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MacEdition Pro News : July 5, 2001

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Keyspan keen to tout USB 2.0

Even though Microsoft has so far displayed a lukewarm reception to adopting the USB 2.0 standard, Keyspan has taken an upbeat approach to the standard’s future by announcing a 5-port (4 external, 1 internal) PCI card for Windows and Mac. From the press release:

Keyspan (PC Expo #1204), America’s top selling brand of USB connectivity products, is now shipping a USB 2.0 PCI card for Windows and Mac OS computers. Distributed by Ingram Micro and Tech Data, the card is available now and has an MSRP of $59.
40 TIMES FASTER THAN USB 1.1!
The Keyspan USB 2.0 PCI card adds five USB 2.0 ports to a PC or Macintosh. The card is ready for use with USB 2.0 peripherals that will come to market this summer and will operate at speeds up to 480 Mbps. The card also supports all USB 1.1 devices. USB 1.1 devices continue to operate at normal speeds (12 Mbps or 1.5 Mbps).
“High sales volumes of our USB products allow us to generate significant economies of scale,” noted Mike Ridenhour, Keyspan president. “The Keyspan USB 2.0 Card is a good case in point. We are pleased to offer this cutting edge technology at a low $59 price.”

Keyspan USB 2.0 card

But we don’t just regurgitate press releases at MacEdition – “Think a little bit harder,” and all that. So we pestered a Keyspan spokesperson with a few curvy ones:

Given Microsoft’s recent decision not to support USB 2.0 in Windows XP, are you confident that Microsoft will support USB 2.0 in time for your product to be successful?

At the USB 2.0 conference on May 8 Microsoft stated:

We think the confusing reports just did not deal with fact that getting XP GM was more important than USB 2.0 drivers. So it was a slow press day for some and they opened their mouths en masse.

Is Apple giving positive signs about its adoption of USB 2.0 (especially considering Apple may have an interest in favouring FireWire)?

We expect to hear from Apple on its stance on USB 2.0 this week during WWDC. Personally I think Apple is okay with it as long as it doesn’t cut into its investment in FireWire too deeply and too quickly.

[Ed.– Apple’s post-WWDC stance on supporting USB 2.0 seems to be, “It’s a third-party opportunity.”]

Can you highlight the benefits USB 2.0 has over FireWire?

USB 2.0, at 40 times the speed of USB 1.0, is faster than FireWire; and has the ability to string other devices along the bus.

It should be noted that drivers for this device are for Mac OS X only; no OS 9 support is currently planned. FireWire also has a considerable lead over USB 2.0 in terms of peripherals. Only time will tell whether USB 2.0 lives up to its promises...

It’s the little things that count...

It’s turning into a Keyspan ProNews day. Hot on the heels of their last announcement, Keyspan debuted their new “really, really teeny” USB hub on June 25. From the press release:

Keyspan, America’s top selling brand of USB connectivity products, announced a USB hub that is just 1 cm thin, yet offers all the functionality of a desktop USB hub. Distributed by Ingram Micro and Tech Data, the Keyspan Mini USB Hub has an MSRP of $49 and will ship in July.
Unlike other “travel” or “pocket” hubs, the Keyspan Mini Hub offers the functionality of much larger desktop units with:
“The trend in laptops is to make them smaller and lighter, and this is the trend for laptop accessories as well,” noted Mike Ridenhour, Keyspan president. “Our USB Mini Hub provides full desktop functionality while its truly compact design compliments the new 1”-thin laptops from Sony, Toshiba, Apple and others.”

Keyspan USB 2.0 card

If small, compact and unobtrusive are the features you look for in a USB hub, then this may be the one for you.

Rip, Mix, Burn? What about Stomping them?

iTunes is, without a doubt, a fairly nifty tool – excellent value for money and with a cool music visualiser you could gawk at for hours. But for those who are a bit crestfallen that you can’t convert MP3s direct to CD Audio, or worse still, who read the tech note stating iTunes disables Toast Pro’s ability to do so after you installed it, there is hope. It’s a software package called Click ’N Burn from a little company called Stomp. From the press release:

Stomp, Inc., a leader in the development of innovative software and computer accessories, is pleased to offer the Click ’N Burn Macintosh, CD pre-mastering, recording and duplication software for anyone with a CD recorder who wants professional results. The powerful Click ’N Burn solution makes the process of burning and producing a CD quick, easy, and fun.
Stomp, Inc. understands that its customers abilities to record what they want is often limited to the crippled recording software which came with their CD-R drive. Click ’N Burn Macintosh STOMPS on the competition. Among the many features that Click ’N Burn Macintosh offers are audio CD creation from MP3, SDII, AIFF and WAV files with no hard drive overhead, as well as flawless CD-to-CD copying, and data creation. In addition, Click ’N Burn Macintosh offers recording audio to the hard drive from sound cards line-in or microphone with audio scribe software. No CD recording software that is equipped with your computer comes with this many features.
“We are very aware of the many frustrations users encounter with existing software packages. Click ’N Burn Macintosh users will have access to features that have never before been offered – and they’ll be able to use it right out of the box,” said Mike Hummell, President of Stomp, Inc.
Click ’N Burn Macintosh requires Power PC Macintosh or faster, 32 MB of RAM, a minimum of 10MB free hard disk space, and MacOS 8.0 or later. Click ’N Burn Macintosh retails for $49.99 and is available at retail outlets nationwide and online at www.clicknburn.com.

So go ahead: Click, Burn, Stomp!

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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