Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » F »

floppy disk

floppy disks

)A soft magnetic disk. It is called floppy because it flops if you wave it (at least, the 5��-inch variety does). Unlike most hard disks, floppy disks (often called floppies or diskettes) are portable, because you can remove them from a disk drive. Disk drives for floppy disks are called floppy drives. Floppy disks are slower to access than hard disks and have less storagecapacity, but they are much less expensive. And most importantly, they are portable.

Floppies come in three basic sizes:

  • 8-inch:The first floppy disk design, invented by IBM in the late 1960s and used in the early 1970s as first a read-only format and then as a read-write format. The typical desktop/laptop computer does not use the 8-inch floppy disk.
  • 5��-inch: The common size for PCs made before 1987 and the predecessor to the 8-inch floppy disk. This type of floppy is generally capable of storing between 100K and 1.2MB (megabytes) of data. The most common sizes are 360K and 1.2MB.
  • 3��-inch: Floppy is something of a misnomer for these disks, as they are encased in a rigid envelope. Despite their small size, microfloppies have a larger storage capacity than their cousins -- from 400K to 1.4MB of data. The most common sizes for PCs are 720K (double-density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Macintoshes support disks of 400K, 800K, and 1.2MB.






  • TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    11 Tips to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

    It's not just your lawnmower and household tools that your neighbor won't return. Our top picks include everything from updating device firmware... Read More »

    Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel

    Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of... Read More »

    What is a Virtual Private network (VPN)?

    Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network and to send voice, video or data. Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

    From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

    Network Fundamentals Study Guide

    A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

    Computer Architecture Study Guide

    This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »