Wichita, Kansas-based storage peripheral maker
made a batch of new product announcements today. The company is bundling new Mac-PC software and is offering up a new drive and a new RAID system.
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WiebeTech announced a new licensing agreement with Mediafour that bundles the company’s MacDrive 5 software with most WiebeTech storage peripherals. MacDrive 5 enables Windows PCs to read and write disk volumes formatted for Mac OS. Expect to see drives released with the utility beginning mid-month.
MacDrive 5 works on various flavors of Windows, including Windows XP. The software will be bundled with WiebeTech’s DesktopGB, Super DesktopGB, MicroGB, DriveDock and Super DriveDock products.
The Super DesktopGB is another new announcement from WiebeTech. Coming in a week, the 3.5-inch desktop hard drive will combine FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity. The new drive is FireWire bus-powered thanks to WiebeTech’s own “PowerBridge” technology and uses Oxford Semiconductors’ ubiquitous Oxford 911 FireWire bridge chip. It also includes an AC adapter which can be used by systems that may not provide FireWire bus power (some third-party FireWire expansion cards, for example).
The Super DesktopGB sports dual daisy-chainable FireWire ports, along with a USB 2.0 port that is, of course, downwardly compatible with the USB 1.1 interface used on all Macs. It’s available in capacities from a “0GB” case-only do it yourself model for US$149.95 to $299.95 for a 120GB model — 40GB and 80GB capacities are also available.
Last but not least, WiebeTech also introduced the FireWire RAID, a system designed for Mac OS X that combines two 7200RPM drive mechanisms in a single enclosure. The two drives sport independent FireWire bridge boards and can work independently, striped or mirrored without the need for special drivers.
WiebeTech president James Wiebe explained that the FireWire RAID utilizes Mac OS X’s own ability to create RAID configurations — all users need to do is hook the drives up to the Mac, open the disk utility, drag both drives to the RAID tab, assign a name and click “Create.”
“As a result, we are offering a storage device with up to 240GB (unformatted) storage capacity, all achieved without drivers and with performance in excess of 60MB/sec, as measured with InTech’s benchmarking software,” said Wiebe.
WiebeTech’s FireWire RAID occupies about 7.5 x 2.4 x 4.6 inches of desk space. For optimal performance, the FireWire RAID includes a PCI FireWire host card that allows the FireWire RAID to connect each independent FireWire bridge through an independent FireWire channel — one FireWire connection goes to the built-in motherboard FireWire port, the other attaches to the PCI card’s FireWire port.
The FireWire RAID is available in 120GB, 160GB and 240GB configurations for $499.95, $599.95 and $699.95 respectively. All three systems are expected to ship beginning October 18.