NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Large Capacity Floppy Drives
by Carl Bethea, President - October 97
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If you have been shopping for computers or extra hardware in the last year, you have most likely heard of a ZIP drive by now. This is the drive that uses 100meg capacity disks. It has started to gain more and more acceptance and is even being installed at the factory in many new systems. And other companies are following suit with drives that will handle 120megs or even a drive that will replace your 3.5" floppy drive and read both standard 1.44meg disks, and their special 120meg disks from the same drive.

With the increasing acceptance from industry, is the 3.5" 1.44meg drive about to join the 5.25" on the scrap heap? I don't think so. At least not until the price of these new drives, and the disks they use drops quite a bit. I will admit it would be nice to have a 100+meg floppy drive at work, and at home. This would make it easier to take data back and forth from work. But even then I must be honest, and say that most of the data I move still fits on a 1.44meg disk. And it is one thing to give someone a floppy disk that cost under $1, but would I give someone a disk that cost more like $20. Not very often. And now that AOL is sending out free disks again, the cost of 1.44meg disks I use has dropped to $0. If you are really lucky you might get one of the new mailers from AOL with their latest update. It comes on two disks, instead of just one. Even better!

And even when the price of the newer media drops to a more affordable level, do we really need that much storage to give a document to a friend? I know that storage space required by files increases somewhat as programs get more and more complex, but I still feel that for the next few years most of the data we non programmers create will seldom require more that a standard floppy drive for storage and transportation. I just don't think we will see these new drives replace our standby for sometime to come.

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