The Zip disk revolutionised portable storage by making it easy to transport large files between machines without a network connection. It also made life simple for people who want to back up important files. However, there is a drawback to this popular format for mobile users: most laptops do not have a built-in Zip drive, which means that owners of these machines must lug around a parallel-port Zip drive and power adapter.
The Clik PC Card drive from Iomega, which will ship in the third quarter of this year, offers a simple solution for mobile workers by packing a 40MB Clik disk drive into a PC card.
The Clik drive is an amazing little piece of engineering developed by Iomega in conjunction with Citizen Watch. Clik disks are inserted in one end of the card, and the card plugs in to a laptop's PC Card slot on the other. Because the Clik drive works like a standard PC Card hard drive, no special drivers are required to read and write Clik disks. Swapping data with other mobile users is easy with the Clik PC Card drive because it's not necessary to set up special software on each machine it's plugged into.
However, for those who will be using the Clik PC Card drive on a regular basis, I strongly recommend installing the Quik Sync software that comes with the drive.
Quik Sync runs in the background, automatically archiving important files to a Clik disk. An easy-to-use configuration screen let me set up which directories and files I wanted to archive, and even saved revisions of the files on the Clik disk.
I popped the Clik PC Card drive into a Dell laptop running Windows 98. It was instantly recognised, and a drive letter was assigned.
I then proceeded to install the Clik PC Card software and rebooted my machine. The Quik Sync configuration wizard then popped up and walked me through the steps to set it up for automatic archiving. Quik Sync did an initial backup of the files, and then shuffled off to the background. The setup was as simple as that.
Overall, the Clik PC Card drive is a cost-effective solution for mobile users who need to back up their important data. At $US195 for the drive and one disk, the price is definitely right.
The bottom line
Clik PC Card drive
Summary: This drive is a perfect solution for mobile users who need to share large amounts of data without having to lug around a parallel-port Zip drive. With the included Quik Sync software, important documents and other files can be automatically backed up to a Clik disk.
Business Case: If your company has mobile users who need a quick and easy way to transport large files, the Clik PC Card drive is the ticket. Although it does not have the capacity of a 100MB or 250MB Zip drive, it's much more portable and easy to set up.
Pros: Plug-and-play use for any PC laptop Quik Sync software automatically backs up important files Very portableCons: Limited to 40MB of storage per disk No support for non-Windows laptopsCost: $195 including one Clik disk. Additional media is about $10 each in sets of 10.
Platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98