I have many old tape backups on Ditto tapes, and some still older ones made
with a tape backup called "Trakker", that were readable on the Ditto
machine.

I am not interested in backing up to tape anymore, as I have an 180 GB
external HD, as well as CD and DVD burner, and I find those better backup
methods than tape.

However, I would like to retrieve some of the data from those tapes.

I still have my Ditto 2GB drive. (OT-Dishonest marketing involved in that
name. The standard Ditto tapes had a 1 GB capacity. They called them 2 GB
for possible data that could be stored on a tape with compression.) However,
it doesn't power up at all. I brought it to a computer repair place, and the
guy said he wouldn't be able to fix it. He said the problem was probably
related to the AC adapter. (This unit had a very strange AC adapter
connection, with pins that would easily bend, and make it hard to connect
correctly again.)

I looked on E-bay, and found a solution--there are many of these drives for
sale there--very cheap. However, I'm wondering whether to get the same drive
I have ("Ditto 2 GB") (the cheapest one), or other drives that read the same
tape. (They are all inexpensive there, but the others generally cost more
than the Ditto 2 GB.) Even in the first year of having my Ditto drive, when
it was under warranty, I recall having to send it back for warranty repair
several times. Poorly built drive. So, I wonder if any of the others are any
better.

For instance, there is the Sony "Storstation". Reads the exact same tapes as
the unit I have. I wonder if it is a different unit though, perhaps better
made, or the exact same machine, made in the same factory, with the same
crappy AC adapter, just with a different brand name on it? Anyone know?

And there are later Iomega Ditto drives ("Ditto Max", etc.) which can take
tapes with higher capacities than the model I had. I have no need for higher
capacities, as I have no plans to do any more backups, but simply to read
tapes I already have. However, I wonder if those later models were made any
more sturdy, better (more normal) design of AC adapter, etc. They cost more
on Ebay than the 2 GB model, still inexpensive though. If I had reason to
believe that they were better made, I would get one of those later models
instead. IF the only difference is the higher capacity, I might as well buy
the cheaper one. Anyone know about this? Were the later Ditto models made
any better than the earlier ones?

BTW--another thing crappy about Iomega--they seem to cease supporting
hardware that they do not produce any more. For instance, you can still
download Ditto software from them, but it will not work on Windows XP. Only
works through Win 98. So, I would use a computer that I still have 98 on to
do the data retrieval. Would be more convenient if I could do it with my
main computer, that runs only XP though. Anyone know a way around this--a
way to retrieve Ditto data using XP?