Removable Storage Options
By: Scott Hendison · Published: March 1998
Many of the questions that I get e-mailed to me by EC News readers have to do with some of the newer technology available for home computer users. Of course everyone now knows that your hard drive is your main computer "file cabinet", and a floppy drive is for small disks that are not really floppy at all, but hard plastic. A CD ROM drive has been standard equipment in every computer sold for the last three years, and virtually all software now comes only on CD's, but what are the new buzz words like Zip, Jazz, CDR, CDRW, and DVD?
A Zip drive is a large capacity floppy drive. While floppy disk holds about 1.44 megabytes of information, a Zip disk holds over 70 times that much, or 100 megabytes. Zip drives come in two styles, Internal and External. The internal are built in right near your floppy and CD ROM Drives, the External usually plug into your printer port, as well as a power outlet. Zip disks are durable, long lasting, easy to transport, and relatively inexpensive.
A Jazz drive basically works the same way a Zip Drive does, except they are 10 or 20 times larger than a zip disk. 700 floppy disks or 10 Zip disks will all fit on the smallest Jazz disk! The drawback is that the disks themselves are between 80 and 110 dollars. They are also very fragile. If dropped, all the data can be lost, unlike floppy or Zip disks.
A CDR is a CD ROM drive that also allows you to record onto the CD. You buy blank CD's like blank disks, and then copy files, music, etc. to the CD. They hold about 400 megabytes, or 280 floppy disks of information. The blank disks very inexpensive, and last as long as any CD. The drawback to these once used, you cannot reuse them again. They are most useful for making your own photograph or music CD's. Some people also illegally copy software with them. When you hear the term "Pirated software" there is usually a CDR involved.
A CDRW is a CDR, but Rewritable. You can reuse it over again. The convenience is nice, but the blank CD's are about 10 times more expensive than the regular CDR disks.
Finally we come to DVD Drives. DVD stands for Digital VideoDisk. The disks themselves look similar to regular CD's but they hold up to 16 gigabytes, or over 11,000 floppy disks, of information! This allows entire movies to be put on a single CD. In addition, many games or programs today come with multiple CD's that require switching them in your system to play, usually at inopportune times. I am reminded of the old 8-track tapes that changed tracks in mid song. DVD players offer unparalleled audio and video quality, and will ultimately replace the standard CD-ROM drive in your computer. The drawback to these is that they are not yet as fast as a regular 24x or 32x CD-ROM and they are two to three times more expensive.
What will tomorrow bring?
Well, Rewritable DVD's have already hit the market, and should be almost affordable by early next year. Scanners have gotten better and cheaper, with many under $100. Videophones using the internet are now more than just a novelty, and have also dropped below $100. Whatever you can imagine, that will make your life easier someone is probably working on. I love this game!
Copyright 1998, All Rights Reserved
Scott Hendison is the CEO of Search Commander. He is a former Portland computer store retailer that built a local on-site service business through Pay Per click and organic search engine optimization. In 2003, he started focusing exclusively on search marketing.
Today he is a search engine marketing consultant that serves clients in 5 countries, who find him on the front page of most search engines for "internet consultant" and related phrases.