Who remembers the days when a program install required multiple floppy disks or CDs? [Video]

I cannot claim to be old enough to remember the days of floppy disk installs (i.e. installing programs off floppy disks) but I do remember the days when a large program spanned across multiple CDs and one would have to insert CD after CD to install a program. (The most prominent example that comes to mind is World of Warcraft.) Boy were those a pain, especially if something happened while on disk 34 out of 35.

If you are one of the people who experienced and/or remembers those days, you will probably enjoy the following video. Check it out:

[via MakeUseOf]

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19 comments

  1. pm55

    Heck – I remember my first computer encounter was a central main frame computer at University (that was during 1969), that read my punch cards (which were hand punched) to do data compiling and graphing. There was no personal computer to go home to to finish he project – you stayed at the card reader until you successfully completed your assignment. Needless to say I spent a lot of hours at the card reader. The language was very basic and required numerous cards to do a few data points. When I look at how far we have come it is almost like going from cave art to computer graphics in a very short time.

  2. Shava Nerad

    PICK on paper tape. When we retired the paper tape reader, I curled the operating system into a helix and looped it into a wreath, sprayed it metallic gold, decorated it with a cluster of pine cones, glass balls, and a big red flocked ribbon bow, and hung the thing on the tech support department’s door.

    Martha Stewart eat your heart out.

  3. Mags

    @Seamus McSeamus: “How many of you remember using a daisy wheel printer?”

    I do

    That was back in the day when I was using dedicated word processors. They used the 5 1/4 Floppys.

    That was when there there wasn’t Windows, only DOS on PCs, and before Word Perfect.

    I also remember the Tandy TSR-80, which was nicknamed the Trash-80.

  4. Kerry

    Those were the good days. I still have every 3.5 disc I bought. win 3.11 and I have a load of 5.25 discs yet and drives. Even a pc with os2 on it. I even use win one of 3.11 programs on my xp now. I have totes of stuff I need to rumage sale off. lol

  5. Seamus McSeamus

    @K Lewis:

    The first PC I owned was a Tandy TSR-80, as well, with the 5.25 floppy drive. Mine was an external, and the 3.5 was built in. Remember how huge those old external drives were?

    How many of you remember using a daisy wheel printer?

  6. Merlin

    I started out with a TI99-4A. After that a CBM-64 and 128.
    Then I got a PC running at 4.7 MHz with DOS 2.x.
    Upgraded to an AT and followed all DOSes and Windozes up till now with Windoze8.
    I still have all the diskettes of DOS and even WordPerfect 4.2 which fitted on two 360kb diskettes.
    Now you sometimes need three or more DVD’s for one single program…
    It was fun back then and it still is now.

  7. K Lewis

    I learned how to use a computer with the Tandy TSR-80 with the 5 1/4″ disks. I taught myself how to create a database for our company. I loved that computer. I could understand how to make things work. Now there are so many ways to do the same thing and everything changes so fast that I cannot keep up in my aging days.
    Although I would give it a shot if some youngster came along and I could watch and learn as they created.
    What fun those days were and what a pain too!

  8. Donna

    A Blast from the past!

    But I actually learned on a Wang computer and the Disk was the size and shape of a flying saucer. Honestly the disk were a about 18 inches in width and were round and at least 4 inches wide. Now that is going way back. I am a computer geek from way back. But after so many years on computers when no-one else was I got sick of them. Then the PCs came out and I said no way is one coming into my house. Well needless to say, that did not last very long. But floppy disk? Yep, they were a pain but we did not know it at the time!

    PS. Anyone remember the ol’ Comodor?

  9. AFPhys

    @Mags:
    I had an stand alone install manager somewhere along the line that did things like predict time remaining, beeping from time to time to remind you another disk is needed, etc. It must have been a rudimentary operating system in itself since I believe I used it to install Windows. Maybe because of that program I didn’t get frustrated about changing floppies, etc.

  10. David Doney

    I started on 3.1 and I think that was a lot of diskets
    I remember going to bed when I was dioing
    a download on dialup and waking up the next day with another 12 hours to finish it.

    Now I find it hard to believe we did that and paid in Europe well in excess of two thousand dollars for the pleasure

    Now I run with the young.
    I have all the toys you young people just take for granted
    I like it.

  11. Mags

    Yeah I remember those days.

    While I never had to install anything using the 5 1/4 floppys, I did use the 3 1/2 floppys. I remember installing Win 3.1 using approx. 25 (give or take) as well as installing MS Office and also remember the frustration of putting in one disk, then take it out and put in the next.

    I actually still had all those floppys up until 6 mths ago when I got rid of 90% of my old floppys. Just kept the games.

  12. BearPup

    Remember the days? Heck, I still have the disks! Lotus Ami Pro (a word processor that I finally stopped using this year!) came with 14 3.5″ diskettes for the basic install; the add-ons took another 8 diskettes. Its successor, WordPro 96 (still on my computer for legacy files) came on a single CD, no product key required – back then they trusted the consumer! Yes, those were the days!

  13. AFPhys

    I didn’t mind installing operating systems from multiple floppy, but there was something that really grated on me about the huge number of floppies to install some Adobe (I think) product.

    The guts of MS-DOS (3.3?) fit on a single 5.25″ 360kB (soft) floppy, but you needed a second floppy for tools like partitioning. I am pretty sure that MS-DOS 4.01 fit entirely on a 1.4MB 3″ floppy.

    When Windows came along, that legacy of operating systems being misers for space (and speed) came to an end, sadly.

    I’m not convinced we’ve gained enough to justify the loss.