A floppy disk or floppy diskette (sometimes casually referred to as a floppy or diskette) is a type of disk storage composed of a thin and flexible disk of a magnetic storage medium in a square or nearly square plastic enclosure lined with a fabric that removes dust particles from the spinning disk. Floppy disks store digital data which can be read and written when the disk is inserted into a floppy disk drive (FDD) connected to or inside a computer or other device.

The first floppy disks, invented and made by IBM, had a disk diameter of 8 inches (203.2 mm). Subsequently the 5¼-inch and then the 3½-inch became a ubiquitous form of data storage and transfer into the first years of the 21st century.

3½-inch floppy disks can still be used with an external drives. 5¼-inch, 8-inch, and other-size floppy disks are rare. Some individuals and organizations continue to use older equipment to read or transfer data from floppy disks. DCL Media & Print has floppy disk supply and can duplicate media onto floppy disks. 

Floppy disks were so common in late 20th-century culture that many electronic and software programs continue to use save icons that look like floppy disks well into the 21st century. 

The first commercial floppy disks, developed in the late 1960s, were 8 inches (203.2 mm) in diameter; they became commercially available in 1971 as a component of IBM products and then were sold separately starting in 1972 by Memorex and others. These disks and associated drives were produced and improved upon by IBM and other companies such as Memorex, Shugart Associates, and Burroughs Corporation.[ The term "floppy disk" appeared in print as early as 1970, and although IBM announced its first media as the Type 1 Diskette in 1973, the industry continued to use the terms "floppy disk" or "floppy".

By the end of the 1980s, 5¼-inch disks had been superseded by 3½-inch disks.

Floppy disks became commonplace during the 1980s and 1990s in their use with personal computers to distribute software, transfer data, and create backups. Before hard disks became affordable to the general population,floppy disks were often used to store a computer's operating system (OS). Most home computers from that time have an elementary OS and BASIC stored in read-only memory (ROM), with the option of loading a more advanced OS from a floppy disk.

By 2002, most manufacturers still provided floppy disk drives as standard equipment to meet user demand for file-transfer and an emergency boot device, as well as for the general secure feeling of having the familiar device. By this time, the retail cost of a floppy drive had fallen to around $20 (equivalent to $29 in 2020), so there was little financial incentive to omit the device from a system. 

DCL Media & Print has floppy disk supply and can duplicate media onto floppy disks. 




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