New Zip uses 250MB 'SuperFloppies' or original 100MB...

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May 03, 1999

New Zip uses 250MB 'SuperFloppies' or original 100MB disks

Evolution is a beautiful thing. Iomega has taken a solid performer, the Zip 100 Drive, and beefed up its storage payload to 250MB. The company figures that graphic and media files keep getting bigger, so storage has to keep pace. The Zip 250 ($199) is fully compatible with its ubiquitous predecessor, so you can play all your old Zip disks in the new drive. Of course, that doesn't hold true in reverse: You need a Zip 250 to read new 250MB "SuperFloppies."

I like the design changes Iomega has made as well. As can the original drive, it can stand flat or on its side. Always short of desk space, I opt for the sideways orientation. The design etched into the case is pleasing, and the window you peer through to see which Zip is in residence is bigger than its predecessor and sports a swanky new curved design. The LED that serves as a power-on light now does double duty. As the drive reads and writes data, the brightness varies.

As do all Zip products, the 250 comes with a complete set of software utilities, including my favorite: RecordIt, a handy music and voice recording program. With the extra capacity of the new format, you're ready to record up to 20 hours of audio on a SuperFloppy.

The other advantage shared with its Zippy brethren is its wide adoption by users everywhere. With more than 19 million drives in use, this is the removable storage technology you're most likely to run into at a service bureau, an office or a friend's house. Standards rule, and the Force is with the Zip family, of which the 250 is a robust new member.

Information: 888-446-6342 or www.iomega.com.

-- Peter Sugarman

Cable management kits help organize wiring cheaply

If your office is anything like mine, behind the desk there's a knot of wires and power cables. You can usually forget about this hidden weed garden until you have to install hardware or remove something for repair. Then the fun starts: The untangling. The wire tracing. The colorful use of the English language.

With a few dollars and an hour or so of work, you can pull a Martha Stewart and fastidiously tidy all of this up. Cyberguys, a California mail-order company specializing in computer accessories and hard-to-find parts, offers a variety of handy and inexpensive cable management organizers and labelers.

Their Cable Organizer Starter Kit ($2.95) includes several types of plastic guides that your wires snap into side by side. No more tangles! Allsops' GuideWires (four for $4.54) work in a similar fashion. Each module has a space for inserting five cables.

Another popular wire organizer is the Quick-Wrap Tie (18 for $5.99). These have hook-and-loop ties like double-sided Velcro strips; packs come with three ties each of six different colors so you can code everything. To keep track of what's what, Cyberguys sells plastic cable ties with labeling plates ($2.49 for 100). Even if you're not bundling wires, you can use these on individual cables to identify them (left audio in, mouse, printer, etc.) Labeling can save a lot of time when you need to move components around.

The Cyberguys' free catalog carries dozens of other organizers for cables, CDs, disks, desktops, as well as other gadgets too numerous to mention here. C'mon, make Martha proud, clean up your act!

Information: 800-892-1010 or www.cyberguys.com.

-- Gareth Branwyn

For reviews of these and other gadgets, visit the StreetTech Web site at www.streettech.com.

Pub Date: 05/03/99

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