You're working at your computer when you hear thunder pounding above and see lightning flashing outside your window. Normally Mother Nature doesn't faze you all that much, but that's usually when you don't have a huge project due to your biggest client the next day. Suddenly your computer screen goes blank. As shock sets in, you panic, hoping and praying your whole system hasn't crashed. When the power finally comes back up, you find out your prayers have been ignored. Your worst nightmare has become reality--your whole project is lost.
How do you prevent something like this from happening? By backing up your information on a disk. But since your regular floppies don't hold that much information, a high-capacity floppy drive is what you need. Store up to 250MB of information on these disks, and you'll never lose your precious data again.
While this may be the most dramatic example of a high-capacity floppy disk drive's value, backing up data isn't its only use. Do you regularly work with very large files such as graphics or sound? Free up room on your hard drive by storing such space-hogs on high-capacity floppy drives. Does downloading Web pages clutter your hard drive? Put them on a high-capacity floppy instead to save space. Need to take a massive project home one night--but your office computer isn't networked with your home PC? Put all your work-in-progress on a high-capacity floppy drive and schlep it home. (Let's hope you don't have to do that very often.)
The best-known high-capacity floppy drive on the market is the Iomega Zip drive. Since its introduction, more than 100 million units of the Zip drive have been sold, and it's undergone some changes. The original Zip disk stored 100MB of information; the latest version stores up to 250MB.
Another high-capacity floppy disk drive is the SuperDisk. Developed by Imation, this disk storage technology supports very high-density disks that hold up to 120MB of information and is backward compatible with older 1.44MB diskettes (meaning you can read and write earlier disks, as well).
The latest technology to hit the market is the High Floppy Disk (HiFD), a high-density floppy disk developed by Sony that can hold 200MB of data. Similar to the SuperDisk drive from Imation, HiFD can read and write both old and new disks. HiFD drives support data transfer rates of up to 3.6 Mbps.
How do you decide which one is best for you? Masataka Ogawa, director of business planning and development at Sony, suggests paying attention to three things when shopping for a high-capacity storage drive: compatibility, capacity and speed.