As far as I know they do not even make CD-R burners anymore. You are much better off getting a CDRW. Why? As you stated you carry around 4 zip, I assume 100MB disks. When you could be carrying around ONE 760MB CD-R which is 7 zip disks.
If you look at it this way the time and effort that you spend creating a 4 or 5 zip disks compared to ONE CD-R, is amazing! You could burn all your files onto ONE CD-R much quicker than you can when you are dealing with several zip disks. Now any time that you can save while you are in college, all the better.
If you want all that buffer underrun protection then you want some fairly new. This technology was not around at that time as far as I know.
If you watch the sale flyers on Sunday you most likely will find some deals. If you don't want to wait for a sale then I would recommend to order one from newegg.com:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.a ... 14&order=1
This is the Lite-On section, however there are many more to choose from here:
http://www.newegg.com/app/manufactory.a ... g=5&DEPA=1
Something else to keep in mind is when transporting many files not EVERY computer will use a ZIP disk. The CD-R is much more universal because pretty much every computer will have a CD-ROM.
Just make your life easier and you will enjoy college so much more! Trust me I have done this before. I currently teach a local college and use burned CD-R's for my lectures. There seems to be NO zip disks on campus.