Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Floppies? People still use them?

There is an article on Flexbeta titled The End of a Floppy Era. Now maybe I'm wrong, but I was under impression that the Floppy Era ended quite a few years ago. I think that Mr. Joseph McCollum was sleeping under some rock for a while now, and he just woke up. I haven't used a floppy for anything serious in quite a while now.

The only people who actually still use floppies are few of my CMPT 109 students who simply didn't know any better (or didn't care) and my brother who still uses Win98 and he never has any space on his zip drives that he uses for backup. And he doesn't know any better either, so there...

For me the best indication that the Floppies are dead is the fact that when I asked for final project to be submitted on physical media, in addition to a hard copy printout over half of the students burned me CD's (the project itself was a ppt presentation, and a paper which in most did not exceed 1MB).

I also had a student who had no real concept of file system, or multitasking and spatial navigation (ie. the fact that when you open a new full screen window, all the other open windows are still underneath and all the open programs are still running). Yet, when I told her to save the file on a floppy or to BlackBoard so that she can work on it at home, she replied "naw, I'll just put it on my thingy". Then she proceeded to fetch the thingy which was a 512 MB USB stick from her purse. If people like her can figure out that flashdrive is better than floppy, then I think anyone can. So yeah, the floppy is dead.

And you know what - I don't think flash drives killed it. I think broadband did. Right now, if you have DSL or cable, it is actually faster to email a floppy sized file to yourself than to wait for it to be written to the disk. And more convenient because you do not have to remember to carry it around with you.


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