by February 28, 2001 0 comments

USB Omni Floppy Disk Drive 

USB floppy drive. Rs 5,500
Features: USB interface; supports Windows 98/2000, iMac OS 8.6 or later.
Pros: Easy to set up; portable.
Cons: Expensive.
Source: J S Equipments
45, Kailas Nagar
658, Tardeo Road
Mumbai 400007. 
Tel: 22-3810713 

This external floppy drive has a USB interface and supports Win 98/2k and the
iMac OS 8.6 or later. It can read and write the older 3.5″ 720 kB floppies,
the more commonly used 1.44 MB floppies, and 1.2 MB NEC and Toshiba floppies. It’s
thin with a silver-grayish coating that gives it a stylish look.

Being USB, installing the drive is no problem. Just plug it in and provide
the drivers, which are given on an accompanying CD. Once installed, you’ll see
a floppy drive icon along with the hard drive and CD-drive icons in My Computer.

To test its performance, we ran three tests on it and compared the results
with an ordinary Sony floppy drive. First, we transferred 1.33 MB of mixed data
comprising 30 files that varied from 1 kB-250 kB in size, and measured the time
taken. The ordinary floppy drive finished the task in 1 min 41sec whereas the
USB floppy took 1 min 35 sec–a marginal difference. We then deleted 1.29 MB of
data from both drives, and measured the time taken. The results were again
similar for both. Our last test, which measured the time taken to fully format a
floppy disk, revealed an interesting result. The ordinary floppy drive took 1
min 41 sec whereas the USB drive needed 40 additional seconds, tagging a time of
2 min 21 sec. So there’s nothing special in the performance of this USB drive.

So, where would the drive find its buyers? It could be very useful for mobile
users. It could also be useful in a place where all ordinary floppy drives have
been removed from computers for security reasons, as in cyber cafés. It could
be pulled out of the cupboard whenever the need arises, and removed from the
system when its work is through. However, where cost is concerned, the drive
loses out in comparison to ordinary ones.

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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