Earlier this week, Sony announced the death of the three and a half-inch floppy disk. They said they will cease production of them in March 2011. That means you have eleven months to stock up, I suppose, since Sony accounts for seventy percent of all the floppy disks manufactured.
If you're scratching your head and wondering what this "floppy disk" is, congratulations on your youth or relative naivete. That quarter-inch slot in the front of your computer, or many computers these days, is not for feeding your machine, nor does it shred unwanted credit cards. It is there to read files from magnetic film, the floppy part, contained within a three and a half-inch plastic case. You could move files from one computer to another by simply transferring files to the disk, ejecting it and slipping it into the other where those files could be read by the new machine. Simple, right?
Unless you wanted to move more than one and a half megabytes of data. Then you had to split files up, use multiple disks, or wait for technology to evolve. For example, a single MP3 song would not fit on a floppy disk. You need CDs for that. You need DVDs. You need a USB flash drive. You need Al Gore's Internet.
And that's what happens to technology in these fast-paced, hurly-burly times. Nothing lasts. Except Post-its. They just celebrated their thirtieth anniversary, and they're still going strong. Maybe you could use that little slot in the front of your PC to hold a stack of Post-its.