May 30, 2016

Somehow I can Never Forget Floppy Disks

The floppy disk also called, the floppy diskette is the type of storage disk composed of a thin magnetic storage medium packed in a rectangular plastic carrier covered with fabric to safe magnetic disk from dust particles. Floppy disks are read by Floppy disk drive(FDD).

The previous computers are equipped with FDD drives, but with the advancement in technology or with the invention of compact disks, that are read and written by CD-Roms having optical lenses, the floppy disks are rarely used. While Floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with, old outdated industrial computer equipment, or application programmes, that has been equipped with the huge capacity to store data.

English: 8-inch, 5,25-inch, and 3,5-inch flopp...

English: 8-inch, 5,25-inch, and 3,5-inch floppy disks Русский: Дискеты: 8-дюймовая, 5,25 и 3,5 дюйма Español: Disquettes de 8 pulgadas, 5.25, y 3.5. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Appreciation of floppy disks:

It may seem that technology world may lock into an endless cycle of renewal but not when it comes under floppy disks. More than 50 years ago when computer technology in its initial phase like floppy drives use to store data, but as in the case of appreciation the US Nuclear Weapon force still employs the 1970’s old computers equipped with  FDD for the safety and security of their nuclear program.

Rainsford,  a spoke person for media firm said floppy disks are used because “they are just too useful.”  He said that still in some industries floppy disks are used in plants that sit on production lines, and those parts of industrial facilities are implausible to be changed, shutdown or updated soon because most of the industrial uses like mend, milling, and precession cutters require a variety of commands to work in an efficient manner.

“The machine production patterns remains the same and the company that developed the equipment may go out of business” as technology changed he said. The change occurs only in the volume of disks, as it only turns out “thousands” of disks usage per month, far less than millions cranked out in the mid-90s when the technology was pervasive

However, he also said that the customers that still use floppy disks are essential to keep that business going.

Mr. Rainsford said that “The death of the floppy disks are announced many times” he stated that 21 years ago it sounded for the first time when Microsoft start shipping Windows on CDs instead of Floppy drives.


Safety Systems:

Kevin Murrell, director of the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, said that it is not the unusual case that the Floppy Drives and the systems that use them are stuck around. He stated that “it is a good thing,” the old proper technology that still works efficiently.

"We regularly read floppy disks from 40 years ago, and they are as good as new," he said.

There is an issue with the magnetic tapes, because when the drive is on the Stagger, you have a lot of different layers, so you have “print through”. This incorporates the shadow of data on one section of tape and imposed on layers above and below. Due to this obstruction data quickly gets harder to read.

Safety critical computers are built for a specific purpose, and they required a lot of time or effort to update. As a result, many stay in old software for decades. An example of critical safety computers are Marconi TAC machine that monitors the reactors at the “Wylfa nuclear power station”. It used 8inch floppy disks and turned off in 2004.


Hunting parts:

James Bailey, director at Hyper-scale IT facility, helps firms to find parts for their old computer systems. He said that many organizations still using the servers and software that were more than one decade old.

Hyperscale helps firms by providing, power supplies, memory modules, and many other components to keep on going these servers,  and software to maintain the services that these firms provides. Companies and different organizations’ still uses old outdated computers because they still works and the time and money required to update them is finite.

“Firms are often afraid to spend, money on updating old systems just because they still works, and the ending result of updating, will not progress the business,” he said.

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