Noon, Ngayon, and the Diskette’s Ancestor from 20 Years Ago

Noon, Ngayon, and the Diskette’s Ancestor from 20 Years Ago

Written by Fritz

Topics: Personal, Tech

I’m sharing with you something that made the geek in me drop every and go “ZOMGYAYNOSTALGIA!” while doing office spring cleaning. Look! A SyQuest 5.25″ Removable Cartrige! I was holding this… this THING and I probably looked like what the great Alexander Bell would should he get ahold of a smart phone from the future (a Nokia N8, not an iPhone, excuse me LOL). Did a little search and I found out that SyQuest was one of the earlier players in the removable mass storage market in late 80s and that some aspects of its business were acquired by iOmega years before SyQuest filed for bankruptcy in 1998. BUT WHO CARES, RIGHT? This right here is like the level of a 64Gb SDHC flash memory card of 2010, only two entire decades ago where 88Mb was like WHOA WHO WOULD EVER NEED THAT MUCH MEMORY PRAY TELL (the cartridge back label says (c) 1988-1991 SyQuest Technology)?!

SyQuest 5.25 Removable Cartridge circa 1991 #NoonNgayon

My Memories of Memory

For what seems like eons ago during my first job, we’d annually get a shipment box with 20 or so micro floppy diskettes containing a software (A Plus Tax) for the year’s US Tax Return preparation jobs. For a paltry 28.8Mb of data, we would have to wait from several weeks to several months before the order arrives. One bad sector in one diskette from package mishandling and you’re back to square one. Thinking about expensive shipping cost, too long a lead time before product receipt, pounds of costly and relatively heavy plastic diskette material, and a very time-consuming, spanned-disk install procedure, I’m glad we’re so over what for me is the stone age of storage, saving the environment and money along the way.

1.44Mb formatted? Pft. I’m so compelled to compare the micro floppy to the micro SD card right now but that wouldn’t be fair challenge. Instead, I dissected the micro floppy and compared its tape with a similar sized mini DVD-RW with 1.46Gb capacity. 1000x the storage, exponentially better looking with rainbow refract powers!

1.44Mb Micro Floppy Disk vs DVD-RW mini #NoonNgayon

Still on the subject of memory, here’s another blast from the past. Back when Canon used to only have 1-megapixel cameras as their top of the line offering, the SD card on the left of the image below may have been very useful, something I won’t even think of using with my 18-megapixel Canon 550D. LOL.

16Mb SD vs 16GB SDHC #NoonNgayon

A Briefcase Full of Old Cloud Nostalgia

On a more personal note, I used to zip and span 5-10Mb sized short film clips in micro floppies. I’d usually carry a box at a time for file transfer purposes. Remember Yahoo! Briefcase? It was easily a go-to portal for free mass storage offered to anyone with a Yahoo! email address/registration. With a limited storage space of 5Mb that later on grew to 50Mb, users (like me!) ended up making multiple email accounts just to avail of additional free storage space (because I’m “cost effective” like that LOL). Versus my diskettes, Yahoo! Briefcase is like free, exquisite, 3-Star Michelin rank restaurant prepared cuisine and the former a bland, over-priced hospital cafeteria food.

It pained me some when Yahoo! decided to discontinue the service in 2009 but only on the basis of nostalgia. As soon as I heard, I immediately checked my never-for-around-5-or-6-years-used-nor-visited Briefcase to view the contents and found several Sony Ericsson ringtones I painstakingly composed by ouido because, yes, apparently, I was a bored “secret mobile phone instrument musician” in the past. Saw some midi files there, mp3s, and some, um, “very informative” video clips that I’d rather keep to myself (evilsmirk). I’ve long forgotten the art and technique of ringtone composing (moreso that I once dug ringtone composing) but remembering what I did at one point in the not-so-far-away time made my heart flash a warm, toothy grin.

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