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Sony discontinues floppy disks in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 25 Apr 2010 23:30 User comments (40)

Sony discontinues floppy disks in Japan Sony has announced this weekend that they will be discontinuing all sales of the 3.5-inch floppy disc in Japan starting in 2011, effectively killing off the three decade old disk type.
The company helped pioneer the disk in 1981, introducing the technology that year and then starting to sell the discs in 1983.

At its height in the year 2000, Sony shipped 47 million disks, but that number has progressively fallen, reaching just 8.5 million in 2009. However, that also begs the question, why were so many floppies shipped even in 2009 and who is still using them?

Sony holds 70 percent of the Japanese market share for the disks, compared to around 40 percent globally.

The company cited lack of demand as the main reasoning behind the decision, given the cheap prices of much smaller and higher capacity devices, like USB flash drives.

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40 user comments

125.4.2010 23:55

Quote:
However, that also begs the question, why were so many floppies shipped even in 2009 and who is still using them?
My thoughts exactly :S

226.4.2010 0:35

Originally posted by Morreale:
Quote:
However, that also begs the question, why were so many floppies shipped even in 2009 and who is still using them?
My thoughts exactly :S
well floppy's are still used to update or load bios anyone who builds or keeps their bios up to date uses them

326.4.2010 2:21

not m

Originally posted by lmadope:
Originally posted by Morreale:
Quote:
However, that also begs the question, why were so many floppies shipped even in 2009 and who is still using them?
My thoughts exactly :S
well floppy's are still used to update or load bios anyone who builds or keeps their bios up to date uses them
Not me I use my thumb drive it's much safer

426.4.2010 2:37

Same. Thumb drive here. Floppies have always been unreliable.

526.4.2010 6:13

I stopped using them years ago. I cannot believe they are still used. I don't even have a PC with a floopy drive.

626.4.2010 6:20

i stopped using them years ago cause when I needed 1 for something there was no where to buy 1 from.who seriously wants something that can hold 1.44 MB when we have USB sticks half the size that can hold 128GB.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

726.4.2010 7:00
Paula_X
Inactive

It's all a matter of IF you can access and mount a usb stick.. not all hardware will and if you are dealing with a corrupt bios theres often NO way to get into the routine except by an old and 100% supported method.

Way too much these days is designed to make things impossible for normal people to fix without masses of expensive and specific equipment..

Carry on down the gas guzzling more power.. more power computers you all seem to be addicted to.. I'm gong the other way getting more from less.. because this "new new more more waste waste" world will come to an end soon and there will be a need for people who know how to make things work without all the power you children waste to play games......

826.4.2010 9:36

Originally posted by Paula_X:
It's all a matter of IF you can access and mount a usb stick.. not all hardware will and if you are dealing with a corrupt bios theres often NO way to get into the routine except by an old and 100% supported method.

Way too much these days is designed to make things impossible for normal people to fix without masses of expensive and specific equipment..

Carry on down the gas guzzling more power.. more power computers you all seem to be addicted to.. I'm gong the other way getting more from less.. because this "new new more more waste waste" world will come to an end soon and there will be a need for people who know how to make things work without all the power you children waste to play games......
Ok have fun regressing dude we'll miss you in the future
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Apr 2010 @ 9:37

926.4.2010 10:11

Originally posted by xyqo:
Originally posted by Paula_X:
It's all a matter of IF you can access and mount a usb stick.. not all hardware will and if you are dealing with a corrupt bios theres often NO way to get into the routine except by an old and 100% supported method.

Way too much these days is designed to make things impossible for normal people to fix without masses of expensive and specific equipment..

Carry on down the gas guzzling more power.. more power computers you all seem to be addicted to.. I'm gong the other way getting more from less.. because this "new new more more waste waste" world will come to an end soon and there will be a need for people who know how to make things work without all the power you children waste to play games......
Ok have fun regressing dude we'll miss you in the future

He's right not all mobos will boot from USB so you need a floppy drive around and a bootloader to boot the USB if possible.... ^^

1026.4.2010 11:45

zippy & paula are right about older motherboards won't boot from usb when bios is messed up. have fixed a few bioses by booting off a win98 bootdisk to correct the bios.

1126.4.2010 12:44

You guys are right, but the key word here is "old". I could dig out my 4 original Win2k floppies if I wanted, but why? Also, I dont see how knowing how to boot a system with a floppy is going to help us in an Armageddon type of situation, I would rather know how to fly a plane or refine gasoline or wire a solar panel, something like that.

1226.4.2010 13:36

What's a Floppy Disc?

1326.4.2010 13:46

the predecessor to the cd & dvd. can be 3.5", 5.25" or even 8" which i have a carton of & still sealed. capacity for the 5.25" was from 180kb to 1.2megs. 3.5" was from 720k to 2.88meg. the 8" is about 1meg.

1426.4.2010 14:17

Originally posted by ddp:
the predecessor to the cd & dvd. can be 3.5", 5.25" or even 8" which i have a carton of & still sealed. capacity for the 5.25" was from 180kb to 1.2megs. 3.5" was from 720k to 2.88meg. the 8" is about 1meg.
Does that include the paper floppies? I believe that's where they got the name "floppy" from.

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
i stopped using them years ago cause when I needed 1 for something there was no where to buy 1 from.who seriously wants something that can hold 1.44 MB when we have USB sticks half the size that can hold 128GB.
With the exception of 5-10 year old motherboards needing a floppy for BIOS updates nothing needs a floppy anymore. As for flash drives Kingston has a 256GB flash drive, see here, out but it costs $843.67. Various companies offer 16GB ones for >$50, however.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Apr 2010 @ 14:18

1526.4.2010 15:16

Not only PC's use floppies - ask anyone with a computerized sewing machine.
There are lots around that cannot be converted to USB without major (expensive) surgery.

1626.4.2010 22:46

A lot of older CNC shops still use floppies too...drilling holes hasn't changed much since the eighties...but the computers that control the hole drillers sure have...and some of those machines came with 5.25" or even 8" drives, only later converted to 3.5" drives.

Still, 47 million disks is rather amazing; just think, there is still enough floppy-based tech out there to use up all those disks and more.

1727.4.2010 0:01

Originally posted by attar:
Not only PC's use floppies - ask anyone with a computerized sewing machine.
There are lots around that cannot be converted to USB without major (expensive) surgery.
Hah, at my college we used oscilloscopes for one of our lab. We needed to capture the image on the oscilloscope. It had a built in floppy drive, so that's what we used to capture the images. Everything was great till we tried to put the floppy into a computer. Why? The computers at the school didn't have a floppy drive.

I'm sure they sell new oscilloscopes with usb ports now though, but it's 2010 and we're still using ones with floppy drives.

1827.4.2010 2:37

I think you still have developing countries using them.

1927.4.2010 4:52

Originally posted by TBandit:
I think you still have developing countries using them.
You mean countries like the USA, Japan, Germany, etc? Because most of the still-in-service equipment that needs floppies is still in these countries.

Developing nations don't bother much with floppies just because of the fact that they are still "developing", and they did not buy all this expensive equipment back when floppies were the standard. They may buy used equipment from other countries, but for the most part, it is newer stuff.

2027.4.2010 9:46

reminds me of the old apple 2e computer lab in school... great now I'm old..

2128.4.2010 4:49

Ok lets clear it up.

1. Yes your right not all bios's support boot by USB for flashing, in which case i have to waste pennies and write a CDR or load the new bios to another hdd and load of that, so even without a floppy ive always been able to perform a flash.

2. most modern bios now have winflash tools and as i realised recently when i had a problem with a PC i could even flash from the CD without even booting an OS thanks to bios level support.

3. Old applications which use floppies can still be performed using USB floppy drives which are still avalible, im sure the few applications that still need floppy disk drives will be able to live off the stock of 3.5" drives that are still out in warehouses all over the place.

4. Floppy recovery of a corrupt bios assumes the part of the bios which deals with posting to boot of supported media is also still in working, if not its not booting and wouldnt to any media. The real corrupt bios fix in the old days was the hot swap, booting off a clean bois, swapping it hot and flashing the bad bios. lol did that a few times in the 286 and 386 days.

Growing up with floppy disks i saw them die from the most obscure things and corrupt data, most memorable was a friend who did all of his school work over a number of days. He saved it to disk, walked to mine (10 mins) to print it out, only to find his polyester coat pocket (haha the fist incarnations of a shell suit i think (dont get me started there)) had caused sufficent static charge to unformat his disk for him. HAHA

That combined with the fact, its was very rare to get two drives which still had good head alignment. I used to pull my hair out trying to remember which drive i had was best for laying a master format to a disk, as if performed in other drives the head miss alignment would mean it couldnt read it back in other drives.

So i for one are glad to see this old horse of the data storage selection layed to bed, just wish we could drop all magnetic media totally and get rip of magnetic hdd as well.

Movement = Impending Faliure, although it maybe a long one it will die die die you you... errr magnatised SOBS!!

2228.4.2010 5:00

Originally posted by plazma247:
Ok lets clear it up.

1. Yes your right not all bios's support boot by USB for flashing, in which case i have to waste pennies and write a CDR or load the new bios to another hdd and load of that, so even without a floppy ive always been able to perform a flash.

2. most modern bios now have winflash tools and as i realised recently when i had a problem with a PC i could even flash from the CD without even booting an OS thanks to bios level support.

3. Old applications which use floppies can still be performed using USB floppy drives which are still avalible, im sure the few applications that still need floppy disk drives will be able to live off the stock of 3.5" drives that are still out in warehouses all over the place.

4. Floppy recovery of a corrupt bios assumes the part of the bios which deals with posting to boot of supported media is also still in working, if not its not booting and wouldnt to any media. The real corrupt bios fix in the old days was the hot swap, booting off a clean bois, swapping it hot and flashing the bad bios. lol did that a few times in the 286 and 386 days.

Growing up with floppy disks i saw them die from the most obscure things and corrupt data, most memorable was a friend who did all of his school work over a number of days. He saved it to disk, walked to mine (10 mins) to print it out, only to find his polyester coat pocket (haha the fist incarnations of a shell suit i think (dont get me started there)) had caused sufficent static charge to unformat his disk for him. HAHA

That combined with the fact, its was very rare to get two drives which still had good head alignment. I used to pull my hair out trying to remember which drive i had was best for laying a master format to a disk, as if performed in other drives the head miss alignment would mean it couldnt read it back in other drives.

So i for one are glad to see this old horse of the data storage selection layed to bed, just wish we could drop all magnetic media totally and get rip of magnetic hdd as well.

Movement = Impending Faliure, although it maybe a long one it will die die die you you... errr magnatised SOBS!!


Not all floppy discs are old and not all readers are bad......just saying is all....

2328.4.2010 5:02

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
Originally posted by ddp:
the predecessor to the cd & dvd. can be 3.5", 5.25" or even 8" which i have a carton of & still sealed. capacity for the 5.25" was from 180kb to 1.2megs. 3.5" was from 720k to 2.88meg. the 8" is about 1meg.
Does that include the paper floppies? I believe that's where they got the name "floppy" from.

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
i stopped using them years ago cause when I needed 1 for something there was no where to buy 1 from.who seriously wants something that can hold 1.44 MB when we have USB sticks half the size that can hold 128GB.
With the exception of 5-10 year old motherboards needing a floppy for BIOS updates nothing needs a floppy anymore. As for flash drives Kingston has a 256GB flash drive, see here, out but it costs $843.67. Various companies offer 16GB ones for >$50, however.

Not to mention 2,4 and 8GB models are mostly under 15$ as low as 6$ even.

2428.4.2010 5:04

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:


Not all floppy discs are old and not all readers are bad......just saying is all....
Your right, But they are all frekkin EVIL you hear me, booo magnteic media.

2528.4.2010 6:43

I want to add one more thing to this thread. Almost all the 3.5 floppy disc I ever had became corrupted at one time or another.

2628.4.2010 7:27

One thing this thread has done has re-kindled old memories of running around the computer lab with big magents stolen from science and watching the face on the teacher as all the students all of a sudden complained that disks didnt work.

You know he never said anything but to this day im pretty sure he realised there was a connection between me walking past work bays and disks dying.

Needless to say i think he enjoyed the free periods as much as we did.

Oh and also the time i had a full out argument infront of a 120 people with the lecture that all HDD were not called winchester disk and was only the code name for an ibm disk that bore a 30/30 setup and they named if after a wincherter 30/30 rifle, all subsiquent disks may have been refered to as winchester but its like calling an i7 a pentium cpu.

Needless to say 20 mintues into our argument and after she offered me to take the lecture and me accepting she backed down said she would look into it and moved on with something else.

Personally i dont think she ever forgave me for showing her up like that.

2728.4.2010 12:31

plazma247, what do you think hard drives are but as you say "But they are all frekkin EVIL you hear me, booo magnteic media."?

2828.4.2010 12:33

Quote:
plazma247


Your right, But they are all frekkin EVIL you hear me, booo magnteic media.
One word...HArddrive...


DDP
CURSE YOU!!! you crippled the reply button so you could ninja me!!!!

2928.4.2010 12:41

zippy, remember i have the lightning bolts.

3028.4.2010 12:44

Quote:
ddp
Send private message to this user
Moderator

zippy, remember i have the lightning bolts.

Remember I like noming on sockets. ^_~

3128.4.2010 13:10

zippy, noming on sockets. ^_~ ?

3228.4.2010 13:15

EVIL AS WELL, i want cheaper SSD Devices so we can drop magnetic media completely it should have gone out with the VHS.

New memory technology over the next 5 years should fully start to realise this.

However the real promis is coming along in 3D Optical devices.

There is other types of storage systems which are probably still further off, but magnetic media has only lasted so long due to its attractive price over the alternatives.

What we used to do with Floppy we Then Did with CD's Then DVD's and Now far more frequently USB Solid State Memory, which has been the basic path of the take it away and some place else media storage.

However the hard Disk has virtualy remaind the same since the IBM 3040 Drive first got introduced, ok we have had various new innovations that have allowed us to sequeze even more and more out of the hard disk, im not even going to start to pretend that its over yet, im sure there will be much more to come still.

But what im saying is large gap between the level of Faster Quiter More Engery Efficent SSD Drives has now closed to the point say a 33GB SSD is not going to scare you away when you see the price. The power savings can be a lot, in desktop machines, i dont know about any one else buy my machines are on most of the time thats lots of spinning motors, platters and heads that is power wasted and personally i cant wait see SSD drives drop some more so i can affford a decent sized drive as a boot drive so instead of having to spin up a raid striped array of drives to get the speed.

When i say its evil, its because we all so convinced its that great, when every other extension of the computer has moved forward in leaps and bounds.

Look at output as a function.

1. Printers (PAPER PRODUCTION AND REPLICATION)
Goes along the lines of.
Daisy Wheel, Dotmatrix, Thermal Ribbon/Bubble Jet, Ink Jet, Laser

Whenever a new technology got invented and the price came down people switched over and we got the better tech at the lower price.

2. Video
(im not listing all the video standareds this is just genralised before you flame me)
Mono, CGA, EGA, VGA, SVGA until we got to a point where it still wasnt enough until we got upto todays moden 1080p and higher dispay systems.
Along the way we increasingly got more colours, deapth brightness and a better reproduction.
The other Side is going from a mono tube (Cathod Ray Gun) pointed at your head to OLED Displays and Laser Projection systems.

3. The Removable storage media i listed above but this equates to.
Punch Card, Tape, Big Big Floppy, Big Floppy, Smaller Floppy, LS120/ZIP, CD, DVD and SSD Memory in the form of USB or memory card.

Inside the machine things have changed as well, completely sepirate systems merged and lines got crossed with GPU's out performing the Core CPU (something someone of the 1990's would have fallen around the floor laughting if you had told them yours did). Chipsets and new CPUS eating up more and more parts.

The hard Disk tho has pretty much stayed the same, tracks and sectors have grown smaller to provide more space, but essentially we stuck with the hdd as it was the most cost effective solution.

But as things are now starting to change as some laptops come as standard with SSD drives and most netbook are based on them we will see more use in the desktop market as prices drops further still.

How many hearts have been broken by lost data due to hard disk fault, howmany companies have lost money due to data lost, the family memories lost, think of the children !!!

So instead of defending the HDD we should be embracing the SSD generation more and moving on.

As with so many of previous peices of tech we can look back and go "did we seriously ever use that".

So when i say the HDD is evil, belive me when your asleep at night and dreaming nice things, its sitting there just waiting, just for that right moment for your world to fall apart.

Losing a hard drive can vary from what equates to a friend dying for the shear amount of valude date that was lost. To a state where you have backups and fall backs but still had to endure the process of putting it back and making it all work again, which probably equates to bumping into a person you didnt really like. Whilst already in a resturant and getting asked if they can sit down to lunch with you, to polite to refuse you have to go through with the short ordeal anyway.

SSD disk are not flawless but its far less then them magically to stop working and wreak peoples lives. MAHAhaha

3328.4.2010 13:56

Quote:
plazma247
snip


What about the write limit to SDD? Even if its faster and cheaper than a HDD I'd trust my data more to blu ray than SDD.... unles it was half the price GB wise....

3428.4.2010 14:01

Zippy is that not exactly what i said!

Yes theres a Write limit, but its a plausable faliure time instead of an unknow ticking time bomb.

And the price will come down, it has and will continue to... like i said .. !

As for trusting data to blueray its all fine and good, but thats large storage removable media, not internal storage.

3528.4.2010 14:04

plazma247
Well untill tis half the price of HDD's by the GB its not worth my investment....

3628.4.2010 21:21

Sony To Discontinue Sales Of Floppy Disks In Japan: Ah, Floppy disks, if you’re quite young, you may not even have


flight of fantasy

3729.4.2010 0:53

Floppy disks? You mean those things I used to save porn pics on in 5th grade when we went to Computer Lab class?

3830.4.2010 5:27

Originally posted by plazma247:
Zippy is that not exactly what i said!

Yes theres a Write limit, but its a plausable faliure time instead of an unknow ticking time bomb.
No, it is a progressive failure in progress, and it still has a higher spontanious failure rate than a hard disk.

Plus, flash does not have much future. It is right at the edge of the theoretical limits, and there are at least 6 competing technologies that do the same job much better. The only reason these technologies are not in all of our cell phones is the fact that selling incremental flash drives (2GB, then 4, then 8, etc) allows the flash producer to make money of the same customer over and over again...you don't get that from a 1TB drive. The fact is that 1TB non-flash drive prototypes have been around for years...but there is a lot more money (and less initial investment) in selling 32GB SD cards instead.

I'm waiting for the day that AD posts a news story about SanDisk discontinuing SD cards because they are so obsolite...a news story that might have happened in the next few years if not for corporate greed.

Yes, I would love to dump all my magnetic media, and just put everything onto a pile of 1TB non-flash drives...but it isn't going to happen any time soon...and by the time it does, 1TB will probably be considered small.

391.5.2010 10:16

I know it sounds dorky, but I had a "funeral" for the floppy disk.

I filmed the entire thing:

http://www.thecynch.com/video-funeral-for-a-floppy/

-Cynthia

401.5.2010 16:00

Originally posted by thecynch:
I know it sounds dorky, but I had a "funeral" for the floppy disk.

I filmed the entire thing:

http://www.thecynch.com/video-funeral-for-a-floppy/

-Cynthia
Nice.

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