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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
floppy disk
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hardware, storage (Or "floppy", "diskette") A small,
portable plastic disk coated in a magnetisable substance used
for storing computer data, readable by a computer with a
floppy disk drive. The physical size of disks has shrunk from
the early 8 inch, to 5 1/4 inch ("minifloppy") to 3 1/2 inch
("microfloppy") while the data capacity has risen.
These disks are known as "floppy" disks (or diskettes) because
the disk is flexible and the read/write head is in physical
contact with the surface of the disk in contrast to "harddisks" (or winchesters) which are rigid and rely on a small
fixed gap between the disk surface and the heads. Floppies
may be either single-sided or double-sided.
3.5 inch floppies are less floppy than the larger disks
because they come in a stiff plastic "envelope" or case, hence
the alternative names "stiffy" or "crunchy" sometimes used to
distinguish them from the floppier kind.
The following formats are used on IBM PCs and elsewhere:
Capacity Density Width
360K double 5.25"
720K double 3.5"
1.2M high 5.25"
1.44M high 3.5"