Can storage be sexy?

The most quotidian of tech products might still have some design flair

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A lingering icon

The floppy lives on in the latest version of Microsoft Word

Those of us who cut our teeth on the computers of the '80s and '90s have no such fond memories of cupboard-sized storage; what we do have is stories about floppy disks, of the 5.25 and 3.5-inch varieties. Most of the stories involve losing the disks, or having great big piles of them, or finding them and realizing that they've been demagnetized. At the time, their aesthetic didn't seem like it would have much staying power.

And yet, any computer user today has to acknowledge that the 3.5-inch floppy is a style icon, literally: dozens of applications in everyday use still use it as a symbol for saving files, including Microsoft Word, and, up until its recent redesign, Google Docs. It's up to you to decide whether floppy disks are so sexy that they persist in the minds of icon designers long after vanishing from all but the most specialized real-world uses, or if it's just that the newer alternatives are even worse.

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