Iomega Zip drives were the choice for expanded external storage in the 90’s and early 2000 because alternatives were 1.44MB floppy disks that were becoming a problem due to the nature of files and multimedia need much more space. CD writers were available at the time but were slow and un-reliable at times. Also Zip drives were much cheaper to purchase, however the disks for the Zip drivers were expensive compared to CDRW discs. Storage is 100MB, 250MB & 750MB hence the 3 models that have each number. New models are backwards compatible with smaller size disks. Writing to Iomega’s disk varies depending on which drive interface is used. Drivers below are for the Zip 100, Zip 250, Zip 750 are below for Parallel, USB, SCSI,IDE & PC Card interfaces.
Using the USB versions of the Zip Drives do work on Windows 7 onwards without the need for any extra driver installation. However, be aware if the Windows asks you to format the disk on later versions of Windows DON’T DO IT especially if you are trying to recover data, instead find a computer with Windows XP or lower and use that computer to recover your data.
Show: Full Specs/Additional configurations
IOMEGA ZIP DRIVE - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Compilation, general info, and Mac info by [email protected]
PC info by [email protected]
(Not in any way associated with Iomega)
Thanks to [email protected]
This FAQ attempts to answer many common questions and clarify many
misconceptions about the Iomega Zip drive, one of the most innovative and
viable secondary storage and backup devices to come on to the Mac scene
in a very long time.
Additions, addendums, corrections, or further questions can be submitted
to stev[email protected]. In no way whatsoever am I to be held responsible
for errors or omissions in this FAQ that could lead to further
misconceptions, problems, data loss, conflicting issues or (for whatever
reasons) sudden death. Use this FAQ at your own risk.
- - - - -
***NEW IN THIS VERSION...
* By popular demand! Zip drive information for PC clones;
* Most of the spelling should now be correct, so stop bugging me;
* Zip vs EZ135-Which is better?;
* Where this FAQ is posted and how to get your questions answered;
* Outside USA Zip considerations;
* More valiant attempts at making this thing more legible.
- - - - -
NOTE: Unless specified otherwise, all transfer rates and access times
listed throughout this FAQ are in reference to the SCSI version of the
- - - - -
***INFORMATION AT A GLANCE...
SIZE OF ZIP DRIVE: Approximately 7" long by 5.25" wide by 1.5" high
LENGTH OF SCSI CABLE: 3' (three feet)
SIZE OF POWER SUPPLY: 3.25"x2.5"x2.25" (see ASCII diagram)
3.25"- / / |
/ / |
| | /|
LENGTH OF POWER CABLE: 6' (six feet)
CURRENT CAPACITY: 100-MB cartridges store 94.1-MB after formatting
25-MB cartridges expected to ship soon
TRANSFER SPEED: See chart near bottom of FAQ.
PRESS RATINGS: MacWeek (unknown issue date), 5 stars (5=top rating)
MacWorld (July 1995), 4 stars (5=top rating)
MacUser (July 1995), 4.5 stars (5=top rating)
- - - - -
This FAQ is posted on an as-needed and as-completed basis to the
If you have a Zip-related question which you'd like to see directly
addressed in this FAQ, please send mail to the appropriate users.
For Mac Q&[email protected]
For PC Q&A.[email protected] (who will forward the answer
to me for inclusion in the next edition of the FAQ)
For all other platforms...Until we get appropriate "Zip Gurus" on other
platforms, post questions to your local usenet
newsgroup(s) that relate to your platform.
- - - - -
Q: What is the Zip drive?
A: The Zip drive is a new drive from Iomega Corporation, makers of the
Bernoulli line of removable storage devices (SyQuest's primary
competition in that field). The drive uses proprietary cartridges
providing 100-MB unformatted storage capacity (25-MB cartridges are
expected to be released soon). The drive was first advertised in the
catalog pages of MacWarehouse (a popular mail order company) several
months before the drive began shipping. As a result, a huge backorder was
created even before the first drives began trickling out. After the
drives began shipping in earnest, other mail order companies and local
retailers began advertising and selling them. Waiting periods ranged from
a few days to over a month, depending on which vendor you ordered from
and exactly when you ordered.
The drive itself is rather small (slightly larger than the typical Supra
modem), and weighs less than one pound (including disk). The case is a
cheap-feeling but reasonably sturdy dark blue plastic affair with six
gray rubber feet attached, allowing the drive to be set flat (like a
typical modem) or on edge. A green LED on the front of the drive
indicates that the drive has power, while an orange LED next to it acts
as a busy light. A small round gray button is set below the two LEDs and
acts as an emergency eject button. (When the drive is connected to the
Mac, the disk is automatically ejected like a floppy disk when the disk
icon is dragged to the trash can. If for some reason you have a disk
installed and the computer is not turned on, for example, pressing the
button on the drive will eject the disk.) A clear plastic window is on
the top of the drive allowing the user to see the label of an inserted
disk. The back of the drive has two 25-pin SCSI connectors. Between the
two connectors are two switches; one allows the user to set the drive
between SCSI ID 5 and 6 (those are the only two options available), while
the other provides termination (ON if the Zip is the last device on the
SCSI chain, OFF if there are devices on either side of the SCSI chain).
The power inlet is located on the side of the drive (on the same side
that would face down if the drive were positioned on its side) and
provides both a recessed power connector and a recessed power cable guide
for aesthetically routing the power cord.
The drive ships with an external two-prong power supply (which weighs
slightly more than the drive itself!), one 100-MB "Zip Tools" cartridge
containing many excellent utilities for formatting, indexing and backing
up your data, two floppy disks for installation (one for Mac, one for
PC), a thin but complete owner's manual, a shielded 25-to-25 pin SCSI
cable, and the usual assortment of promotional goodies. Setting up the
drive takes only a few minutes.
Q: What's the deal with the cartridges?
A: As of this writing, only 100-MB cartridges are shipping. Each
cartridge has an unformatted capacity of 100-MB; after formatting, they
provide about 95-MB of storage capacity. Cartridges cost between $15 and
$25 apiece depending on vendor and quantity purchased. Each cartridge
measures about 3.875" square and are about .25" thick. They come in a
hard clear plastic fold-out case, similar to a magneto-optical disk. The
cartridges are prelabeled; replacement labels are available from Iomega
for a rather pricey $3 for a package of 10. Iomega plans to have 25-MB
cartridges available soon.
Cartridges can be formatted with just about any SCSI formatting utility,
including Hard Disk Toolkit, Silverlining, and Drive7. No significant
performance or capacity differences were noted between using the
different formatting utilities. (Golden Triangle's TimesTwo utility can
be successfully used to format the disks for the Mac to an artificial
200-MB each, but all things considered, this isn't a smart idea for many
Q: How fast is the drive?
A: Like any SCSI device, overall performance will vary depending on what
system and configuration is used. (The drive will, of course, work with
any Mac with a SCSI port on it, which includes every Mac from the Mac
Plus forward.) On my system (Mac IIci w/33Mhz DayStar Turbo 040i, 32-MB
physical RAM, System 7.5.1, about one row of extensions on a 24-bit
1024x768 monitor), Speedometer 4.0 gives the drive a rating of .794,
which is slightly faster than the Performantz 44-MB SyQuest drive that I
tested as a comparison device (and gave a rating of .736). This is fast
enough to run most software; QuickTime movies run quite smoothly from Zip
disks, as do sampled sounds and similar time-specific files. (See more
detailed ratings at the bottom of this FAQ.)
Q: Does the Zip drive use Bernoulli technology?
A: No, not at all. The Zip drive is a sort of hybrid of modern drive
assembly techniques and established Winchester-type drive mechanisms. The
Bernoulli Effect, and the technology that Iomega applies to it, is not to
be found in this drive.
Q: It's such a new drive...How does it rate in terms of quality?
A: Only time will tell for that, of course. It is my personal feeling,
and the overwhelming feeling of most of the Zip owners on the internet,
that the Zip drive is quite solid and reliable. I've personally put about
two hundred consecutive hours of access time on my Zip drive and had nary
a single problem. I've transported the drive in a plain plastic grocery
bag to work and back (a half hour New York walk) and hadn't had a problem
with it. The drive is tightly constructed, though some may think it feels
cheap. (My drive survived numerous leg-bumps while walking to and from
work and survived without a single scratch.)
Q: Will the Zip drive work with System 7's virtual memory?
A: Like all other removable storage devices, no, it will not work. I
understand, however, that other virtual memory programs exist which can
use removable storage devices (and, as such, the Zip drive) as VM
storage, but that's a subject for another FAQ. :-)
Q: Can you boot a Mac from a Zip disk?
A: Yes, you can. There are two ways to accomplish this. (The following
instructions assume that you have a Zip disk with the proper System
software installed on it.)
First, when the computer is up and running, insert a Zip disk. Open the
"Startup Disk" control panel and select the Zip disk as your startup
disk. While holding down the OPTION key, select RESTART from the SPECIAL
menu; holding down OPTION prevents the Zip disk from being ejected. (If
for some reason the Zip disk IS ejected after you select RESTART, simply
reinsert the Zip disk BEFORE the "happy Mac" icon comes up and you'll be
The second way is a bit different and assumes that your computer is
turned off, but the startup disk is the hard drive you usually boot from.
Power up your Zip and insert the Zip disk. Boot your Mac while holding
down the SHIFT, COMMAND, OPTION, and DELETE keys; this forces your Mac to
bypass the internal hard drive and should cause your Mac to boot right
from the Zip disk.
Q: What if I want to buy one Zip drive for use on several different machines?
A: Well, if they're all Macs, you're set. Just install the Zip Tools
software on each machine and off you go. Of course, you'll need to
physically move the Zip drive from one Mac to another as well. If you're
dealing with a mixed Mac and PC environment, your options change. If your
PC has a SCSI card you can plug the Zip drive into it, install the PC Zip
Tools, and away you go. If you don't have a SCSI card on your PC, Iomega
offers a ZIP SCSI adapter for $60 (Iomega part #10013). If you don't want
SCSI on your PC, you can buy the parallel version of the Zip drive. It
offers all the same features of the SCSI Zip drive, but it interfaces
with the more common parallel connectors on PC's.
If you're looking to use the Zip drive on other platforms, the SCSI drive
is probably the way you'd want to go. Since the Zip SCSI performs just
like any other SCSI device, it should work on such platforms as an Amiga,
Atari ST series, NeXT, and Sun workstations. It has been confirmed by
others that the SCSI Zip drive works flawlessly on Atari 8-bit w/SCSI
interface and Amiga computers. The hardware interface is easy; connect it
as you would any other SCSI device. The potential problem lies in the Zip
Tools software. Iomega packages the Zip drive with Zip Tools for Mac and
PC running Windows (they also offer the Zip Tools package for OS/2; this
disk costs an additional $20 and is Iomega part #10045). If you want to
run the Zip on another computer, it's up to you to come up with
formatting and mounting software. (On the Atari 8-bit series, it has been
reported that SpartaDOS works perfectly with the Zip drive.)
Q: Will it work with a PowerBook?
A: Absolutely! However, you'll need to invest in an HDI-SCSI adapter;
Iomega sells this for $20 and is part #10042. Other manufacturers sell
this type of adapter at comparable prices.
Q: What other goodies are offered with Zip?
A: A small color brochure is included with the drive selling such items
as carrying cases, Zip disk holders, extra Zip disks (which are more
expensive than mail order and some retail outlets), Zip disk labels, Zip
SCSI cables, the aforementioned PowerBook adapter, power supplies, Zip
SCSI cards, and Zip Tools for the three mentioned platforms. It is
mentioned in the Zip documentation that a Zip drive cleaning kit is
offered through Iomega; however, there is no evidence of this kit in the
color brochure. (Note that the Zip drive CANNOT be cleaned with a
conventional floppy drive cleaning kit, so don't try it!)
Q: Any other things, good or bad, that I should know?
A: There are some issues which some people find fault with which I'll
point out here. First, the drive has no POWER switch. When the drive is
plugged into an active electrical outlet, it's on; when it's unplugged,
it's off. I personally have no problem with this as my drive is plugged
into a switchable power station (Kensington MasterPiece Plus; no
affiliation, though I think this is an excellent unit) and I can turn it
off and on with the station's button.
The drive also has only two SCSI ID options (5 and 6), which means that
if you have a relatively full SCSI chain, you may find yourself switching
the ID's of other devices on the chain.
As was previously stated, the drive has two 25-pin SCSI connectors and
ships with a 25-to-25 pin SCSI cable. For most users with multiple SCSI
devices, this means that the Zip drive will be the first drive on the
SCSI chain and other devices will plug into the Zip drive. If you happen
to have a spare 50-to-25 pin SCSI cable, you can place the Zip drive on
the end of the SCSI chain (thus eliminating the need for external
terminators, since the Zip has switchable termination) by connecting the
50-pin end to your formerly-last SCSI device the the 25-pin end to the
Zip drive. This is NOT to say that the Zip drive couldn't be placed in
the middle of your SCSI chain. It certainly can; the only thing you'd
need to accomplish this is the appropriate SCSI cables (25-to-25 and/or
25-to-50, depending on your other devices).
The drive is VERY quiet. For some, this is a blessing; for others, a
curse. The drive makes a quiet (library-level) clicking sound as the
read/write heads move across the disk, but that's about it. Do not rely
on auditory feedback to determine the status of the Zip drive. :-)
The drive also has a power saving mode. When the drive is not accessed
for a few minutes, the drive kicks down into a low-power mode. When the
drive needs to be accessed while in low-power mode, it only takes about a
second for the drive to get back into action (considerably less time than
it takes for a PowerBook's hard drive to spin back up).
When inserting a disk, there is no lengthly spin-up time like a SyQuest
drive so the disk is almost instantly available. When a disk is ejected,
there is no spin-down time so the disk ejects at least as fast (if not
faster) than a floppy disk, and leaves the drive with a very solid and
satisfying "ker-CHUNK" sound.
Q: I want more information and, gee-golly-gosh-darn-it, this FAQ just
isn't enough! How can I get in touch with the folks who make the Zip?
A: It turns out that there's a whole lot of different ways you can
contact Iomega. If you're still living in the Stone Age (or, perhaps more
appropriately, the Stamp Age), you can write them: Iomega Corporate
Office, Iomega Corporation, 1821 West Iomega Way, Roy, Utah 84067-9977,
USA. The voice telephone number for their corporate offices is
801-778-1000, but DON'T call there unless absolutely necessary. Iomega
has been smart enough to supply about half a dozen alternative telephone
resources. An Interactive Voice Help system (24 hours) is available at
1-800-456-5522 (or 801-778-3000 if you're in the area code). Sales
Information is at 1-800-MY-STUFF (1-800-697-8899). An automated FAX
assistance system (US and Canada only; 24 hours) is at 801-778-5763. But
wait! There's more! Iomega operates a BBS at 801-392-9819. They're on
CompuServe (Mac users type "GO MACCVEN", PC users type "GO PCVENE") and
America Online (keyword "IOMEGA"), and they have an internet email
address at [email protected]. Finally (?), they operate a Web page at
- - - - -
TRAVEL WITH YOUR ZIP DRIVE A LOT? READ THIS!
Q: Is the Zip drive available with a power supply of 220/240 vaults
so that it will work in other countries?
A: Yes and no. By itself, the Zip drive ships with a USA-standard power
supply which can't be used everywhere around the world. However, Iomega
sells a "Universal Power Supply" (item #10044) for $40 which, according
to Iomega documentation is "smaller, lighter, and usable worldwide". I've
received some reports from several people who state that this power
supply works in several different countries. Zip owners in the USA who
travel within the country with their Zip drive may want to consider this
power supply as it is indeed smaller and lighter than the standard power
supply (almost half the size, in fact) and would make portability that
Q: Does that "Universal Power Supply" include all ten billion adapters
to fit the various electrical outlets of the world?
A: No idea. The person I spoke with at Iomega told me that he thinks it
includes several different adapters, but isn't positive.
- - - - -
GOT A PC CLONE? THIS IS THE STUFF YOU'LL WANT TO PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO!
Q: What's a Zip Drive-SCSI for PC?
A: Well, it's the same thing as a Zip drive for Mac. Depending on your
SCSI interface, it should be about the same speed. Iomega sells an
inexpensive ($54) SCSI card for the Zip drive called the Zip Zoom (see
below). The software for both Macs and Windows ships with the drive; if
you're using OS/2, you'll need to purchase the Zip Tools software
separately from Iomega for $20.
Q: What's this Zip Zoom SCSI adapter all about?
A: It's a SCSI-1 ISA card based on the Adaptec 1505 and has an external
25-pin SCSI connector. It doesn't have an internal SCSI connector, but it
does seem to allow you to chain other SCSI devices off of it either
before or after your Zip drive. If you want SCSI-2 or a bus-master card
(?) then you may want to buy a different SCSI card. Infoworld (5-1-95)
reports backing up 397-MB in 57 minutes (6.97-MB/minute) and restoring
that same data in 27 minutes (14.7-MB/minute) with the Zip Zoom adapter.
Q: What about booting a DOS/Windows machine from the Zip drive?
A: That depends on your SCSI adapter. The Zip Zoom doesn't support
booting from the Zip drive, though other SCSI cards may.
Q: Can I use the Zip Drive for both my PC and my Mac?
A: Yes. In fact, Iomega ships the drive with floppies for both Macs and
PCs, but there's a catch. As soon as you run the program to install the
Zip Tools utilities that are included on the Zip Tools disk, the
installer will erase the partition (about 50-MB) of the system that you
are NOT installing it for. (So if you run the install program from a Mac,
it erases the DOS partition and vice versa.) Iomega's official position
is that you have to buy a second Zip Tools disk if you want to install on
Q: That sucks! How can we get Zip Tools installed on both the Mac
AND the PC without forking over more dough?
A: Apparently the installer doesn't delete the other system's tools until
you actually RUN the installer. The workaround is to run the Guest
program to mount the disk, then use a disk duplication program (that gets
the whole disk, sector by sector) to dupe the Zip Tools disk. Some people
have reported doing this successfully with the Disk Duplicator program
that is on the Macintosh partition of the Zip Tools. Once you have a
duplicate of the Zip Tools disk, you can use one to install for your Mac,
and then the other to install for your DOS/Windows machine.
Q: I already installed it for one platform, and now I can't install for
the other. Help!
A: If you have America Online, go to Iomega's SIG (keyword: iomega). The
files are available in the PC Utilities section of their software library:
ZIPTOOLS.EXE ....part one of the Zip Tools package for PC
FIND.EXE ........part two of the Zip Tools package for PC
IOSCSI.EXE ......Iomega SCSI drivers, including the Zip Disk drivers, for PC
Zip Tools version 4.2.1 .....the whole Zip Tools package for Mac
Q: Ok, I downloaded the files that I need. Now what?
A: Those are self-extracting files, so for god's sake, be careful! Make a
directory called \ZIPTOOLS, move the ZIPTOOLS.EXE file in there and run
it from that directory. Make a subdirectory \ZIPTOOLS\FINDIT, move
FIND.EXE into it, then run that (from the FINDIT subdirectory). For
further instructions, read the README.NOW file in the \ZIPTOOLS
directory. To install the SCSI drivers, make a directory called \IOMEGA,
and move the IOSCSI.EXE file there. Now run it from that directory. Run
MANUAL.EXE and read how to install it. You can use the INSTALL program or
do it manually.
Q: My PC doesn't have a SCSI adapter. What do I do?
A: You can either buy a SCSI adapter (from Iomega or from somewhere else)
and run with it, or you can buy the Zip Drive-Parallel, which is
(obviously) a Zip drive that plugs into a PC's parallel port.
Q: How fast is it?
A: According to the readme.txt file, the transfer speed for standard
parallel port is 2-6 MB/minute, bi-directional parallel port is
6-17MB/minute, and enhanced parallel port is 17-22/minute.
Q: No, really, how fast is it in Real Life?
A: Huei-Chin Lin <[email protected]> reports:
I had transferred a 12-MB zipped file from my Zip-disk to my hard drive,
and roughly timing it. It took about a minute to transfer a 12-MB file
from Zip disk to my hard drive. (My computer is 486DX2-50 with 8-MB RAM.)
I had even zipped my whole window directory and subdirectories to my Zip
disk, and it is only a bit slower than the speed I've got when I zipped
the same thing to my hard drive (remember that I was using EPP capacities
and I only tested it without any benchmarking).
Q: Why would I want a parallel version instead of a faster SCSI version?
A: Well, not all PC's have SCSI adapters and you may not want one, so the
parallel drive would be for you. Other than that, it's a matter of
- - - - -
CONFIRMED: Power Computing, the first licensed and authorized
manufacturer of Macintosh clones, is working with Iomega to provide an
internal Zip drive for the Power Computing clones; Iomega has verified
this and has publicly stated that they're working on an internal version
for end-user installation in other machines. Power Computing has said
that if/when the Zip drive becomes available (as optional equipment) on
their clones, it will be (paraphrased) "at a substantially lower price"
than the external Zip drive. Figuring that about half of the Zip's cost
comes from the case and power supply, it is my opinion that it would be
quite possible to see Power Computing offer the Zip drive as a $100 option.
CONFIRMED: Iomega is working on a larger capacity removable storage drive
currently code named "Viper". The Viper drive is expected to cost ~$500
for the internal version (~$600 external) and use ~$100 3.5" cartridges
that hold 1.3-GB apiece. Iomega is denying everything except that they
are indeed working on a "larger capacity drive" for future distribution.
- - - - -
Many people had requested more solid reference numbers to compare the
SCSI Zip drive with other types of storage devices. Okay; here ya go.
These results were obtained using Norton Utilities 3.1's "System Info"
program on an accelerated Mac IIci (DayStar Turbo 040i @ 33Mhz) with
32-MB RAM (real RAM) running System 7.5.1 and with no non-System-7.5
extensions loaded except for the Iomega Driver; disk cache was set to
256K. The IIci's hard drive and the SyQuest were formatted with
Silverlining 5.54/23; the Zip was formatted using Iomega Tools 4.2. Note
that specific results will vary a bit from machine to machine due to CPU
speed, system configuration, specific architecture, etc.
MAC IIci HD ZIP-100 44-MB SYQUEST
RANDOM READ: 116K/sec 38.5K/sec 37.3K/sec
1K SEQUENTIAL READ: 382.3K/sec 47.1K/sec 51.9K/sec
4K SEQUENTIAL READ: 757K/sec 171K/sec 165K/sec
16K SEQUENTIAL READ: 999K/sec 491K/sec 361K/sec
64K SEQUENTIAL READ: 1010K/sec 927K/sec 516K/sec
256K SEQUENTIAL READ: 1099K/sec 1186K/sec 579K/sec
RANDOM WRITE: 71.1K/sec 38.9K/sec 36.1K/sec
1K SEQUENTIAL WRITE: 72.0K/sec 47K/sec 48.8K/sec
4K SEQUENTIAL WRITE: 253K/sec 171K/sec 158K/sec
16K SEQUENTIAL WRITE: 695K/sec 491K/sec 356K/sec
64K SEQUENTIAL WRITE: 986K/sec 926K/sec 511K/sec
256K SEQUENTIAL WRITE: 1216K/sec 1189K/sec 579K/sec
More information that may be useful...
* The Zip drive and its cartridges _are_not_compatible_ with any other
media or drive. A Zip drive cannot read/write/format/recognize
magneto-optical disks, floppy disks, or any other sort of non-Zip media.
* Unconfirmed but several people have mentioned this to me: MS-DOS
formatted Zip disks seem to be in more plentiful supply than Mac
formatted Zip disks, presumably because the Zip drive isn't making as big
a splash in the PC world since they have never had as strong a deficit of
low-cost, high-capacity secondary storage devices. If you can find PC
formatted Zip disks, snag 'em; they can be easily reformatted to work on
the Mac. (And vice-versa, if the need is there.)
* Speaking of which, YES, you can take a PC formatted Zip disk and read
it in your Mac's Zip drive PROVIDED you have the appropriate PC access
software running. I've tried it with PC Exchange (included in System 7.5)
and it works fine. Presumably you can also read Mac disks in a PC Zip
drive, though you'd need a comparable "read Mac disks" utility on the PC.
- - - - -
THE TITLE BOUT: IOMEGA ZIP vs SYQUEST EZ135
SyQuest will soon be releasing a new drive called the "EZ135" (formerly
known by its code name, "Roadrunner"). This drive will reportedly cost
~$230 for an external version (~$200 for an internal version) and use
~$20 cartridges that store 135-MB each. EZ135 weighs about 2-3 lbs
(considerably more than the diet-conscious Zip), but is also about twice
There are many mixed messages about which drive will ultimately prevail.
However, I personally feel that the Zip drive will be the winner for
several reasons. Here's why:
* The Zip drive is cheaper. Zip costs $200 for external, while EZ135 is
~$30 more. Furthermore, when the Zip drive starts to sell internally,
chances are it will cost considerably less than the EZ135's internal
price of $200.
* Zip cartridges are smaller, lighter, and more transportable. EZ135's
cartridges will likely need to be stored in the same sort of padded
carrying case as "standard" SyQuest cartridges. As a result, you'll see
less of them being used with portable computers and, consequently, with
* Zip already has a substantial market lead over SyQuest. Historically
speaking, the Mac market hasn't had much in the way of brand-loyalty.
SyQuest drives became the predominant standard not because of any
outstanding features, but simply because they were cheap in comparison to
the more expensive Bernoulli drives. However, I can count literally
hundreds of people who have abandoned their SyQuest drives for the Zip drive.
* The Zip will eventually be offered as optional equipment in Power
Computing's Mac clones (and hopefully Apple's own products), whereas the
EZ135 will not. This has the potential to give the Zip drive an even
larger marketing lever.
* Though EZ135 is faster, Zip is already fast enough for the majority of
users. QuickTime movies, sound files, and similar time-intensive files
play just fine from Zip. Only a comparatively few users will actually
_need_ the additional speed that EZ135 offers, and when you consider this
in relation to everything else, the EZ135's speed becomes a
* EZ135 cartridges hold about 30-MB more data after formatting, true, but
is that enough to justify a more expensive, heavier drive? I don't think
so. Again, the fact that the Zip is so easily transportable makes it the
better drive, regardless of the data storage capacity. If SyQuest's new
drive were to hold, say, 200-MB or more it would be a considerably
* People may be angry at SyQuest for "holding out" on the community. More
than a few users have wondered out loud why SyQuest didn't introduce the
EZ135 before Zip came on the scene. The most logical answer is that
SyQuest was making so much money off its other, lower-capacity drives
that they didn't want to rock the boat by introducing the EZ135. Only
when Iomega started severely cutting into SyQuest's market did SyQuest
respond with athe EZ135. In short, it seems that SyQuest was more
interested in lining its own pockets instead of advancing the technology.
While this is probably good for business, it doesn't make the users any
It's ultimately a simple matter of time deciding which drive will
prevail, but if I had to place money on the outcome, I'd bet on Zip.
- - - - -
THE RUMOR MILL...
Remember, these are JUST RUMORS!
* It has been brought to my attention that at a recent MacWorld Expo in
San Francisco, Iomega was giving out "dummy" Zip cartridges, presumably
as some sort of promotional gimmick. Apparently Iomega had some sort of
deal going where you could trade on these dummy cartridges for real Zip
cartridges. Truth or fiction, I have no idea.
* A longstanding rumor about a 200-MB Zip drive has touched just about
everyone's screens. To the best of my knowledge, this rumor started when,
in an interview regarding the Zip drive, an Iomega executive made a
statement to the effect that "Zip technology is at its infancy" and that
"it would be easy enough to make a Zip drive that can store twice the
current amount or more." Needless to say, many people took this to mean
that a 200-MB Zip drive is in the works. As best as I've been able to
ascertain, *a 200-MB Zip drive, if it ever comes to light, will not be
available anytime soon*. Realistically speaking, this makes lots of
financial sense for Iomega. 100-MB Zip drives are selling faster than
Iomega can make them; if they make a 200-MB drive available now (or
within the next month or three), that will instantly cut 100-MB Zip drive
sales down to the bone as people wait for the 200-MB drives. Why cut
their own throats? I don't doubt that larger capacity Zip drives will
*eventually* come to light, but I also believe that it'll be at least
half a year before we see them. (The "Viper" drive that is tentatively
being developed may be the drive which this rumor sprouted from.)
- - - - -
Damn, this thing gets more massive each time around. <:-)