What do you not have on your Mac? Chances are very good you do not have a SuperDrive (unless your Mac is old, or you have a specific need for CDs or DVDs). My last Mac with a built-in SuperDrive left home about four years ago. What else don’t you have?
The Iconic Icon
Every now and again I’ll run across an application on my Mac that uses a specific icon to mark Save files. I see it on iPhone and iPad, too. The icon? The floppy disk. Do you have any floppy disks? Apple launched the 3.5-inch floppy with the Mac in 1984 and it quickly became the standard but you cannot buy a Mac that uses one.
Seldom do I see a floppy disk and less seldom is there a floppy disk drive visible on office desks or elsewhere. I have a CD/DVD player but it’s FireWire and I don’t have a Mac that runs FireWire, either.
Technological advancements come and go and when they’re finally gone we seldom stop to reminisce about its existence or what loss its demise brings to humankind.
Linux create Linus Torvalds has orphaned the floppy disk driver for some future version of Linux and that becomes yet another nail in the coffin of a once ubiquitous technology for the masses. USB drives or microSD cards can carry far more information but even those readers are becoming less notable in the age of wireless sharing technology (AirDrop, I’m looking at you).
Goodbye, floppy disk drive and floppy disks, we hard knew ye.
Yet, there are still far too many applications which use the floppy disk as the icon to Save a file. Why? There is a generation of computer users that have never ever seen a floppy disk so the icon is pointless. It started with the Mac in 1984 and today anything floppy is almost dead.
What would replace the floppy disk as a Save icon? For those of us who remember the floppy disk we can get by with the antiquated notion of such an icon, but what about younger generations? What icon can tell them to save?
The letter ‘S’?
A box? A hole?
I got nothing.
Jaimie Heuze says the answer is simple. A box– a button– with the word Save inside. That’s not much of an icon, of course, but it fits and probably works. Now, what about Open?