Librarian Geek at the West Warwick Public Library

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Floppy disks are a thing of the past

These devices are unreliable and fast becoming obsolete. Dell and a slew of other computer companies no longer offer them as standard in new machines--if you want a floppy disk drive, you'll have to pay extra for it. So, what's the answer you may ask? Well, most new computers come with CD Rewritable drives standard. Blank CDs are fairly inexpensive and if you purchase CD-RWs, you can use them over. CD-Rs allow you to write information to them once. CD-RWs allow you to be able to rewrite to the disk.

An even better solution is the USB drive (also known as a memory stick, pen drive, or flash drive.) These small devices are about the size of a highlighter marker and can hold as much as a gigabyte of information on one little drive. That's about 710 floppy disks!

So, if you do decide to make the investment in a USB drive (and you can get a decent sized drive for as little as $40.00 now), you can use it at the library. Our lab computers have USB ports (this is where you plug your drive into the computer) on the front of the machine. We are purchasing special USB hubs (extension cords for the USB port) for two machines in the Reference area and these will be available for use shortly. Next time you're in the library, be sure to make use of these new services! And if you have any questions, just ask.
(The title of this entry is a link to a PC Magazine article on this subject, so you can click on it for more information.)
 
If you'd like to leave a comment or question about this entry, click on the comments link below to do so!  We'd love to get your feedback!


10 Comments:

  • You say to read the instructions for using the usb at the computers. Could you also post them here, on this page so that I can print them out and carry them with me?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 20, 2004 at 12:45 PM  

  • Sure! These are the instructions that are posted at the computers with USB hubs:

    USING THE USB HUB
    ·Plug your USB device into the hub on top of the computer.
    ·The “Found New Hardware” dialog box will appear—please wait until the computer recognizes your device and the box goes away.
    ·Begin using whatever program you wish to use on the computer.
    ·To open from or save to your USB device: click on save (or open) and when the dialog box appears select “Removable Disk” from the drop down box.

    BEFORE YOU UNPLUG YOUR USB DEVICE….
    ·Find the USB icon on the taskbar (this is a little green arrow over a rectangle and it’s located near the time in the lower, right hand corner of the screen.)
    ·Left click on this icon and a box will appear saying “Stop USB Mass Storage Device.” Left click on this box.
    ·Click “Okay” in the next window(s) to safely uninstall your USB device from the computer.
    ·Remove the USB device from the hub.

    To read the library's policy on the use of patron owned USB devices on library computers, you can go to www.wwlibrary.org/onlinepolicy.html

    By Blogger Laura, at July 20, 2004 at 3:30 PM  

  • I couldn't help myself here. You described floppy disks as being unreliable and nearly obsolete. On the latter, I have to agree. Of course that is just a matter of becoming technologically antiquated. However, I find it amusing that they you are sending them off with an epitaph that reads "unreliable." I have used floppies for far too many years (rarely now though). I have beaten and abused them by my own admission. I can't say that I've had one fail on me in that time. So, maybe a little more respect is deserved.

    Humorously...

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