Thursday, March 31, 2016

Floppy disks and modern gadgets: Keeping a safe distance

Floppy disks and modern gadgets: Keeping a safe distance.  Isaiah Beard. Page2Pixel. March 25th, 2016.
     In preserving older, born-digital documents and data, a common situation is that people seek help to migrate data from old floppy disks, and sometimes they are not careful with what they put next to the disks. People who used to use floppy disks and other magnetic media understood the need to be careful about keeping them away from other things that generated magnetic fields. Data on a floppy disk is stored magnetically, which made them very sensitive to magnetic and electromagnetic fields. Today's storage media, USB drives, memory cards, optical discs and such, are not susceptible to magnetic fields. Cell phones, tablets, and other equipment often have strong magnets in them. It is "important to remind people that, should they come across an old floppy disk, and they would like to save the data, they must be careful where they place it, and what newer devices come into contact with it.  Old floppies should be kept as far away from strong magnets as possible.  And smartphones, tablets and even modern laptops shouldn’t come within 6 inches of floppies or any other magnetic media that could be easily erased."  In addition, 3.5" floppy drives are becoming harder to find.

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