Product Type: Iomega removable disk drives
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Just like 'Zippy' from Rainbow
Iomega ZIP 100 MB USB
Member Name: bigbtommy
Iomega ZIP 100 MB USB
Date: 07/10/01, updated on 07/10/01 (718 review reads)
Advantages: Good, reliable drive
Disadvantages: Expensive Media, Not yet a standard
The Zip drive. It is an interesting beast. I am a bit of an iomega fan, as they're gear always seems to be built to a high quality. So, when I bought my tasty translucent Apple iMac, I also threw in a Zip 100 external drive. I used to use it a lot, but my enjoyment of it has been reduced ever since I bought a CD-burner. That's because of price.
A Zip drive may seem cheap when buying it: you can often pick up the USB model for between £50 and £60, but the disks are a nightmare in terms of price. Firstly, you have to buy the right disks. Check that they are Zip-100's rather than 250's, and make sure they are formatted for your type of computer (you can reformat them, but whats the point? Buy the ones for your computer to save you hassle).
The drive itself is very easy to install. I just plugged it in, grabbed the Mac OS Zip drive installation CD-Rom and shoved it in. Up, up and away, before you can say 'Zip me up'. On the Mac, you insert a disk and it'll mount on your desktop. You can also password-protect disks and format them using Iomega Tools, which sits in your control strip. The Mac cleanly reads both PC and Mac formatted media.
Meanwhile on the Micro$oft Windows platform, you'll need Windows 98. You just shove in the drive, load on the software, meaninglessly reboot 3 to 4 times, and install some more software, and your away. It'll mount in My Computer as the E: drive (or some other assigned drive), and you'll be able to copy stuff of the 'Removable Storage' drive. The PC reads it's own media, but point-blank refuses to open Mac-formatted media. And they say the PC uses open based standards, while the Mac doesn't.
The disks come in two different sizes, and two different formats:
PC100 - PC-based storage of 100Mb
PC250 - PC-based storage of 250Mb
MAC100 - Macintosh-based storage for 100Mb
MAC250 - Macintosh-based storage for 250Mb
The machine I am reviewing, the Zip 100 USB can read MAC100 and PC100 disks. When using a Mac, it can open PC disks and Mac disks, but the PC can only open it's type of disk. A 250 drive can also read 100 disks, therefore if you use 100-based storage, can send to everybody. But 250-based disks cannot be read on a 100 drive.
If your working daily with a Mac and doing things like QuarkXPress, Photoshop and large graphics / layouts, then if you want to send files, I'd reccomend Zip. Most designers, publishers and other Macintosh-based companies prefer to use a simple '100 disk than CD, due to it's compatibility.
Meanwhile, if your working with larger documents than graphics, then I'd reccomend either buying a large Jaz drive (multiple gigabytes on a disk!) or investing in a CD-burner, which provide much cheaper storage:
A MAC100 disk costs £9.95, and stores 100Mb which is approximately 9.95 pence per megabyte.
A box of ten 650Mb CD-RW media costs 12.95: much, much less at 0.0001 pence per megabyte.
With CD-R and CD-RW, media is so cheap you don't actually have to ask for it back, meanwhile whenever I have 'borrowed' Zip disks from work, the boxes are often laden down with 'Please Return to: ___' stickers.
The downside with using CD-R or CD-RW based media is that you have to erase disks which takes time, and multi-session disks aren't yet good enough to be cross-platform compatible etc.
Physically, the Zip drive is portable enough to cart around with you: not portable enough to use on the move, unless you get a bus-powered USB or Firewire one, or have it inbuilt in to your laptop (hey, PC owners!). The weightiest thi
ng about the package is probably the power supply. Not good for portable users, but quite good for using at home to take backups of work and shoving internet downloads on.
You could also do things like have a disk for each of your different projects or clients, and keep all the work on their. Because then, as well as not relying on your hard drive, you can also cart the Zip disk around with you and work on it whenever your at a desk.
As a floppy disk replacement, it probably is the most widespread, along with CD-R. CD-R has the upperhand because you can shove a CD in to pretty much any PC, wheras Zip is very widespread among designers and publishing houses, so if your in the graphic or web design market, get yourself a Zip 100 drive, or if you get a lot of work sent in on Zip, consider a 250. Although then the drive is a lot more expensive, as is the media.
One day they'll have these on every machine as standard, and I will be most happy. But, I *need* to find a cheaper media supplier. Apple have already gone the first step in removing the 1.44Mb floppy drive, now it's just a matter of time before the PC industry copy those revolutionary steps of taking out outdated technology. Apparantely (according to my sources, humm, theRegister.co.uk), Intel are planning to remove the floppy, but what will be it's replacement?
Superdrive? Good, but the manufacturer's don't support it anymore.
Zip? Read the advantages above.
Jaz? Like Zip but with very expensive and high-capacity media.
CompactFlash, SmartMedia or MMC? Could be. Digital cameras are getting very popular, as are MP3 players, and these standards could be the way forward, although Flash storage seems rather expensive.
CD-RW is the way forward, although Zip will always have a place in my heart. I only really use it to transfer stuff quickly between my Mac and my bro's PC. And for that function it's really good. If you need it
, it's good. But question yourself -WHY- do I need it, before you decide you do need it.