose most public computers have some image resizing software on them, but I’d rather do it on my own laptop. But if the café’s don’t allow you to run a CD, what to do?

I use them every now and then, like when the BIOS needs updating, though my MoBo company has a utility that doesn’t require floppies now. But I have a CD burner, a backup hard drive in an enclosure that makes it portable, and DSL, so I can just email it to another computer, if nothing else.