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Quickly: Should you’re sufficiently old to know that floppy disks are extra than simply storage icons, wistfully remembering to drag down write-protect tabs, scribble on labels, and people storage containers with lockable lids, then take coronary heart in figuring out that the three.5 inch floppy disk nonetheless clings to life, even on Chuck E. Cheese.
The revelation comes from Chuck E. Cheese worker Stewart, who goes by showbizpizzaman on TikTok. The viral clip of him reveals that the corporate nonetheless makes use of floppy disks, which might maintain 1.44MB, to retailer the newest routines, lighting and timing information for the mechanical animals; the one which masses is named ‘Evergreen Present 2023’.
Those that have been round within the Nineties will in all probability smile with familiarity at how lengthy the entire course of takes because the drive is loaded into the “Cyberstar” rackmount laptop system courting from round 1998.
Methods to Set up a New Present at Chuck E. Cheese
unique sound – Stewart
As Ars Technica factors out, the pc extracts .CEC information from a self-extracting archive referred to as EGREEN23.EXE that was compressed utilizing PKWARE’s shareware model v2.50 of PKSFX, which was copyrighted in 1999.
Sadly for retro followers, Stewart says the video marks the final time Chuck E. Cheese will use a floppy disk as the corporate upgrades to a brand new file system for its animatronic creatures. Fewer than 50 of the corporate’s 600 eating places nonetheless use floppy disks for the 25-year-old Studio C animatronic design.
Floppy disks have been one of many entries in our ‘As soon as Iconic Tech Merchandise Now a Fading Reminiscence’ characteristic, however archaic expertise remains to be in use in the present day. Wired writes that a lot of the corporations that also use them are small companies with tight margins that both by no means had time to improve their outdated programs or just cannot afford to.
Probably the most well-known areas by which 3.5-inch floppy disks are nonetheless used is to use software program updates to older Boeing 747 plane nonetheless in service. Tom Persky, founding father of floppydisk.com, confirmed final 12 months that he nonetheless takes orders from airways. “Most likely half the airline fleet on this planet in the present day is over 20 years outdated and nonetheless utilizing floppy disks for avionics,” he mentioned.
The navy was additionally a long-term person of floppy disks. It was solely in 2019 that the Pentagon stopped utilizing 1970 IBM Sequence-1 computer systems, full with eight-inch floppy disks, as a part of its nuclear weapons programs. The company moved away from this storage methodology and opted for SSD as an alternative; there are unlikely to be floppy drives within the $75 million community the Air Pressure simply acquired to guard its nuclear silos.
Floppy disks stay widespread in different areas, reminiscent of medical units and a few authorities companies, partially due to their reliability. However drives and disks are getting more durable to seek out and due to this fact dearer (8-inch floppy disks are all however extinct), so do not count on them to be round for one more 30 years or extra.
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From Chuck E. Cheese to Boeing 747s, the floppy disk lives on