What is Floppy Disk?

In the 1980s and 1990s, floppy disks, which were portable disks for data storing, were widely used. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes, including 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch models. A narrow, pliable disk covered with iron oxide was used in floppy disks to hold data mechanically, much like a hard disk. At least one floppy disk drive (FDD), which reads and writes data from floppy drives, was typically included in computers at the time.

The first floppy disks had an 8-inch circumference, were read-only, and contained 80 KB of data; they were mainly used to supplant punch cards when sending data changes to mainframes. The first home computer users' favorite floppy disks were the smaller, more user-friendly 5.25-inch drives. While subsequent models could hold 1.2 Megabytes, earlier versions could only store 360 KB.

Over time, 3.5-inch floppy drives gained popularity over bigger diskettes. The rigid plastic container used by 3.5-inch disks, as opposed to a pliable one, made them more robust. The 3.5-inch 400 KB disk device that was incorporated into the first Apple Macintosh contributed to the format's widespread use. A high-density variant that could hold 1.44 Megabytes of data was introduced in 1987 and ended up being the norm for the following ten years.

Floppy Disks' Decline

Up until the mid-1990s, when CD-ROM devices became widely available, floppy disks were the de facto means for sharing software. For instance, Windows 95 was offered in two editions: a single CD-ROM and a collection of 13 floppy drives. People were able to back up their data to CDs rather than a collection of shaky floppy disks thanks to recordable CD-R devices. The development of the Internet also made it feasible to send data electronically rather than via hard drive.

The first widely used computer without a hard file drive was the initial Apple iMac, which was introduced in 1998. Within a few years, most computer makers followed their example. The floppy disk's reign as the most available portable storage medium came to an end with the invention of the USB flash drive, which was made possible by falling prices for flash memory and the rising popularity of USB connections.

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