[rescue] Total corporate madness (

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Wed Jul 30 21:45:39 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 06:58:23PM -0400, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> I have wanted floppies replaced too, but I found Zip to be unreliable,
> and LS-120 was horribly slow.

I've heard that about LS-120 from just about everyone who's used them.
Not really that surprising, when you consider writing a 120MB diskette
at pretty much 2MB-diskette speeds.

> I ended up buying several spare Zip100 drives, and I'm down to my last
> two spares.  The current pair of Zip drives I have running seem OK for
> now, but some of them lasted only a few months.
> When I last worked for a company with tons of Zip drives, the dead
> drives were dumped by the box-load every month.

Yeah, Zip100 was pretty bad.  I've been lucky with mine, it's only
failed once.  I'm told reliability of the Zip250 drives was a lot
better, but I haven't ever personally used one.

> I don't really like CD-R/RW because you have to "burn" them, and the
> packet writing stuff never seems to work well, and isn't really
> available for UNIX systems.

Right.  Plus their rewriteability seems to be much less than advertised,
and adding data to a RW disc often seems to just fail for no apparent

> I don't think any truly good floppy replacement has been offered by the
> industry.  Nothing so far fills the needs that I see:
> * cheap
> * writable without burning, and very high rewrite limits
> * reliable
> * reasonably fast, though I don't care if they can run apps... just
>   1MB/sec would be fine and probably doable on the cheap.
> * platform-neutral hardware (ubiquitous)
> * a platform-neutral filesystem would be ideal
> * the ability to use it as a pure block device
> Nothing right now fits the bill.  If Zip had been reliable, it could
> have made it for awhile, but that's all history now.

Frankly, I think flash memory could fill the bill very nicely -- if they
could just AGREE ON ONE FORMAT, DAMMIT! instead of the proliferation of
SmartMedia and CompactFlash and Memory Stick and Secure Digital and ....
How many damn flash-memory formats are there now?  Six?  Seven?  Eight?
All the big consumer-electronics companies seem to have the idea that
"If you ain't got your own propri-et-airy flash-memory format, stranger,
 you ain't *shit*."

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