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In April of 2010 Sony finally announced the death of the floppy disk. They will stop production in March of 2011. For many technologically savvy consumers, floppy drives were replaced in the late 1990’s by CDs.

The death of the floppy drive

However, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, floppy drives served a very important function in transporting and storing data. Yet their size and usability problems urged electronic designers to develop technology that wasn’t so vulnerable. Floppy drives were sensitive to dust, temperature extremes, and condensation. Originally introduced in 1971, the first floppy disks were 8″ in size. This eventually evolved into 5″ and later the popular 3 1/2″ format.

It is hard to imagine consumers being excited that they now had a piece of technology that could store data and even fit into a large shirt pocket. With the introduction of CDs, floppy disks quickly became useless to most consumers. It is surprising that Sony has only recently announced a lack of demand for floppy disks.

the end of the floppy driveIn the 1990’s consumers were excited to see CDs that were readable and writable developed. CDs quickly gained popularity as they were a way to store music, files, videos, and documents. Rewritable CDs can be used over a few times before they start to malfunction. However, most consumers quickly saw how fast a CD can become damaged. One scratch or fingerprint can cause a song to skip.

In 1998, SanDisk introduced a portable device about the size of a tube of chap stick that could hold digital copies of computer files, songs, and pictures. Flash drives, gaining popularity with employers, schools, and colleges, serve as a way to transport files from one computer to another without as much of a vulnerability issue.

While people contemplate between using a CD or flash drive, the benefits of the flash drive should be a deciding factor.
They include:

Content Size

A standard CD can hold around 700 MB (about 70 minutes) worth of data. Some flash drives can now hold up to 256 GB. A standard 32 GB flash drive can hold 640,000 document pages, or 2,048 MP3 files, or 19,200 pictures.

Life Span

A flash drive can last up to 10 years. This means you can add, delete, store, edit, etc. as much digital content as you want. Although some CDS do have the option to be rewritable, they can only take so much reuse before they begin displaying error messages.


CDs can easily be scratched. If you have them laying around your house, laying a set of keys on one could scratch it. A fingerprint or foreign object can also cause a malfunction. Manufacturers like CFgear use hardened, anti-scratch metals for their flash drives that will protect your digital media.

goodbye CD ROMS - flash drives rule!Size

Although they are a lot smaller than the original 8″ floppy disks, standard CDs are still not small enough to fit easily into your pocket. They cannot be thrown into your purse or wallet easily. A flash drive’s small size makes it easily transportable.


Flash drives can come in a wide assortment of styles. CFgear makes flash drives that are built into a lanyard, bracelet, or even a pen. They can easily be worn around your neck or placed onto a key chain. CD’s have to be stored in a protective case and wouldn’t look that great hanging around your neck.

Although CDs do offer a lot more options than the extremely vulnerable 8″ floppy disk, flash drives offer flexibility and protection for your thousands of digital copies. Employers can provide flash drives to their employees as a way to transport work to home. Colleges can provide a wealth of information to incoming students. A Flash drive’s uses become endless as they are reused over and over again.

Category : Flash Drive News