Death of Digital Media

A storage device can become obsolete in less than two years, as this timeline shows

Death of Digital Media

Jaz! Clik! Sparq! In no time, some of these storage devices leaped into oblivion. The media may survive, but will anyone be able to read them?

8" Floppy

Storage capacity: 100 KB - 1 MB

Years in use: 1971 - 1981

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

5.25" Floppy

Storage capacity: 100 KB - 1.2 MB

Years in use: 1976 - mid-1980s

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

3.5" Floppy

Storage capacity: 400 KB - 2.8 MB

Years in use: 1980 - present

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

CD-ROM

Storage capacity: 650 - 900 MB

Years in use: 1982 - present

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

12" Optical Disk

Storage capacity: 3.2 - 5 GB

Years in use: 1986 - 1992

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

5.25" Optical Disk

Storage capacity: 650 MB

Years in use: 1988 - 1992

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

Floptical Disk

Storage capacity: 21 MB

Years in use: 1991 - 1993

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

ZIP Disk

Storage capacity: 100 MB - 750 MB

Years in use: 1995 - present

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

DVD-ROM

Storage capacity: 4.7 - 17 GB

Years in use: 1996 - present

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

Sparq Disk Cartridge

Storage capacity: 1 GB

Years in use: 1997 - 1998

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

JAZ Disk

Storage capacity: 1 - 2GB

Years in use: 1998 - 2002

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

Sources: ICPSR; Sony Corp.; Datalink Corp.; iomega Corp.; Siliconuser; PCworld; University of San Diego All photos: Anne R. Kenney and Nancy Y. McGovern/Cornell University/ICPSR, University of Michigan

Clik!

Storage capacity: 40 MB

Years in use: 1999 - 2001

For more on the obsolete technology, see Trapped on Technology's Trailing Edge

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