Comment 1SB Re: Zip wasn't that bad


The worst storage media of all time


Zip wasn't that bad (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-05-19 13:25 (#1QQ)

I was an early adopter of Zip drives. They weren't terrible devices, although they did have problems, largely stemming - I think - from quality control issues down the line. They gained a bad reputation because of this but in most cases Zip drives were quite decent.

Of course, looking back we wonder how we ever managed. Putting aside the reliability issues, Zip's now-laughable 1MB/s transfer rate, 100MB storage and price of $10/disk seem too slow, too small and far, far too expensive. But it has to be remembered that - when released - most computers had hard-drives measuring in only hundreds of megabytes, and the primary method of data-transfer was still floppy disks. CD-ROM burners cost thousands of dollars and flash-drives were just a gleam in some mad inventor's eye. As a replacement for the notoriously unreliable 1.44" floppy drive, the Zip drive was a god-send. Even when CD-burners started coming into the market, Zip retained its usefulness; for a long time, it was faster to write to Zip than to optical, and it had the advantage in that you could erase and re-write to the media as many times as needed. But Zip was never really designed to compete with optical; it was intended as a replacement for the floppy and - in my eyes - it served its purpose admirably.

Eventually I too gave up my Zip drives (just as I gave up cassette tapes, floppies and CD-Rs); technology marched on and better alternatives became available. But I still look fondly on my little blue drives.

Re: Zip wasn't that bad (Score: 1)

by on 2014-05-20 10:53 (#1SB)

When zip drives were a thing, floppies were pretty reliable. It's only more recently they got very unreliable (in around 2001-2002, it was pretty common for floppies to work for a single use only). Older drives are still fine, I have a Tektronix digital storage scope with a floppy drive (and I keep a computer with a floppy drive around), and if I ever need to transfer a screen grab off the scope the drive always works, and captures I grabbed 3 or 4 years ago are still perfectly readable using the older 3.5in drive in the computer.


Time Reason Points Voter
2014-05-21 02:20 Normal 0

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