Floppy Disks V.S. Cloud Computing - A Comedy of Comparison
Let’s just state the obvious: floppy disks are awesome. It’s a fact. In the history of time there has never been anything cooler than the floppy disk. Oh, I know the CD-ROM came into widespread use in the nineties and, combined with the advent of flash drives and a higher usage of external hard drives on top of the rapidly multiplying memory capabilities of computers seemingly every second of the day supposedly made floppy disks “obsolete”. Yeah, sure, just like television made radio “obsolete”, right? (Hello- guess what every car has? A radio!) Now, supposedly, open source cloud computing is going to make all of these things obsolete. Much like computers made the need for massive physical file rooms disappear, the cloud is going to make personal computers disappear, I guess. Well I say it’s time for the floppy disk to finally overtake its final competitor: the cloud. Let’s do a tale of the tape:
1. THE NAME. Floppy disks were invented around 1960 by John W. Floppy, a winner of the Medal of Honor fourteen times; winner of the Heisman Trophy three times; winner of the Academy Award for Best Director twice, Best Actor five times, Best Supporting Actor four times, Best Cinematography three times, Best Original Score four times and Best Actress twice, and his films have one Best Picture six times though he has only made two films; winner of the 1960 Democratic and Republican Nation Primary; and he was the first man to walk on Mars. To top it off, he was the starting quarterback for the 1972 Dolphins and won the Nobel Prize for just being himself. So yeah, the term “floppy disk” has a lot behind it, plus, nobody could possibly make a crass joke about a “three and a half inch floppy”. It’s just not possible. The “cloud” was invented by some networking management nerd in Palo Alto in between his fourth game of Warcraft in an hour and his run to the store to get more Combos and Mountain Dew. Webster’s Dictionary defines a cloud as “a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor” – yeah, whatever that means.
ADVANTAGE: Floppy Disk
2. MEMORY. Want to hear your favorite song? Just put in your floppy, open Windows Media Player 2, and go to work, provided the song is around one megabyte – like, a minute long or so. Want to listen to another one of your favorite songs? Put in another floppy. Want to listen to 8,000 of your favorite songs? Oh wait, you can’t listen to 8,000 songs at the same time? Sure, you could have thousands of terabytes of information at your fingertips using any device with internet access and have it all neatly organized through Cloud Services or Cloud Management, but wouldn’t you rather have something tangible, like 14,000 square feet of floppy disks that you can touch and hold yourself?
ADVANTAGE: Floppy Disk
3. EASE OF USE. Find a desktop computer made before 2001 or a laptop from the 90s that doesn’t have wireless internet and has about 15 minutes of battery life, bring over your cartons of floppy disks, hope there’s no dust in them, start up MS-DOS and get to it! Or, login to any mobile device, laptop, tablet or computer and find what you need with a tap of your finger. Okay, maybe I’ve been had a little bit there.
So what have we learned? Floppy disks are way better. All you need is a couple million of them stored in optimal conditions in a fireproof and waterproof 20,000 square foot bunker with backups stored in your other 20,000 foot bunker, and you’re ready for the information age! Or, you could carry around less than half a pound of wires and screens and have access to the same information. The choice is yours .
NEXT WEEK: Beta Max Rises Again: Blu Ray Loses the Home Entertainment Battle
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