IBM's 100th Birthday: 10 Top Presents From IBM To Us

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The Floppy Disk -- Hello, And Good Bye

IBM was also the inventor of the floppy disk, a mainstay of nearly every computer and PC sold until the introduction of low-cost CD and then USB storage technology sent them to trash bins just a few years ago.

IBM first developed them with a diameter of 8 inches and a paper case which kept them clean in 1967. By the late 1970s, a 5.25-inch version was in use, and came with the Apple II PC. In the late 1980s, they were replaced with 3.5-inch versions. But today they mainly sit in dusty containers and drawers, seldom seeing light.

The floppies were important for two reasons. First, they gave the typical PC user a way to back up and share files at a time when the alternative was a cassette tape. More importantly, they made possible the sale of shrink-wrapped softare, and in the 1990s, the spread of AOL and Internet access.


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