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Online First now also in Tokyo: The floppy disk has had its day

3.5-inch floppy disks have been around for almost 40 years, and they are still in use in some Tokyo districts. But a report from Nikkei Asia According to them, their time is now slowly running out. In 2019, for example, the Minato district withdrew all diskettes and switched to online transfer, followed this year by the Meguro district, and Chiyoda will probably be the last district to do so in the financial year 2026.

The floppy disks are currently mainly used for money orders. They are recorded in the authorities and brought to the banks, which read the data back in and transfer them to their booking systems. According to Yoichi Ono, an employee from Meguro, this still works very reliably: the floppy disks are never broken and have never lost data, the newspaper quotes him.

Sony, one of the manufacturers of 3.5-inch floppies, was the last manufacturer to stop production around 10 years ago. Since the read / write heads of the floppy disks rub directly against the magnetic material during use, floppy disks wear out over time – this is certainly another reason to move away from old media, even if the authorities still have large stocks should.

However, the banks involved have provided another good reason: Since 2019, Mizuho Bank has been demanding an amount of just under 400 euros if the district administrations want to continue to deliver their data on physical data carriers. The bank referred primarily to the maintenance costs for the old drives.

In the c’t-Uplink 40.3 we just discussed yesterday Saturday about floppy disks and other old media. A report on floppy disks, but also many other storage media that we have long forgotten, can be found in c’t Retro 2021.

Restoring ancient hardware and data | c’t uplink 40.3
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