jvdg at sparcpark.net
jvdg at sparcpark.net
Thu Feb 28 06:10:21 CST 2008
Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 27 Feb 2008 at 19:01, Jerome H. Fine wrote:
>> Although both the drive and media have the word "Zip" on them,
>> I didn't notice until you helped me to remember that they are
>> indeed called Zip drives. I feel I was fortunate to have the
>> internal SCSI version. For the PC, there is a full set of software
>> tools available. For the PDP-11, they are just nice ordinary
>> drives with removable media - although the software WRITE
>> PROTECT feature requires the PC software tools to toggle the
>> status of the media.
> The thing that was nice about the Zip drives was that they
> represented 100MB of inexpensive storage when most of the
> alternatives were pretty pricey. Very popular with the Macintosh
> crowd, Apple offered them as an option. There is a 250MB Zip drive
> also, but they seem not to be as popular as the 100MB version--and I
> don't know a thing about their reliability as compared to their
> smaller cousins.
There are also 750 MB Zip drives. They go for decent prices on eBay, these days, as the era of the Zip drive is pretty much over.
I have Zip drives in all capacities, both internal and external models, and I haven't had one of them fail, yet. But I never owned one of the "original" 100 MB models, so I can't comment on them. I do believe this was the model that earned the Zip drive its reputation of unreliability, with the "Click of Death" problems.
The 250 MB drives are horrendously slow when writing 100 MB media, and the 750 MB ones can't write 100 MB media at all. This is the kind of thing that bites one in the behind at the most inconvenient of times, of course.
Officially, Zip drives only work on PC's and Macs, but I am yet to encounter a machine that won't recognise them as ordinary hard drives. I have internal (ATA and SCSI) drives in some machine, and external USB (250) and FireWire (750) drives, meaning I most of my machines can use Zip drives to perform quick sneakernet data transfer. Still easier and faster than burning CD's, although availability of a fast network does negate their usefulness somewhat.
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