Every once in a awhile, we like to clean up the office. When we do, we inevitably find stuff that has been hidden away for years. This last dust-off was no exception. In one corner of a bookcase, we found a pile of old 100MB Zip disks. All of the labels have been removed. Typically, this meant they were to be reused, but may not necessarily have been wiped.
The problem with older media is how to actually read the contents when the drives are no longer standard equipment around the office. Ten years ago, 100MB Zip drives were everywhere. Today, the drives are mostly only available on EBay. We could have just purchased an external one with a USB connection, but thought it would be more fun to get an old ATAPI unit and install it into the empty bay of an old G4, which is still operational as an image server.
The G4 machine was designed for easy access. No tools were needed to open up the machine, just lift the lever on the side and we were ready to go to work. Installing the drive was just as simple. Only one screw held the drive bay in place. Once loosened, the tray slid right out with no problems.
Unlike the CD-ROM drive's bay cover, the Zip cover does not lift up. The cover to the Zip drive opening was held in place by a tab on the inside. We removed and replaced the cover with a custom-fitted bezel (Ebay, of course) so the disks may be inserted.
We reinserted the drive, hooked up the cables, and powered everything back up without any problems. The system recognized the disk so we went throught the stack to see if there was anything interesting. Many of the disks were blank, but some did have some pretty interesting stuff still left on them. One had some ancient Mac OS for a IIci machine. Another had a bunch of email archives from 1995! When we have time, we'll see if we can actually reconstitute the archives. There may be some interesting bits tucked away in those emails from 12 years ago!
For readers with old media lying around, it may be a fun project to "downgrade" a machine with some expired hardware and see what is stored on those disks and floppies. The cost of old hardware is pretty much next to nothing. This entire project cost us less than $10. One never knows what one might end up recovering! Wacom. [Permalink] -Iomega Zip 100 Installation