Object Collection: Blank 3.5″ Floppy Disk

It’s been nine years (wow!) since I last contributed something to my Object Collection project, so this is a fun one. I was scanning photos and documents for my 20 year college reunion (which I flew back to Calgary for in October) and among my keepsakes was a 3.5″ floppy disk I used for school projects. I thought it would be fun to remind my classmates about our reliance upon the humble floppy disk in 1998 – and boy did we ever rely on it! I remember more than one student who kept using the same disk from the year before, and when it died and they lost their work they were shocked (I preached the gospel of backups even back then, but no one thinks it will ever happen to them…).

I scanned a 6 megapixel version of the disk, but it had writing on the label. I spent a couple of minutes in Photoshop CC trying to remove the writing but quickly realized it would take me at least 20 minutes of work to get it cleaned up, and I wasn’t confident I could do that good of a job. Here’s what the original looked like – it also had a nasty shadow up top I knew would be a pain to fix.

I’d mentioned Fivver to some friends yesterday, and I’d been curious about what using the service was like – so I found a guy named Tauseef Nasir in Pakistan who would edit one image for $5 and promised results in only one hour. This seemed almost too good to be true, so while I wasn’t exactly convinced I’d get an image that met my quality standards (hey, I have high standards) I thought I’d give it a try. One $6.50 PayPal payment later ($5 + service fees), I uploaded the 75 MB original PSD file with instructions of what I wanted, and waited. Exactly 47 minutes later, Tauseef sent me back a perfect edit. I could have spent an hour at it and likely not achieved a result this good.

Consider me impressed with not only his work, but Fivver as a platform in general! So here you have the first partially-outsourced entry into the Object Collection: an aged, perfectly blank-labelled 3.5″ floppy disk circa 1998.

[Download high-res version, transparent PNG]