Sony has said it will stop making floppy disks, after nearly three decades of manufacture. Yet millions of them are still being bought every year. But who is actually buying them?
The vast desks that control the light shows and sounds settings in theatres or music venues have until recently come with floppy drives as standard; the English National Opera is just one example of an organisation that uses them.
A volunteer at the National Museum of Computing says that many scientific instruments – so-called dataloggers, oscilloscopes and the like – record their data onto floppies.
But these relatively niche uses couldn’t possibly account for the number of floppies – something like a million a month – that are being consumed in the UK alone.
The answer may simply be that there are a great many old computers that read only floppies, and a great many computer users that have no need for the storage media that have supplanted them in other quarters.