What are Floppy Disks

Floppy Disks were Alan Shugart (who worked in IBM) in 1971. At that time the floppy disks were the most effective means of transferring data between computers. These disks are made up of a floppy magnetic storage disk encased in a plastic square or rectangular outer shell. As the time progressed, the size of the floppy disks was reduced by more than half with the 8″ version (the earlier one) was being replaced by the 5.25″ and the 3.5″ (newer versions).

These disks remained very popular till the late 1990s until the introduction of flash and optical storage devices such as USB (Universal Serial Bus) sticks and the CDs. In 1998, the Apple decided to remove floppy disk drives from their iMac and this change was followed by other computer manufacturers too and thus the floppy drive started obsoleting.

These drives were only the primary means of adding or transferring data to or from a computer until the CD-ROM drive became popular. Floppy Disk Drives (or FDDs) have been a key component of most personal computers for more than 20 years.

The plastic on which the floppy disks used to write on was a circular piece of metal coated one which was similar to audio cassette tape and was small in size. The three different versions (depending upon their sizes) of floppy disks were:

8 inches: These Floppy disks were the released first and are the oldest category of disk. All 8-inch disks were released in the 1970s. The storage capacity of these disks was between 80 KB and 1,200 KB. 5.25 inches: These disks were available throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. The storage capacity of these disks was between 140 KB and 1,182 KB. These became very popular than the earlier version and also increased the popularity of the format. 3.5 inches: These are the most common type of floppy disk among all the versions available, and are most recently released. Production of these disks began in the early 1980s at storage capacity of 280 KB. In 1987, the storage capacity of 1.44 MB with 3.5 inch floppy disk was introduced. This is the most common and popular floppy disk of all time. Later on the disks with storage capacities of 240 MB also came with this size but were very costly and were replaced by CDs and flash drives.

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