Road to Expo: Storage

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When the first Macs came out, the idea of a built-in hard drive was still a pipe dream. But now, large amounts of storage -- measured in gigabytes instead of megabytes -- is essential for applications, video, and backing up important data. Here's a look at what's coming in the storage world at Macworld Expo.

Hard Drives

LaCie will show their new, small 6GB and 18GB drives that will be available in both USB and FireWire interfaces. ProMax is also weighing in with their huge 37GB external FireWire drive, which ProMac says has been tested with Apple 's Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere 5.1c with no dropped frames.


CD-RW drives are getting faster, and LaCie is planning to show a new FireWire CD-RW that not only can burn a disc in about 6 minutes, but also automatically adjust to the speed of your system (up to 12x) to make sure your discs are usable for more than coasters. QPS has a new 4x4x8 USB CD-RW ready to ship, and they will also be a FireWire CD-RW that is still in the works.

DVD-RAM is also emerging as a high-capacity storage medium, and ProMax Systems will show a $500 ATAPI internal DVD-RAM drive for G3 and G4 computers. DVD-RAM media can hold 2.6GB (or 5.2GB on a double-sided disc), and so is becoming ideal for backing up large graphics, video, or multimedia files.

Ecrix will annouce its FireWire tape backup/restore drive at the show. With a list price of $899, it comes bundled with Dantz 's Retrospect and offers 66GB capacity at a 6MB/sec transfer rate.


As the need for speedy file transfer increases because of video and multimedia work, the next wave of SCSI cards has arrived. Adaptec has already shown their new Ultra3 SCSI card, with possible transfer rates of 160MBps. ATTO Technology now has their own dual-channel Ultra3 SCSI as well.

Ariston Technologies has joined the likes of Newer Technology , RATOC Sytems , and VST Technologies with their FireCard, a Cardbus-to-FireWire adapter for PowerBooks.

Storage Cards

As products such as digital cameras get better resolution and people want more music on portable MP3 players, storage cards have had to increase capacity to keep up. Microtech International is now distributing the tiny IBM Microdrives in 170MB and 340MB capacities -- good for digital cameras -- and their USB CameraMate -- which reads CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards -- has now been shipping for a few months. SanDisk also offers whopping 192MB CompactFlash cards.

Go to: Macworld Expo Central
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