If You Know What This Is, You Are Old.

Today in history, you just became officially old. How do we know? because about 7 hours ago, someone posted this to Super User:

No boys and girls, we haven’t always lived in the future. Once upon a time, before USB, flash memory, storage measured in terraflops, RAM measured in GB, image resolution in the gigapixel range and flat panel monitors, computing was a big pain in the ass.

See, before Hard Drives became affordable enough to be standard with all home computers, software came on these things called Flexible Magnetic Disks, AKA “floppy” disks. These easy-to-lose but surprisingly durable little guys used to do everything, even the storage and running of the earliest versions of your computer’s OS. No, seriously, imagine needing 12 of these things to install Windows. Or dealing with 3 of them to play Sim City 2000.

Like we said, pain in the ass.

The came in three flavors. Think of them as the 8-track, cassette and CD to modern storage’s Mp3.

8 Inch (the 8-track version):

5 1/4 inch (the cassette):

And 3 1/2 Inch (the CD):

You might laugh, but this little disk held a STAGGERING 1.45 MB of data. That is almost half of an Mp3, enough to make it all the way to “Tonight I’m Fuc-” before Enrique Iglesias is cut off. And the devices you inserted them into were called the A: and B: drives. When hard drives became ubiquitous, they were labled C:, in deference to the order in which the majority of consumers experienced the tech. After floppy disks were largely discontinued during the 90s, the tradition of calling the hard drive C: continued.

Hope this helps. But please, if you don’t know what 8-tracks, Cassettes or CDs are, keep it to yourself. We need to make it through the day without thinking about our impending induction into the AARP.

H/T to my homie Greg Saunders

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7 Comments on If You Know What This Is, You Are Old.

Jon Soucy

On January 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm

yeah I still have some games on 5-1/4 inch disks locked away in storage. But those disks are what helped FileFront/GameFront become what it is today.

Ross Lincoln

On January 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I think I might still have some lying around my mom’s place. oooh! i’m going to play populous the next time I go back to visit!

Daniel Perez

On January 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I’m too young to remember the 8 inch disk, but I certainly remember the 5 1/4 inch & the 3 1/2 inch floppy disks. There was nothing better than installing a game that took 5-10 floppy disks. That’s when you knew your game was going to be EPIC!

Garyn Dakari

On January 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I’ve used all of these, and I’m only 14!


On January 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

@Daniel I remember that! I remember reaching Disc 3 on something and thinking, “I’m halfway through!” I remember having a computer that didn’t have a hard drive (a PCjr) and constantly swapping discs.


On January 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

A floppy held more memory than your hard drive for its time :P

The first hdd was in the range of kb and not mb, when mb hit this store shelves you would be lucky to own a 100mb hdd. The equivalent of terrabyte disk drive by today’s standards.


On January 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

Win NT 3 came on twenty-two special 1.8 MB 3.5″ floppy discs and almost filled the 80MB hard drive it was installed on.

Damn. Kids make me feel old.