Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is a Zip Drive the Same as a Flash Drive? Quick Answer: No

Zip-disc-backA customer called us recently asking if we had Zip Drives. Knowing that Flash Drives have all sorts of different names, it is not surprising that we informed the customer that we did have Zip Drives. However, they are two different things, and unfortunately, a customer came to the library with the expectation that we could assist them with their Zip Disk.

I have spoken about Flash Drives before and included a discussion about Flash Drives in the Library Computers: When a Customer Asks... training that all reference staff received last year.

I have not talked about Zip Disks and Drives before. A Zip Disk looks like a 3.5 floppy disk but it is thicker (see image). This disk requires a Zip Drive in order for someone to retrieve the files. We do not have these type of drives. These disks hold more data than a typical 3.5 floppy; however, they never really took off in the marketplace and have now been superseded by the Flash Drive.

Customers can already use Flash Drives on our computers because they do not require the purchase of a separate piece of hardware (like the Zip Drive) in order to work. You just stick the Flash Drive into the USB port.

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