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.