Two decades after their heyday, one of the bulk suppliers of the iconic 3.5-inch floppy disks used to store data in the 1990s says business is still booming.
Tom Persky runs FloppyDisk.com. FloppyDisk.com is a Lake Forest based online disk recycling service that takes new and used disks before sending them to our trusted customer base. He believes he sells about 500 discs a day.
Who buys floppy disks in an age when more sophisticated storage devices such as CD-ROMs, DVDs and USB flash drives are increasingly obsoleted by the Internet and cloud storage? Embroidery, Tools and Dies, Aviation Industry, especially those involved in aircraft maintenance, Persky said.
“If you built an aircraft 20, 30, or 40 years ago, you would have used floppy disks to move information in and out of some of the avionics on that aircraft,” Persky, 73, said. Told.
His warehouse shelves are jam-packed with bright green, orange, blue, yellow, or black discs sent from all over the world. At one end is a large magnetic machine with a conveyor his belt that sweeps the information on the discs, and the other machine labels the discs.
The warehouse also holds an even older storage medium, an 8-inch floppy disk.
Despite being a relic of the modern world, floppy disks have some redeeming properties, Persky says.
“Floppy disks are very reliable, very stable, and a very well-understood way of getting information in and out of a machine,” he says. “Plus, it has the added feature of being less hackable.”
Persky got into the floppy disk business in the 1990s after working in software development for a tax company that replicated software on floppy disks. He says he fell in love with the business and took over it after it spun off.
But he doesn’t expect it to survive another 20 years.
“If you look at the ‘save’ icon, you will see a floppy disk. But most people just see the ‘save’ icon,” he says Persky.
“I’ll be here as long as people keep wanting these discs. But it won’t be forever.”