The floppy disk, beloved by Bill Gates and still alive and well

The floppy disk, beloved by Bill Gates and still alive and well

The diskettes or floppy diskettes were one of the most popular forms of storage between the 1980s and 1990s, losing popularity with the new millennium.

Although they were discontinued in 2011 when Sony “decreed his death”, the diskettes are kept alive.

One of his fans is Bill Gateswho recalled them by mentioning a Wired article on their prevalence.

“I can’t help but think of the good old days when reading this. The diskette has always had a special place in my heart, and it’s fun to see it still being used in some special cases,” tweeted the philanthropist and founder of Microsoft.

Why are floppy disks still in use?

Floppy disks or floppy drive are still the method of data transfer for many machines, even those manufactured in the 2000s.

Wired gives the example of some Boeing 747s, Boeing 767s, Airbus A320s, among others. The diskettes are used to update your software.

Industrial machines also have al diskette as their primary method of data transfer. Many of them still have at least a couple of decades more of estimated time in use, so it is difficult for the diskette really say goodbye.

Other companies offer adapters that can convert the interface of diskette a USB, but these depend on the device to which they will be installed.

The floppy disk merchant

Tom Persky of the web site is a specialist in selling floppy diskettes. He says that 20 or 25 years ago he could get them for $0.07 a unit, but now he sells them for $1 each.

A big part of Persky’s job is to find lots of diskettes for resale.

“There is a global inventory of diskettes that were manufactured 10, 20, or 30 years ago. It’s fixed and we’re running out of it day by day. I have no idea how big it is. It’s probably gigantic, but it’s scattered. There’s nobody with half a million floppy disks, but there are half a million people with a 10-pack,” he explained.

Persky doesn’t think he will run out of diskettes to sell. He is 73 years old and only plans to work five more years and doesn’t think anyone is “dumb enough” to buy his company.


Daniel Chapman