Iomega Zip Drive (1995) - Fred Thomas one of the principal inventors

This little blue external storage drive, roughly the size of a paperback book, was an instant sensation, giving average computer users their first taste of easy backup and relatively rugged 100MB storage media. The only storage technology ever mentioned by name on HBO’s Sex and the City, the Zip Drive was available for both Macs and PCs; the Mac version connected to the SCSI port and the PC version hooked up via the parallel port. You could see the disk through a clear window built into the top of the drive, and it was always a pleasure to see the yellow LED light, which meant everything was working well. However, if the drive clicked too much (a phenomenon also known as the Click of Death), you were in trouble. You still have one somewhere, don’t you? Photo courtesy of Iomega.

About Fred C Thomas III

Fred Charles Thomas III - Engineer and Inventor

Fred Thomas received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Physics from Bucknell University in 1982. In 1990 he received a MS in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Control Systems and Non-linear Dynamics.

His awards include the International Design Excellence Award in 2009, Industrial Forum Product Design Award in 2008, "Nano50 Award" for "Subwavelength Optical Data Storage" in 2005, Lemelson-MIT "Inventor of the Week" Award in 2004, Iomega "Exceptional Invention Award" in 1999, and Laser Focus World "Electro-Optic Application of the Year Award" in 1994. 

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