Re: [PARPORT] Zip Plus status

David Campbell (
Tue, 20 Jan 1998 13:08:04 +0000

> Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 20:55:16 -0700 (MST)
> From: Jay Jacobson <>
> To: David Campbell <>
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: [PARPORT] Zip Plus status

> I have a question. Don't take this the wrong way -- I am not trying to be
> condecending. I am just curious -- why do people buy Zip (or Zip +) drives
> when they only hold 100 MB. Retail here (in Phoenix) the Zip + (external)
> drive is $199. For the same price, the Syquest SparQ drive holds 1 GB. As
> well, the SparQ has a faster seek time, and faster transfer rate. If I
> remember correctly, Zip + seek time is about ~24ms, while the SparQ is
> 12ms. The Zip + sustained transfer rate is ~1.0 MB/sec, again, the SparQ
> is ~1.25 MB/sec. (Stats are for par-port ocnnections, not SCSI) With the
> cost of SparQ media being only $99 for three disks ( = 3 GB ), that can't
> be it either.
> Like I said, I am not trying to start a war, I am just curious...

The ZIP+ is either a parallel port OR a SCSI device depending on what it is
hooked up to. The TechSpecs for the SparQ is a little sparse (looking at
the web page here). The ZIP drive has a head transfer rate of 1.4 Mb/sec
with a bus speed of approx 60Mb/min.

*think carefully* This has absolutely nothing to do with performance.

I think the SparQ is being sold cheaply to get some installed base. The
total number of ZIP drives sold is something like 50 million (I could be
wrong here...) The chances are your neighbour has a ZIP drive.

Summary: Iomega won the first battle by introducing the PC owners
cheap removable bulk storage. SyQuest at the moment appear to be waging
war against Iomega in terms of price to regain ground.

The war is not over yet by a long shot, pray that they don't change the
parallel port interfaces in a hurry as it causes headaches for the Linux
driver hackers. Arrggg!!!!
(I am assuming Grant sympathises with the above comment)

David Campbell

PS: One thing that I like about the ZIP drive is that the cartridges are
extremely rugged. At work we send them by courier around the world
(actually from Phenoix of all places) WITHOUT being in a padded bag of any
kind. HDD don't survive anything like that, I know as I have a 2 Gb paper
weight sent to me from our Singapore office (5 hours flight north of
Perth, Western Australia).
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Just when you thought you have seen every possible
parallel port chipset there is, some manufacturer comes
out with a new quirk. Just to make things worse, every
mainboard manufacturer on the planet decides to use it.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed 30 Dec 1998 - 10:17:21 EST