Pentagon's nuclear missile system is run on floppy disks


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I used eight-inch floppies in computer science courses in the 80s. They were hilariously big and hilariously small (on the order of 100KB, if memory serves). I’m glad I had a chance to use them before they disappeared; it gives me the perspective to understand why the slightly-less-antique 5 1/4" discs are called “minifloppies”, and the hard-shelled 3 1/2" ones are “microfloppies”.

Edit: Thanks for the helpful WIkipedia link, jerwin! I was using DEC PDP-11s, so the capacity must have been 250K or 500K, depending on density. I don’t recall the exact number (obviously), but I remember it was easy to fill those suckers up.


Why upgrade when all you’re playing is tic-tac-toe?


In case anyone missed it, that’s not the 5-1/4" floppy disk from the IBM PC / Apple II / Commodore days. That’s a 7" floppy, the standard that came before.

I still have a copy of Crosstalk on 7" around here somewhere…


I thought they were 8".




Pentagon’s run by Commander Adama…


1970s thinking::1970s technology


When you have unique legacy software, that has to be extremely reliable, and doesn’t have to connect to the internet, updating it is a justifiably low priority. The difficulty of maintaining the old hardware to run it is the only good reason to do so.


Pbbt! I’ve seen floppier!


Yes, by all means, let’s update our nuke launchers to a 2010’s, cloud based system. I’d feel so much safer, wouldn’t you??


And remember, especially where nuclear weapons are involved…

Don’t Copy That Floppy



And to be clear, in this case he’s played by Lorne Greene, not Edward James Olmos.


Early 2018: America’s nuclear arsenal held for ransom because Gus’s “awesome mix” memory stick was infected…


Yeah, I’m kinda OK with this…

My friends insteon based smarthome has been hacked twice.
My steampowered X10 based one, never.


The DoD gets mad twitchy over USB sticks.



Gives a whole new meaning to the dreaded click of death old floppy drives can develop.


Normally i’d agree with you on this. but “extremely reliable” is never something i’d associate with floppy disks of any type :wink:


And a staple can ruin them. Some kid did that to another kids floppy in BASIC class on their Apple IIe disk.