Iomega's Zip drives comes with USB port for use with iMacs
Many people who succumbed to the market hype and the wickedly cool design of the new iMac quickly found themselves at a loss when they tried get files in and out of the dang thing. That's because the iMac has no floppy disk drive. I got an Imation SuperDisk drive to solve the problem, and although it works (it can use both 120MB SuperDisks and conventional floppies), it's incredibly noisy and not compatible with my other computers.
Enter the latest iteration of an old friend: the Iomega Zip USB drive ($150 for Mac or PC). Tarted up in the same transparent blue color as the iMac, the Zip USB is ready to read and write the same 100MB disks used on my other machines and widely used throughout the computer world.
The out-of-box experience for the new USB drive is as painless and positive as with previous models. Instructions that you barely need are provided on a single glossy card. Slap in the CD-ROM, launch the Installer, connected the USB cable and power, and voila, you've got a bottomless removable drive.
Like my other Zip drives, this one's a dependable pleasure. Read-write sounds are a comfort, sort of like a chipmunk munching macadamia nuts. Transfer time is sprightly at up to 60 megabytes per minute. depending on system configuration and conditions. The unit can be operated resting on its bottom or standing on its side, a real convenience for the space-impaired.
If you're an iMac owner who's desperate for a storage solution or a PC owner with a USB port that's dying to be useful, for the price and the convenience, you can't got wrong with a Zip USB drive.
Information: 888-446-6342 or www.iomega.com
Translate geek jargon with help from Microsoft Press
Over the years, as I've taught people computing, I've always stressed the importance of learning the lingo. Once you know what something is called, you can look it up, and looking it up often takes you halfway to figuring out how it works.
The Microsoft Computer User's Dictionary (Microsoft Press, $14.99) offers a painless way to stay on top of computer jargon. A concise version of the larger Microsoft Computer Dictionary ($34.99), the User's Dictionary contains some 4,700 terms from the full dictionary in a smaller format (8.4 x 5.5 inches) that fits nicely next to your computer. All of the typical terms a user might encounter are included, spanning hardware, software, email, the Internet, multimedia, networking, and other subjects. The concise definitions also include parts of speech, alternate names, acronyms and cross-references.
The only thing I don't like about the User's Dictionary is the alphabetical tabs that run down the right-hand side of the pages. Every page has the entire alphabet listed with the letter you're on in black and all the other letters in gray. This design makes the pages unnecessarily busy. Wisely - since computer and Internet terminology changes at nose-bleed speed, Microsoft has an update site for both dictionaries where you can view online or download the latest additions.
Information: 800-677-7377 or http://mspress.microsoft.com
You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.