I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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8" Floppies Galore | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

8" Floppies Galore

I found a bunch of 8” floppies in a box of garbage. I figured I’d take them home rather than see them go in a landfill. That, and I just love vintage computer stuff!

The date on the labels is 1985. I though these would be much older than that. Come 1985, we Apple/Commodore users had been using 5.25 inch floppies for years. So what’s the deal with these 8” ones being made in 1985? I guess it makes sense. We were all still buying 3.5” floppies years after CDs took over.

It’s funny, you see this picture and they look no different that a stack of 5.25s.

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How deceiving.

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It’s not until you see it next to the likes of an iPhone 5 that you see just how freakin’ huge 8” floppies are!! It blows my mind to think that this floppy disk probably holds 500K of data while my iPhone holds 32 Gigs! Amazing how far we’ve come in 30 years!

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Paraphrased from Wikipedia:

The earliest floppy disks, developed in the late 1960s, were 8 inches in diameter; they became commercially available in 1971. They originally had a storage capacity of 100KB. In 1976, IBM increased the capacity up to 500KB; the same year Shugart Associates introduced the first 5 1⁄4-inch floppies.

As personal home computing picked up steam in the late 70s, the popularity of 8” disks declined. They were simply too big to be practical for home desktop computer use. 5.25s were the dominant form of storage until the late 80s when they were replaced with 3.5” floppies.

It’s crazy, after handling 5.25s for so many decades, I never thought I’d see the day when I held one and though that it was small!

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It just makes you wonder what our kids will be laughing at 30 years from now.