I bought my first external Iomega Zip drive many years ago. When they first came on the scene they would store 100 megs of data on a disk. The disks were very expensive at that time.
They arrived shortly before writable CDs were readily available and were a way of putting a tremendous amount of data onto a disk. The nice part was that you could reuse the disk.
I put internal Zip drives into my computers.
Then the Zip drive increased capacity. They jumped to 250 megs. The cost of the disks went up.
Finally everything started to come back down. Then writeable CDs became affordable. That was the end of the Zip drive.
What really hurt the Zip drives was when the price of the writeable CDs dropped. Suddenly, it was better to cut a new CD everytime you changed data. You kept the previous CD as a backup.
Eventually, Zip increased their capacity to 750 megs – about the same amount of data that you could put onto a CD.
Now you have JumpDrives. My first had a capacity of about 64 megs, although previous models were 32 megs. Then 128 meg, 256 meg, and 512 meg units were available – although costly. These were great and were replaced with 1 and 2 gig units. I currently have a few 1 and 2 gig units. Very handy. Now you can get them in 4 and 8 gig sizes.
Next the portable USB hard drives came on the scene. I bought my first unit about a year ago. It holds 80 gigs and I paid about $100 for it. Now you can get larger units for the same price. The price of the 1 and 2 gig JumpDrives for almost nothing.
The portable USB hard drive is outstanding. I’ll probably be needing another one down the road as I put more photos on it. I think you can get them up to about 120 gigs now at a good price. You can buy larger external USB hard drives, but these are really meant to be portable. The portable units are very nice.
I even noticed that with Nora’s new Ipod type unit, that you can store computer data on the unit along with mp3 and photos.