Went looking for an icon to represent the “Save…” or “Save As…” operation in an application. The icons I am finding are all images of a floppy disk. For long-time GUI users, this image is familiar and requires no thought. For newer users … they may never have seen a floppy disk. The image has become antique.

When was the last time you used a computer with a floppy disk drive? When did you last save a file to a floppy disk?

Seems rather past time for a new icon. :)

Funny bit is that the square-with-notched-corner shape of a floppy looks rather like an SD memory card. Still not a good choice for file-save, as more likely use is to copy files from the memory card.

Checked to see if Microsoft had any good ideas. Office 2007 uses a image of a floppy for “Save…” and “Save As…” - adding a pencil writing on the floppy label (an antique behavior) for the “Save As…” icon. Internet Explorer changes “Save As…” so the pencil is writing on the sliding metal cover that protected the magnetic film (not really a good idea).

Went searching through GUI Style Guides looking to see if Microsoft (nope) or Apple (nope) had an updated replacement. Along the way ran across the style guide sections on designing for differing display resolutions. Display resolution is measured in DPI (dots-per-inch) and display sizes are measured in inches. Because both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software were originally developed on the west coast of the United States, entire generations of programmers and users have learned to think about screen sizes in inches.

Have you noticed that all the HDTVs sold have sizes measured in inches, not in Metric System units?

This is odd, as only the United States still holds firmly to the old “British Imperial System” of measures, and HDTVs are not made here. Even odder, in countries that do use the Metric measures, the HDTV sizes are still expressed in inches. (Don’t believe me? Check out the Amazon site in France - home of the Metric System.)

If only the French had developed Windows … then the Metric System would have had a chance. :)