Ask A Librarian

Downtown Campus Library Upgrading Computers

Posted by Admin.
August 2nd, 2005

The WVU Libraries are in the process of upgrading all 180 desktop computers in the Downtown campus Library with new models boasting faster processors, larger monitors, but no disk drives – diskette or zip. Instead, users will save their work on CDs, DVDs, and thumb drives.

~ Mountaineer Spirit July 28, 2005

Why aren’t there disk drives in the new library computers?

Floppy disks are obsolete. Diskette drives don’t come standard on computers anymore. This change is for the better, since these computers are new, they reflect this market/technology change. The libraries would not want to waste the students’ technology money on purchasing obsolete equipment (floppy drives).

Thumb drives are the new, more reliable version of a floppy. They hold nearly 50 to 100 small discs worth of memory. The library has a workstation with a floppy drive dedicated to transferring files for those who only have their work on a floppy. The library will help students make the transition by providing access to that computer and CDs if they are needed.

Librarians report that floppy disks were notoriously unreliable and that they saw many cases of lost data causing students to despair. One highly recommended way to keep files is to save them on the hard drive of the computer and email them to yourself as an attachment. This is free and provides access to the latest copy of a file anywhere you have access to your email account. Students have 20 megabytes of storage as part of their MIX email – plenty of space to send and save files.

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