back to article EMC whisks Iomega away from Chinese suitor

Iomega has dumped its Chinese fiancé and is running away with the richest man in the room. Yes, it's EMC, which last month interrupted Iomega's plans to marry a subsidiary of Great Wall Technology, with an unasked for and spurned offer of $178m. EMC returned a few days later with more dough, about $213m cash, or $3.85 a share …

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  1. Brett Brennan
    Coat

    If only other technology vendors would learn from IOmega

    A month ago I bought a brand new IOmega ZIP drive to recover data I'd backed up onto 10GB ZIP disks back in 1997. Those ZIP disks were banging around a dirty, damp compartment in my motor home (caravan for the Queen's subjects) for the past 11 years. I wiped the crud off of them (15 in total) and stuck them into the new USB ZIP drive - and PRESTO! every disk was completely readable. No data loss.

    Try THAT stunt with 11 year old EMC tape backups...IF you can find an 8mm tape drive!

    Mine's the one with the ciggys in one pocket and the ZIP disks in the other...

  2. Geoffrey Swenson

    Iomega sleezebags

    Iomega was really good at selling products, but when they broke you could never get any warranty work. I had a Iomega tape drive that just stopped working about 3 months after I bought it. I couldn't get thru to tech support so I mailed it to them. About six months later they mailed it back, unrepaired.

    The zip drives were the only affordable solution at the time to transfer print files and graphics, but the drives wore out quickly, and when they did they would destroy whatever disk was in the drive. It was usually conveniently past the warranty period.

    I can't imagine what EMC sees in the Iomega brand name, especially since none of their current products have the right product at the right time utility of the zip drives in their heyday, along with the all of this bad rep for customer service.

  3. alphaxion

    10gb zip disks?

    in 1997? you sure? I think there was a bit more to that crud than you let on!

    I'm pretty sure they were only 100mb back then, maybe even the 250mb one was around.

    They had a 1 to 2gb jaz drive as well at that time (tape based). I remember having to use one back in 1999 in order to restore ghost images of nt4 to our laptops! Transfer rate was appaling because of having to use the paralelle port. >.<

    Never say that iomega was lacking in humour tho - remember the product they launched called clik, at about the same time as the "click of death" scandal? :)

  4. The Dark Lord

    The pattern's already there

    Industry heavyweights making profit through retail channels with consumer devices is a well-worn path. You only have to look at Cisco & Linksys.

    Iomega came up with one revolutionary product ages ago, but their brand is still strong. The external hard drive market is cluttered with hard drive manufacturers providing second-rate casings & controls around their great disks (Western Digital, are you listening?) and relatively random box shifters sticking any old drive in a box and slapping a price tag on it. From the point of view of the base consumer, the market could use some clarification.

    My guess is that with some decent cut-down EMC hardware and control software, and the "Iomega - an EMC company" branding, you'll see good market penetration.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @alphaxion and Geoffrey Swenson

    Well, you're right about the size of the zip disks back then, but regarding the transfer rate... it depends all on whether you used the right drivers at the time... ZIP100 on parallel port under DOS or Win3.1 or even WinNT was NOT bad, provided that you used the right driver software.

    The Jaz was not even available in a PP version... it was either IDE or SCSI, IDE internal only, SCSI internal or external. And the Jaz SCSI card (both PCMCIA or PCI slot) provided reasonable performance (certainly more than what was otherwise available). My Jaz still serves me today with a software collection and archive disks that contain some of my backups.

    As for the Zip disks, if you treated them right, they lasted very well. I still have ZIP100 disks from 1996 that still work very well in a PP Zip drive, not that I really ever need to use them, but they do still work. Keeping them in their sleeves when not in use made a bit more of a difference.

  6. alphaxion

    @ac

    No, ours ran using the parallel to scsi adapter :)

    Which is why I said that the speed was piss poor.

    We moved on from that to a pmcia to ide adapter and just used hdd's and the time it took to image a lappy dropped from 4 to 8 hours down to a couple or less. :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Job 1: backup software that actually works for home users

    First thing EMC needs to do is design a straightforward, simple backup utility for the SOHO/personal user. Even though Retrospect (acquired through Dantz) is bundled everywhere, it's still a stripped-down Small/Medium Business tool, riddled with terminology that might be meaningful to a sysop but that is guaranteed to confuse Joe Average Diskbuyer ("backup set"? Oh, and don't imagine that the Help files provide anything more useful than "a backup set is a backup set") and a design that is ill-suited to the vagaries of home networks (e.g. it copes badly -- read "not at all" -- if a networked backup drive is temporarily unavailable and then comes back online). Norton Backup isn't much better.

    Instead of trying to strip down a Small Business utility like Retrospect, EMC/Iomega should design from the ground up a SOHO/personal utility that does "just enough" and preferably runs continuously, like for example IBM Tivoli CDP. (Yes, that's IBM Tivoli with a consumer-friendly, simple, cheap backup tool ideal for home networks. Who'da guessed?)

  8. Phillistine
    Paris Hilton

    I think that was a bad Idea

    Having used numerous IOmega devices through over a decade, I must confess that the sale of IOmega to the Chinese should have been permitted to go through. The combination bad quality and erratic performance and sudden data loss and corruption could only halt the cause of communism.

  9. Brett Brennan
    Coat

    @alphaxion

    Me bad - didn't have a disk in front of me, so I chose the frontal lobotomy! They were the 100MB disks. But, you gotta admit, it's not often that you find products in IT that are still compatible and working after 10 years.

    Thanx for the correction!

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