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Zip drives for Simtec USB

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Feb 2004, 08:56:18 | Permalink | Printable

Up to 750M per disc

Iomega zip driveUsers of the Simtec USB solution can now use USB based Iomega drives to access Zip storage discs. Suitably supported Zip drives are now available from Stuart Tyrrell Developments, aka AdvantageSix.

Zip discs, developed by Iomega in the early 1990s, can be thought of as super high density floppy discs, as they combine the portable profile of a regular floppy disc with their high capacity design. You could use them for back up purposes or for transferring large files, like graphic or audio works, when you're on the move. We say 'large' because 750M of information is still a lot in the context of RISC OS.

According to STD, the Zip250 drive can read and write to 100M and 250M Zip discs, whereas the Zip750 drive can read and write to 250M and 750M discs and read 100M discs. RISC OS drivers are, of course, provided by STD for the Simtec USB podule card.

Currently, the Zip discs use a DOS filesystem format although STD may get round to implementing support for a RISC OS filesystem format. RISC OS computers can still access the DOS filesystem although you'll be limited to 8 character filenames unless you want to opt for the third party application Win95FS.

And in case you're wondering, on the other side of the RISC OS USB split, the Castle USB system also supports the Iomega 750M drive. STD have told us that the Simtec USB stack has had support for Zip drives for over six months now. Recent customer demand, however, prompted STD to carry out full compliance testing before announcing their official support for the Iomega Zip drives.


STD website - pricings, offers, etc. There's also a Zip250 drive that'll work on the internal IDE interface, if you're USB-less.

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Did you know that the Zip drive was originally developed for use with the BBC B?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 14/2/04 10:37AM
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Why would a Californian company design it for use with the BBC B, and then not start selling it until 1995?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 14/2/04 11:40AM
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Cos that's how long it took the BBC B to reach california?

& when it got there - the bloody thing was *still* working!:-D

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 14/2/04 11:58AM
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Noddy> You're confusing ZIF sockets and Zip disks? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 14/2/04 4:02PM
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imj : nope. The original technology (before it was flogged) was developed in some wierd place like Norway or Finland for the BBC B back in the mid 1980s!

I remember reading about it in AU (I think it was - it was that or Computer World)

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 14/2/04 8:36PM
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Are you thinking about the Floopy? 11-head looped tape drive, if my memory serves me right. Completely different architecture - although I have to admit that ISTR it was being developed in Aberdeen.

Just as foreign :)

 is a RISC OS Usertribbles2 on 14/2/04 11:00PM
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Bernoulli drives looked like they were going to take over storage for machines like the beeb at one point, and the Bernoulli box was invented by Iomega a couple of years after they started out back in 1980-81. Whether Bailey and Norton had the beeb in mind as a target is anyone's guess, but one can imagine the Beeb (with a big B) might have been interested in bringing the beeb (little b) to their attention, given big B's requirements for storage in some applications.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 14/2/04 11:41PM
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Norway & Finland are certainly not weird places!

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 15/2/04 9:00AM
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Does anyone still use Zip disks? Gotta be the most unreliable media I've ever dealt with, kinda pointless for transferring files (few people have Zip750's) and backup (the drive is likely to get the famous click-of-death, and a CD-R or DVD-R is more permanent/cheaper).

I guess it's nice to have the option, but I'd never touch Iomega storage devices.

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 15/2/04 7:43PM
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Just take the drive with you.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 15/2/04 7:58PM
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AFAICR, only the early Zip100's had click of death.

 is a RISC OS Usertribbles2 on 15/2/04 9:21PM
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I can't tell from the STD website, but is the driver available separately for those of us who already have USB Zip drives?

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/2/04 9:38PM
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tribbles : zip250s also had them (internal ide versions)

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 15/2/04 10:19PM
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Jaz drives also ... the pits. Iomega ditto's also utterly suck... the tape's not stuck to the reel, so if it overwinds... wheee - your tape's just wrapped on one spool - astounding design. I won't buy Iomega ever again.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/2/04 11:45PM
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Yes, it's hard to understand the motivation for using Zip drives in preference to, say, CD-R(W) and the different DVD media standards. Anyway, what about the various USB 2.0 hard disks that are available these days?

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 16/2/04 8:44AM
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8 Character Filenames I couldn't go back to using 8 character filenames. For example, if I save this web page from internet explorer onto a DOS format floppy, take it to my RiscPC, and ask Fresco to render it, all the graphics don't appear because all of their file names have been truncated to ten letter things like GREEN_~/JPG. Not ust pointless, letterless too.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 17/2/04 9:02AM
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ksattic: Ask STD nicely.

Nod: I didn't know that - I've got some original Zip100 (parallel port) drives at home that still work, but I have seen a COD one. I've also got an internal IDE Zip100 and Zip250, and also a USB Zip250.

martin: Use Win95FS.

 is a RISC OS Usertribbles2 on 17/2/04 11:21AM
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Well, I just sold my Zip drives (parallelport, SCSI and USB) since USB sticks are much nicer for my needs. Anyhow the SCSI one worked perfectly on my Risc PC, the USB one was no problem with my IYONIX pc. But they still sell those drives and they are not bad, though the SyQuest technology was better but as usual the good computer things tend be superceded by cheaper solutions...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 17/2/04 2:52PM
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