Believe it or not, Sony managed to shift 12 million 3.5-inch floppy disks in Japan last year -- presumably to die-hard old schoolers. Alas, time waits for no one, and the venerable data transporter that started its life way back in 1981 is going to all but cease production by March of next year. Sony was the last of the major manufacturers to keep churning these bits of plastic out, but soon that too shall be no more. Having already shut down operations in most of the world, it's now noted the end of life for its domestic market, and thereby effectively consigned the floppy to the past. Good riddance, you might say, but we still remember fondly the wonder we experienced upon tearing apart our first 5.25-inch floppy disk. Ah well, the diskette goes the way of the cassette, guess that was predictable.