Saturday, October 4, 2014

You don't know what you've got til it's gone

Last year I noticed when I started my desktop computer that I got a tapping sound. Sounded like the hard drive. I soldiered on, occasionally having to start the computer from a CD. The computer was bought in 2006 and ran Vista, but I liked it and, like a beloved old car, planned to keep it til it died. 

Well, the hard drive died. Knowing it was time to get a new desktop (I know --- I have a laptop but a home office wouldn't feel like a home office without a desktop) so I bought a new one from Dell.

The new computer runs Windows 8.1. With a few troubles along the way (it was a bear getting Quicken to read my old Microsoft Money files) I have got everything running, more or less. My boss asked me if my scanner worked. I had forgotten about the scanner but low and behold, I did get the scanner to work.

Then a friend asked me if I could read a floppy disk. I took the floppy disk home. Holy moley. I didn't realize it. I no longer have a computer that can read floppies!

My first home computer, an AST 386,  had two floppy drives. A big one and the 3 and a half inch job that I have known and loved. I have so many memories of saving files to my floppies for safe keeping. I can remember many a happy Saturday morning, when I would back up my computer onto thirty floppy discs while listening to Car Talk. I thought for sure my old laptop that I seldom used had a floppy drive. It didn't. For the first time in my life since 1992 my home was floppy-less.

Yes I know there are CD's, flash cards, the cloud, portable hard drives. Even my Apple i pod can hold data. But I no longer own a floppy drive. Life will never be the same. I'll especially miss snapping the metal thing on the floppy back and forth. I won't miss getting the floppy out of the machine with a paper clip when it became stuck. (Although when I did this at work it made me the hero for the day).

At work, my computer has a floppy drive that I was able to read the disk with. The story has a happy ending. Happy though somewhat poignant. 

And so I now must learn to live life without a floppy drive. Floppy drives and Windows 3.1. Those were the days. 

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