The Floppy is Dead

By on September 7, 2004

CNN is proclaiming the death of the floppy drive. If you ask me the floppy has been dead for some time now. Once it became easy to email attachments I all but forgot they even existed. I think the deciding factor for most people was probably the widespread use of USB drives and CDRs. Let’s not forget the grief that Apple received for being the first company smart enough to eliminate the floppy drive when the iMac was introduced five years ago.

So what’s next? What time tested piece of PC hardware is the next to go?



  1. Are ISA slots still around? Or are they gone already? The serial port is pretty friggin’ useless. USB has pretty much killed parallel too.

  2. I’d say the VGA monitor port will be the next to go. As flat panel monitors get cheaper, DVI will be the video interface of choice. The last couple of flat panel monitors I set up had both VGA and DVI connectors. I think Apple stopped putting VGA ports on their video cards about three years ago, but did supply adapters for older monitors.

  3. “The serial port is pretty friggin’ useless.” I’ve had occasion to lament the lack of a serial port on my laptop. Most peripherals don’t use them anymore, but they’re great for homebrew projects. Once serial and parallel are gone, there will be no port left (expect maybe the MIDI port, which is on the way out too), that has a basic, hackable, I/O interface. I suppose that there will always be adapters for those of us on the fringe. Plus, if you blow out an adapter, you probably didn’t just ruin a motherboard.

  4. Well, I just got a laptop (the usual try-out for disappearing ports) and it had a parallel port, but no mini-PS2 mouse/KB port.

    Serial port is a no-brainer; USB – serial adapters are wirespread, and EVERYBODY is jumping onto the USB bandwagon for connectivity. I’m surprised parallel has lasted this long – I haven’t plugged anything into a parallel port for quite some time, most printers are USB now, fer crying out loud.

    I don’t think PATA or PCI are going away any time soon, though

  5. The floppy drive would Be dead if microsoft’s current operating systems didn’t require it at system install for 3rd party RAID drivers and the like. For some reason, XP professional requires that those drivers be located on the “A” drive. And to my knowledge theres no way to force a CD or USB drive to take that drive letter. And since we don’t get another OS until 2006 or so, you can expect windows system builders to need their floppy drives for some time to come.

    As for parts on the way out: AGP is going. PCI express should replace the AGP standard over the next few years. Hybrid boards that handle both will persist for awhile, but there’s no real reason to continue to create new technology that supports both standards. So my uneducated guess would put us at 3 years or so before no-one makes motherboards or video cards that support VGA any longer.

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