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The Japanese government has decided to stop using floppy disks and CD-ROMs

IBM started using floppy disks in 1973, and that type of removable storage medium eventually became so popular that Japanese government agencies instituted a rule that data be submitted on floppy disks and on CD-ROMs over time. Apparently, that rule is still in effect, so Japanese officials have been using floppy disks and CD-ROMs rather than e-mail or cloud storage services to submit their data.

“Where else can you buy floppy disks?” Japanese Digital Affairs Minister Taro Kono asked reporters rhetorically on Tuesday, according to Nikkei News. “We will change [these rules] immediately.”

Currently, Japanese law contains 1900 rules requiring the use of outdated storage media to transfer data, such as 3.5-inch floppy disks or CD-ROMs. with the Internet transferring files faster, digitization will make Japanese government agencies more efficient overall. However, as with other authorities, Japanese government agencies must adhere to strict rules, so the Japanese government formed a working group to revise rules that were established decades ago.

Today, not only is it difficult to obtain floppy disks (because few manufacturers make them anymore), but it is also very difficult to use them to store anything because modern text and spreadsheet files require more space than they did in the 1980s and 1990s. There are still applications that rely on file formats (and even software) released 30 or 40 years ago — so they can be stored on floppy disks and/or CD-ROMs — but the world has shifted mainstream to USB flash drives, Blu-ray discs, and cloud storage services, which have more capacity, are more efficient and can be used to store more data. These services are larger, more efficient and more reliable.

There are also industries that use floppy disks and will continue to do so. For example, some Boeing 747-400 aircraft use 3.5-inch floppy disks to install avionics software. In addition, some military equipment and departments (such as nuclear forces) not only continue to use 8-inch floppy disks but even use perforated cards.

With thousands of laws still requiring the use of floppy disks or CD-ROMs, we think it will take quite some time for the obsolete storage media to disappear. Now, even on Windows 11 computers, for $20, one can still purchase and use an external 3.5-inch floppy disk reader, although it does require special drivers from Microsoft.

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.
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