Hands-On Iomega Zip 250
megas 250MB USB Zip drive has a myriad of uses in education, limited only by ones imagination. From capturing and storing large video files for lectures or presentations, to downloading entire Web sites for elementary classrooms to safely browse offline, the new 250MB disks offer a lot of options for educators.
Much smaller in size and sleeker in design than the original Zip drives, the new 250 is also quite a bit faster. One of the drives best features is its backwards-compatibility with older 100MB Zip disks. Although the drive reads and writes to the older 100MB disks slower than the new 250MB disks, you at least dont have to transfer all of your files onto new disks, and you can still read someone elses older ZIP disks.
With the drives USB connection, installation is literally a snap simply snap the connector into its socket and you have a working drive. Since more and more education-oriented PCs (a la Compaqs iPaq, Gateways E-1400 low-profile units, Apples iMac) are featuring hot-swappable USB ports, the job of network administrators and computer lab technicians has become much easier. Now, instead of shutting down a PC or an entire bank of machines just to install a drive or swap out a faulty keyboard, merely unplug or plug in a new peripheral and the OS automatically takes care of installing the necessary drivers. Someday soon well all take this for granted and cease to be wowed by the ease of use USB offers. For those of us raised on incomprehensible jumper switches and conflicting serial ports, however, USB will always hold a special place in our hearts.
This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.