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Lee Library phasing out zip, floppy disk drives on open-access computers

The Harold B. Lee Library is phasing out zip and floppy disk drives on most of its open-access computers, and library staff members are suggesting that patrons use other forms of media to save their work instead of the soon-to-be-outdated drives.

New technology such as CD burning capabilities and USB flash drives are prompting manufacturers to not include zip and floppy drives as an option with their new computers, said Brett Hill, library information systems officer. Besides being relatively big and bulky, the older, magnetic media pose other problems.

"Zip drives and disks have moving parts that are prone to a higher rate of failure," Hill said. "They can also be corrupted walking in and out of magnetic fields."

New library-access computers are equipped with CD burning capability and with USB ports that accommodate flash drives, said Jeff Belliston, library general services chair.

BYU students can also save files to their network drive using Route Y authentication, and patrons without network drive access can still print their files or e-mail database results.

As with other media, flash drives can be corrupted, but they are less vulnerable to magnetic destruction than zip disks, Hill said.

Patrons should remember to always back up files to more than one location or form of media, Hill said.

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