From Paper Tape to Data Sticks: The Evolution of Removable Storage

Over the years, people have tried to transfer information from one computer to another in a dizzying number of ways. Here's a look at some of the best, along with others that time forgot

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Iomega and the Zip Drive

Iomega entered the removable storage business in the 1980s with the Bernoulli Box, which could store 10MB or 20MB of data on large magnetic-disk cartridges. Later revisions of this technology yielded the Zip drive (1994), which could store 100MB of data on an inexpensive 3.5-inch disk. People liked the format because it was inexpensive and capacious, and Zip drives enjoyed strong sales throughout the remaining years of the 1990s. But CD-Rs could store even more data (650MB) and when the price of CD-R discs dropped to cents apiece, Zip drive sales plummeted. Iomega tried to keep up with improved drives of 250MB and then 750MB capacity, but the CD-R had already won. Zip faded into history.

Photos: Iomega

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From Paper Tape to Data Sticks: The Evolution of Removable Storage

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