Technology Positioning Statement Report

4.2.5 Removable Storage Media for Hand-held Computers

Description: Removable storage media for notebook and hand-held computers, including RAM, ROM, CD, and magnetic media.

Category: 4 - Client Platforms   Subcategory: 2 - Hand-held Client Platforms
Old Category: none




Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Wide availability; low cost; fast file transfer; capacity 90MB or greater.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: This category is for removable storage media for notebooks; such a technology has two primary uses: a) fast backup of large files (but not the complete disk); b) transfer of large files between machines that may not be connected over a network, the network is slow or not secure (e.g. between office and home, or between office desktop and a portable machine). In both of these applications, the 100 MB Iomega Zip drive is the leading product. There does not appear to be a near-term need to expand to the 250MB capacity, since most files are not larger than 90MB. (Zip disks are a solution for file transfer, not storage).

Iomega Zip drives are not the most portable or elegant storage solutions for mobile professionals, but they are among the easiest to use, provide enough storage for the average user (100Mb) and do offer write/rewrite capabilities at a low price point $120 buys the Zip drive and two 100Mb Zip disks. Solutions like Iomega's ZipCD or Freecom Traveller provide small form factor CD read/write devices capable of 700Mb of storage, but the price jumps to $350. For the same form factor, and reasonable storage needs, the Zip disk drive still holds its place as the personal storage device for the average user.

Why, though, should I even pay $120 for a Zip drive when I can get incremental Internet storage at a fraction of the price? The answer is time. A mobile professional may have between 8Mb and 12Mb of basic file data, and the initial backup does require full data transfer. Under the best conditions, 10Mb could take six hours. Under more realistic conditions (data transfer efficiency, lost connectivity, etc.), this could take days to complete. The end user would have to be quite motivated to persist.

SC Usage: Many users need to transfer files between portable machines and office or home computers. For this purpose, the Iomega Zip drive (with over 90 MB of capacity) serves well.

SC Application Impacts: The Flexiplace initiative may require users to transfer files between home and office computers; a Zip drive on both machines fulfils this need.

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Iomega Corp.

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