CharisMac offers Sony CD-RW USB/FireWire conversion kit
By Peter Cohen
MacworldMAY 23, 2002 5:00 pm PDT
CharisMac Engineering Inc. is venturing into new territory with its first hardware device, after 16 years of software development. The new product enables users of Sony CRX100 and 120 CD-RWs to convert their systems from USB to FireWire.
The product has been created to address the needs of users who have migrated to Mac OS X but can no longer use their legacy Sony USB CD-RWs. Mac OS X does not provide a driver that supports the USB bridge chips located in the Sony enclosures and in the enclosures of USB drives offered by other companies, as well.
By removing the ATAPI CD-RW mechanism itself and installing it in CharisMac’s new FireWire chassis, you can make the CD-RW drive work on your Mac OS X-equipped system. In fact, you may even be able to gain some performance as well — some of these drives operate at 8x or faster and USB is limited to slower speeds than that for burning data and audio.
“We’re just trying to give users a way to hang onto their drives well into the future. The internal mechanisms inside the USB cases aren’t quite ready to be displayed in a museum,” said CharisMac vice president of sales and marketing Tony Overbay.
CharisMac’s FireWire enclosure features Oxford Semiconductor’s Oxford 911 bridge interface. It can handle both CD-RWs and hard disk drives, according to CharisMac. The device is available for US$99.95 from CharisMac’s Web store.