Goodbye, floppy disks

8

1.44MB at a timeI've just read that Sony plans to discontinue the manufacture of 3.5-inch floppy disks. [Update: a more complete tribute to the floppy disk is over on Geek News Central.]

The announcement made me nostalgic for the days when we shipped The SAS System on floppies. I don't think we've done that since the Version 6 days (for Windows and OS/2). I'll be honest; I don't remember how many disks were required for a typical Base SAS installation. After reading the old 6.12 system requirements I'll bet that it was a bunch, and the SAS users in those days would spend a lot of time switching out disks during installation.

Thank goodness we now have electronic software download. You can now get your software via the Internet. And back it up to about 7,000 floppy disks for safe keeping, if you want.

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

8 Comments

  1. I remember installing 6.08 and it took about 34 floppies. The problem was disk #29 was always bad and we would have to start over!

  2. Fred, that's frustrating! Maybe it wasn't a good idea to provide a free refrigerator magnet with every software shipment!

  3. I had licenses for SAS 0S/2 and still have some install disks for 6.08. I didn't see the Base install disks, but Graph took 6 diskettes, IML 1, Stat 4, Map data sets 4, AF 1, QC 3, EIS 2, ETS 2, FSP 1, Lab 2, Assist 2, Connect 1, and OR 2. If I look hard enough I bet I can find a full set.

    Yes, I keep way to much installation material.

  4. John Rubin on

    My dad will have problems after this. He must learn to use memory sticks and other data saving options..finally

  5. Yes, those were the days when you have to find a good container box to keep "fungus" from growing all the disks. Talk about labeling hundreds of disk at one go.... It's was a nightmare...

  6. I think just in a few years, even the disc and harddisk will be out of the market, people will use cloud storage as a substitute.

  7. I guess I'm just a young pup, at 40.

    My furthest memory takes me back to the Vic 20, pre-floppy. And my fondest memory of this dinosaur was that I only had to spend 3.5 hours, then write two pages of code to get the opportunity to view some computer animated block cartoon bird fly across my Zenith 25 inch color TV!

    What a computer!

  8. I jumped when I read "nostalgic" and "sas floppies" in the same sentence.
    And then I read that you don't remember how many disks were required for a typical Base SAS installation.
    It makes sense then: If you had had to use the floppies, you wouldn't be nostalgic, and you would remember. Base was around ten floppies: a full box.
    The only thing to miss is the pretty alignement of coloured boxes, and their set of couloured-matched floppies. Dark blue for base, green for AF, etc, if my memory serves me. Much nicer than anonymous CDs or DVDs in boring standard jewel cases.

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