This week at Macworld New York,
Macintosh Component Engineered Technologies
(MCE) is showcasing products slated to ship in the weeks ahead.
One product is the FireBay FireWire Docking Unit, an external FireWire-based docking unit to accommodate devices designed to fit into PowerBook G3 expansion bays. It’s due in the next several weeks, Ben Perez, MCE marketing director, told MacCentral. The FireBay enables users of any device designed to fit into PowerBook G3 expansion bays to utilize them as conventional external peripherals on FireWire-equipped Macs.
With the FireBay, you can use PowerBook G3 expansion bay devices like hard disks, CD and DVD-ROMs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, Zip drives and more. The FireBay can fit any expansion bay device designed to work in PowerBook G3s equipped with bronze keyboards, including the “Pismo” models (which include FireWire), and the older “Lombard” systems.
The FireBay itself is stackable, and can be either bus-powered or AC powered, depending on the expansion bay device installed. The backplane of the FireBay features a FireWire cable connector, and to reduce cable clutter, the stackable design incorporates a topside FireWire port that will connect multiple FireBays together without any external cabling.
MCE said the FireBay enables PowerBook users to access several expansion devices simultaneously. MCE also expects the FireBay to become popular with multimedia authors and digital video producers who have thus far depended on large expansion bay hard drives — rather than transferring the data over a network or FireWire connection through the PowerBook, users can simply plug the expansion bay hard drive into an external FireBay chassis and start working right away.
Also being demoed at MWNY this week is the Xcarét Pro Expansion Bay DVD/CDRW Combo Drive. Due in the next 2-3 weeks, it offers an even faster CD-RW drive for the “Lombard” and “Pismo” PowerBooks and one for the “Wall Street” model. It’s bootable, hot swappable and sports a protective carrying case. It’s compatible with Apple’s iTunes and Disc Burner software. Plus, it can be used with the FireBay, Perez said.
Other currently shipping products MCE is displaying include the Transport Pro Portable FireWire Hard Drives (for use with any FireWire-equipped Mac and with capacities from 10GB to 48GB), the Xcarét Pro-99 Expansion Bay Drive (for use with the PowerBook G3 98 99 and 2000 models) and with capacities up to 48GB, internal hard drive upgrades for PowerBooks, and the popular USB Flexlight.
The latter is a US$20 “twistable” light that can be used with any USB-equipped Apple portable. It can be used to light up your keyboard or paperwork, and runs on power from the USB port. The Flexlight comes with both a clear and a red diffuser for high or low intensity light.