Sure, you've probably seen plenty of 3.5″ "micro-floppy" disks. But have you ever seen a 3″ compact floppy? I picked up a stack of these at a thrift store about seven years ago. The ones I found were once used with an Amstrad computer (strange to find in the US), which unfortunately wasn't accompanying the disks at the shop. Amstrad, the once-prominent British computer manufacturer, used these disks in a few of their computer models (the CPC and PCW, or so I read), and consequently, mainstream usage of 3″ floppies was limited mostly to the UK. Sony's 3.5″ floppy standard took firm hold in the US because of Apple's decision to use it in the Macintosh.
I've seen an advertisement in an old computer magazine for a 3″ 128k compact floppy drive for the Apple II, one of this format's first applications. Nintendo fans out there might notice similarities between this disk and Nintendo's 3″ Famicom Disk System media, but Nintendo's disks used a proprietary format based on a different standard.
A neat history of the 3″ compact floppy disk can be read here.
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