The loss of a dear and trusted technology friend. 

It has happened. For those of you with low Midichlorian counts, a great disturbance has been felt growing in the force, finally culminating with engineers across the globe crying out in terror, followed by a moment of respectful silence.

We regret to report that a long time and trusted power in the computing universe has finally ceased to exist. Though we may see his glowing spirit live on in USB drives, or in hybridized drives with flash media readers, our dear friend “Floppy” has finally passed on from this earth.

What follows is our Eulogy to a part of our computing history forever ingrained in our collective tech consciousness.

Friends.

We gather today to bid farewell to our old friend, “Floppy” the 1.44MB disk drive. Recently Floppy passed away with the remaining manufacturer ending his production, at the ripe old age of 238 years.

(If tech years are like dog years).

Floppy was conceived in 1971, and born in 1976 measuring a mere 5 1/4″. He began to come of age as something of a disruptive presence in the 1980’s. His free spirit, and small stature, allowed him to flourish during his youth. While his flexible and open nature made him very vulnerable to outside influences, despite this, his spirit of innovation brought about a new era of data portability giving birth to the modern computer storage age as we know it today. As Floppy grew older in the early 1990’s, he gained additional capacity and experience that hardened his outer shell making him more thick skinned, as so many of us do as we grow old.

Though by 2003, (now in his Twilight years) Floppy had retired almost completely from public life. He was not however, content with full retirement and as recently as just a few weeks ago could still be found working hard in the modern embedded world assisting with the installation of RAID drivers and SCSI controller software.

We smile when we remember how much he hated to be bothered while working, sometimes becoming so angry that if disturbed at the wrong time, he was known to trash and corrupt all the data around him.

We will always remember with nostalgia, the free storage discs provided courtesy of AOL. Sitting at home with a drill or notching tool to increase the capacity of his less expensive discs, and learning first hand from his teachings about the dangers of magnets and the importance of backing up our newly portable and surprisingly fragile data.

Floppy leaves behind quite a legacy, having fathered so many children over his 238 years, including but certainly not limited to Dr. Floptical, Mrs. Iomega Zip, and Grandma SyQuest (who also inherited Floppy’s severe annoyance at being disturbed while working).

Dear departed friend, though modern technology may have cloned your body into USB devices and spliced your genes with flash media readers, we bid farewell to your original pure, internal-direct-to-motherboard form.

Though portable flash memory may pave the way forward, we will always remember fondly the “Brrrrr brrrrr, bunk bunk bunk” sounds you made when you worked. Future generations will forever benefit from your legacy. Farewell old friend, we will not forget.

Rest in peace.