Sony Closes the Drive Door on Floppy Disks

sony closes the drive door on floppy disks 3 5 inch disk

There’s Old Media…and then there’s old media. Electronics and technology giant Sony has announced (Japanese) that, as of March 2011, it will no longer manufacture that once-ubiquitous symbol of the computer age, the 3.5-inch floppy disk. Sony says it made its first 3.5-inch floppy in 1981 and has been selling them since 1983, at least in Japan. Eventually, the 3.5-inch floppy format took over for larger 5.25-inch disks—and created a bit of confusion because their firm plastic sleeves weren’t floppy at all, leading many computer neophytes to refer to 3.5-inch media as “hard disks.”

Sony says it may stop sales and distribution of floppy disks in some markets before the March 2011 date due to dwindling demand. Even amongst practitioners of “sneakernet” computing, floppy disks have been almost totally supplanted by recordable optical media, USB thumb drives, and portable hard drives, due to those media’s greater storage capacities, reliability, and transfer speeds.

The death of the floppy disk was first sounded by Apple back in 1998 with the original iMac, which was the first mainstream computer to forego the traditional floppy drive. At the time, critics protested that Apple was abandoning the floppy too soon, and predicted nobody would by even a nifty blue-colored computer if it didn’t have a floppy. Although external peripheral floppy drives were reasonably popular as iMac accessories, the broader computer market did turn its back on floppy disks shortly thereafter—and, of course, the iMac was the beginning of what’s turned into over a decade of major success for Apple.

Sony is one of a small group of companies that still sells floppy disk media; however, Sony had the bulk of the Japanese floppy market: the company estimated it sold about 12 million floppies in Japan last year, representing over two-thirds of the market.


Puma revives its classic 1986 smart shoe, complete with high-tech heel hump

More marketing stunt than serious effort to dominate the smart shoe space, Puma is about to re-release its classic RS-Computer Shoe. The high-tech footwear from 1986 was a breakthrough at the time, despite its unsightly heel hump.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.