Students at the county's schools will be able to save bigger computerized class projects and download Internet information quicker thanks to a donation of 500 specialized disk drives.
The value of the disk drives donated by Imation, a Camarillo computer company, is about $50,000.
"We were flabbergasted" by the gift, said Stanley C. Mantooth, assistant superintendent of business and personnel services. "We were just astonished because we thought we were getting disks and not the drives."
The drives use a disk similar to a standard floppy disk but hold up to 120 megabytes of data compared to less than two megabytes on a standard disk. Data can also be saved up to five times faster.
The county's 185 schools learned of the donation last week. School officials must now let the superintendent's office know how many drives are needed at each campus.
Some schools may receive more drives than others depending on need, Mantooth said.
Imation is a division of the Minnesota-based 3M Co. that produces computer systems and data storage equipment. The donation was the result of an ongoing partnership the county education office has with business leaders and companies, Mantooth said.