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MacEdition Pro News : April 22, 2003

Speedy trinkets and other toys

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Fire ‘er up!

While it may not sound like a good thing to those who favor noshing on Freedom Fries or to those who eschew a good beaujolais in order to to wash down their din-din with a decent California chablis, but US computing speed freaks may well welcome this peace offering from a company whose HQ is in the politically incorrect nation of France.

LaCie will be shipping their new FireWire 800 PCI card later this month to compliment their already released tandem of FireWire 800 hard drives.

This card has three external 9-pin bilingual FireWire 800 ports, allowing users to connect high-speed devices such as hard drives and video camcorders. Other key advancements users will enjoy, include the support of increased cabling distances. FireWire 800 can burst data across 100 meters of cable giving users added flexibility.

Backward compatible, LaCie’s FireWire 800 PCI Card is perfect for those who want take advantage of the fast speed of FireWire 800, but still need the ability to connect legacy, FireWire 400 devices. With the new FireWire 800 technology, users can connect up to 63 FireWire devices.

The US$89 PCI card works in either 32-bit or 64-bit slots, sends up to 18-watts of power through each port (for bus powered devices) and is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows systems.

[Ed Note 30-Apr-2003: In the event that you are one of those folks who feel "freedom fries" are a good idea, you may be interested in knowing that LaCie's parent company is indeed headquartered in France and LaCie itself was founded in Beaverton, Oregon, currently operates out of Hillsboro, Oregon, and employs 130 people in that state. Any interpretation that we were bashing LaCie because of the company's French connections is unintended and regretted.]

A big dump

Fresh from inking a distribution deal with Apple’s own retail outlets, CMS Peripherals released their latest 80GB portable backup drive.

“Perfect for mobile and remote users, ABSplus is the absolute easiest backup and recovery solution,” said Ken Burke, president of CMS Peripherals. “The ABSplus is the only solution that can boot directly into Mac OS X in a single keystroke thus making productivity instantly achievable even in the event of complete hard drive failure. A must-have for any mobile professional, the new 80GB ABSplus is also perfect for large iMovie and iDVD files, big iTunes libraries and irreplaceable iPhoto collections.”

The US$550 backup solution is available with USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 connectors and OS X users get the added benefit of being able to use the new scheduling feature of the ABS software that comes with each drive.

The new ABSplus scheduling feature allows users to backup sets of specific files at specific times, or schedule complete unattended backups. A new One Button Restore feature makes restoration even easier by providing a single-click interface to a range of restore options, including a “redirect restore” function for those who prefer to restore a copy of their backed-up data to an alternate location. The redirect restore option allows for remote backups on a shared resource or remote server. One Button Restore extends the traditional ABSplus backup functionality ease-of-use to the restoration process, from a single corrupt file to a complete system restore.

The mechanism is also bootable for Mac users through the startup drive control panel, or by holding down the option key on startup for users of Mac OS 10.2.

No such thing as too much room

WiebeTech has fired up an new slim-sized 80GB hard drive sporting both USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 connections in a ruggedized case aluminum case.

“The MicroGB+ Combo includes the enclosure, drive, cables, AC adapter and an attractive carrying case,” said James Wiebe, CEO of WiebeTech LLC. “We also include a copy of MediaFour’s excellent Mac Drive 5 software, which allows Mac formatted drives to be read on Windows computers. This software has a value of $59.95. The user configurable version of the product also includes a screwdriver for easy installation of any 9.5mm notebook drive.”

The case carries a retail sticker of US$129.95 and various configurations of the drive scale up to US$459.95 for the 80GB model.

The company also released two models of its MicroGB+ FireWire 400 series sporting 60GB and 80GB hard drives. The drive mechanisms sport an 8MB cache for faster performance and sell at US$399.95 and $429.95 respectively.

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