By Jamie McAfee
Storage is taking a new form. More and more business products support new removable storage such as Secure Digital and Smart media cards. This type of storage makes it possible to move data from one computer to the next. It allows users to swap hard drives on the fly and makes it easier to take data from a PDA without carrying the docking station and cables. Here are a few of these new drives.
Toshiba 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drive
The 5GB Type II PC card HDD from Toshiba functions as extra portable storage and an external hard disk drive with enough storage capabilities for large multimedia files. The data back-up capacity is equivalent to 3,472 floppy disks or more than 70 CDs. Also available in 2GB.
Toshiba America Electronics; 949-457-0777; www.toshiba.com; $350 for 2GB; $400 for 5GB
Transfer presentations, graphics, and other data fast using the Flash USBDrive. The compact storage device comes in 16 to 512MB. Soon a 1GB drive will be available as well. Supports Windows 98, Me, 2000 and Mac OS 9.
JMTek; 253-952-7000; www.usbdrive.com; $60 to $900 depending on storage amount
Combining a smart card and smart card reader into one small device, the Cylink MiniKey stores information such as passwords, electronic certificates, electronic signatures, and much more. The MiniKey is a hardware device that plugs directly into the USB port of a PC running Windows. The device even contains a microprocessor to implement authentication and security.
Cylink; 800-533-3958; www.cylink.com; $53
SanDisk Secure Digital Memory Card with PC Adapter
The Secure Digital (SD) memory card holds 128MB of data. The stamp-sized flash memory card is capable of storing over 100 digital images and 40 minutes of M-PEG compressed video. The SD card has built-in security functions. A write-protect switch automatically prevents overwriting or erasing data.
SanDisk; 408-542-0500; www.sandisk.com; 128MB SD card $230; 32MB PC card $70
Microtech MultiMedia ZiO!
Transfer data quickly from the ZiO! to any USB equipped Mac or PC. MultiMedia and Secure Digital memory cards can easily slide into the ZiO! for data transmission. Available for Mac OS 8.5 and higher, and Windows 98, Me, or 2000.
Microtech; 800-666-9689; www.microtechint.com; $90 bundled with 32MB multimedia card; $30 unbundled
Make any printer infrared compatible with Bachmann’s InfraReady adapter. Designed for traveling professionals who use laptops or PDAs, the adapter is battery operated so no additional power source is needed. The adapter connects through a parallel port.
Bachmann Software and Services; 973-729-9427; www.bachmannsoftware.com; $56
RollerMouse Mousing Station
Contour Design helps computer users reduce strain on their wrists and shoulders by eliminating the need for a mouse. The USB RollerBar sits below the spacebar on a standard keyboard, is USB compliant, and has five programmable buttons and a center scroll wheel. If you miss having a mouse, you can connect one through through an auxiliary PS/2 port located on the side of the keyboard.
Contour Design; 800-462-6678; www.contourdesign.com; $190
Avid talkers no longer have to be connected to the wire. Plantronics’ M1000 headset offers Bluetooth technology providing them the freedom to roam about while talking on the phone. Weighing in at less than an ounce and featuring improved sound quality and longer talk time, the M1000 will make any telephone user happy. The headset offers up to 3.5 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby and has an official range of 30 feet. The rechargeable battery boasts a one hour charge time.
Plantronics; 800-544-4660; www.plantronics.com; $150