Mac News Review

30 Days with OS X, Free Remote Control for Your Mac, 32 GB for the Mac Pro, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.06.08

Need access to your home or office Mac from another location? Want a way to run Classic on your Intel Mac without messing with SheepShaver? LogMeIn Free may be for you, as it provides free access to a remote Mac over the Internet using your browser. I've played with it a bit and can report that it works, albeit slowly.

In other news, Parallels 3 adds graphics acceleration, which should make an Intel Mac using virtualization a good gaming platform - and perhaps eliminate the need to ever use Boot Camp and boot into Windows.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Software

Products

iPod News

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

30 Days with Mac OS X

[H]Enthusiast's Brian Boyko says:

"It's supposedly the best of both worlds - the stability and security of a Unix operating system with an easy end-user interface. It's Mac OS X, and we spend 30 days using it to find out what Apple has to offer over Windows. The '30 Days' saga continues...

"By now you know the drill. We started with 30 Days with Linux, in which we examined the Ubuntu Linux operating system (OS) from top to bottom to try to figure out how far Linux had come for the power user. We got great feedback directly from some of the Ubuntu bigwigs who were very interested in our problems. In response, Ubuntu 7.04, the successor to the construct that we used for the article, was almost completely devoid of all of the problems and incompatibilities that we brought up. Wow.

"Then we took a hard look at Windows Vista Home Premium in 30 Days with Vista to see if Microsoft's new incarnation was palatable for the mainstream user, an improvement over XP, and worth the cost.

"Even though we had to outlay the cost of the systems we used in this editorial out-of-pocket, we just couldn't let the missing OS go missing any longer. 'What about Mac?'

"Indeed, the original premise of '30 Days with Linux' was that people were claiming, 'I'm just going to switch to Linux (or Mac),' in response to the various Vista horror stories that were starting to brew leading up to its retail release. We've done Linux and Vista, so now it's Mac's turn at the plate."

Editor's note: This is a very long, multipage article, but thorough, evenhanded, and quite interesting. It analyzes a lot of stuff that I simply take for granted as a veteran Mac user. cm

With Parallels 3, There's No Reason to Buy a Windows Machine

GracefulFlavor's Jeff Ventura says:

"Following the trend first delivered by VMware's Fusion beta product, Parallels has announced v3 of its virtualization software for the Mac. This time around, the big gun unloads: Parallels now includes 3D support under Windows, which means the final holdout under Windows has crossed over to the virtualized world: gaming.

"Parallels v3 looks simply amazing, and I mean it when I say there's really no reason on Earth to purchase a Windows-only machine anymore - especially if you have any curiosity whatsoever about the Mac or iLife. Under Parallels, you'll get its Coherence 2.0 mode, which allows Windows apps to live side-by-side with OS X apps in separate windows. You get cross-OS file and application support. Support for Vista's Aero Glass is coming soon. And finally, you get 3D support, which means you can have a native hardware experience for gaming, just as if you were booting into Windows itself via Boot Camp."

Parallels 3.0 for Mac Adds 3D Accelerated Graphics

APC's Dan Warne reports:

"Parallels has announced version 3.0 of its popular Mac virtualisation package, offering long-anticipated emulation of 3D accelerated GPUs, allowing high-end Windows games to run in virtualisation.

"The company said it was just weeks away from the new release and named several key selling points:

  • Smartselect: the ability to associate a document on the OS X file structure to open in a Windows program, and vice versa....
  • 3D GPU emulation: Parallels is also touting the ability to 'run the hottest games and graphics applications' with 3D with support for graphics software....
  • Snapshot manager: Take a snapshot of your virtual machine and roll back to it easily...."

New iMacs to Sport Brushed Metal Enclosure?

brushed metal iMac?Ars Technica's Jeff Smykil says:

"A new rumor about the alleged iMac redesign has emerged, and this one may make us all cringe. 9to5Mac . . . states that the redesigned iMacs will have a brushed metal enclosure....

"The mere mention of brushed metal makes us a bit queasy...."

Editor's note: Me too. I've had more than my fill of "brushed metal" in various OS X and application user interfaces. Indeed, I had had enough of it after the first three minutes. OTOH, anodized aluminum, a la the MacBook Pros and Mac Pros, wouldn't be hard to take. cm

Apple Adding ZFS Support with Mac OS X 10.5

eWeek's Daniel Drew Turner reports:

"Sun Microsystems president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz, speaking at a company event, said that Sun's ZFS file system will be 'the' file system for Apple's upcoming Leopard version of Mac OS X.

"Apple will announce this, he said, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference June 11-15 in San Francisco."

Editor's note: Later in the week, many sites report that Schwartz has changed his claim, stating that ZFS will be a supported file system in Mac OS X 10.5, not the default file system. dk

Source for OS 9 Install CDs

SheepShaver, the only way to run later versions of the Classic Mac OS on Intel Macs, doesn't support Mac OS 9.2.2, the version used for Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs. The most recent version it supports is Mac OS 9.0.4.

OS 9 installer CDs are getting thinner and thinner on the ground, but Beta Macs has a batch of Apple OS 9.0 System Software CDs for the friendly price of $29.95.

The CD is bundled with Apple's update to OS 9.2.1 and works with:

  • Power Mac 7200-9600 (request 9.1 CD)
  • Power Mac G3 units
  • PowerBook G3 units
  • iBook G3 units
  • iMac G3 units
  • Power Mac G4 units
  • PowerBook G4 units

The disk installs full suite of Apple software, unlike some iMac CDs selling on eBay.

You can download free updates from Apple's support site to upgrade to 9.2.2.

Note that SheepShaver requires a ROM image, which can be obtained from a Mac OS 8.5 or 8.6 CD, available from Beta Macs for $19.99.

Software

Access Your Mac from Anywhere in the World with LogMeIn Free

PR: Beginning immediately, Apple Macintosh users can remotely access their computers using any other computer, including a Windows PC, for free.

The preview release of LogMeIn Free for Mac <https://secure.logmein.com/products/mac/> is the first remote access service that allows people to remotely access and control their Apple Macintosh computers from any Internet-connected device, including Windows, Macs, Linux PCs as well as many handheld devices. For example: A user can sit at a PC in New York and access a Mac in San Francisco - including all software applications on the remote Mac. Customers can also connect from a Mac to a PC and, of course, from a Mac to a Mac.

"LogMeIn certainly follows the Mac-mantra of being simple to use and we are thrilled that Mac owners will now have the same ability to access their digital lives as our PC users," said Michael Simon, CEO, LogMeIn, Inc. "This further extends our position as the leading provider of remote access products and builds on LogMeIn's commitment to providing a platform on which businesses and individuals can connect, work with and support all their digital assets."

"As the mobile workforce increases, so does the need for them to be able to access their work PC as well as personal PC from wherever they may be," says Stacy Sudan, Research Analyst in IDC's Mobile Enterprise Software program. "LogMeIn's support of Macintosh is significant because it allows mobile workers (and consumers) to be able to access all of their systems from anywhere."

With millions of users worldwide, LogMeIn's simple and secure remote connectivity services have become the most widely used means to connect to remote devices. LogMeIn's patent pending technology ensures fast, SSL-secured connections through the company's datacenters - no need for users to manually configure ports on routers and firewalls. To achieve maximum performance, connections are shifted to a secure peer-to-peer link as soon as possible.

LogMeIn Free is a free service that provides fast, secure, and easy access to a remote computer from virtually any web-enabled PC or Pocket PC with a high-speed Internet connection. Users obtain on-demand access to their work and home computers - viewing desktops, files and network resources - regardless of where they are. Many users world wide use LogMeIn Free as both a professional and personal remote computer support tool.

The fully functional preview of LogMeIn Free for the Mac is available now at https://secure.logmein.com/products/mac/. Because LogMeIn continually updates its services, end users will be assured of always having the most up-to-date version available automatically. LogMeIn will introduce additional products for the Mac in the coming months. LogMeIn Free for the Mac is not a trial version of a paid product - it is available free of charge.

Editor's note: This could be one way to have access to the Classic Mac OS on an Intel Mac using Classic Mode on a remote OS X PowerPC Mac. It's not fast, but it works. Note that the free version doesn't allow file transfer between machines or local printing from the remote computer. dk

MigliaTV 1.1 Drivers for the Miglia EvolutionTV and TVMax+

PR: MigliaTV drivers for the Miglia EvolutionTV and TVMax+. This software can also be used with the TVMax, but a license key must be purchased.

TVMax+ - The fastest way to get Video onto your Apple TV or iPod

System requirements: A Miglia EvolutionTV or TVMax+ hardware device.

System support: PPC/Intel

Free

Google Gears Beta Available

PR: This is an early release of Google Gears (Beta). After installation, please pay attention to the warning dialogs and grant access only to websites that you trust.

Google Gears (Beta) is an open source browser extension that enables web applications to provide offline functionality using following JavaScript APIs:

  • Store and serve application resources locally
  • Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database
  • Run asynchronous JavaScript to improve application responsiveness

System requirements:

  • Google Gears (BETA) is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Mac version requires OS X 10.2 or later and Firefox 1.5 or later

Note: Google Gears is not compatible with the current final or earlier versions of Safari, so you will need to download a recent WebKit build from <http://nightly.webkit.org>.

Blu-ray Device Driver for 'Tiger'

PR: Software Architects, Inc., developer of UDF file system technology for computers and consumer electronics products, has announced its release of BlueDisk Driver v1.0 for Apple systems running OS X 10.4.

BlueDisk Driver enables both Intel and PowerPC based Apple computer systems to format, read and write to rewritable Blu-ray discs using the standard Mac Finder interface, including "drag & drop" writing to disc. Discs are formatted in standard Apple HFS+ format for readability on an any driver equipped Apple system. The native Mac OS does not support Blu-ray disc drives or BD-RE media.

Compact, Reliable & Portable Data Storage Now users can take advantage of the Blu-ray disc drive's 25 GByte capacity rewritable media for data storage applications. Ideal for file backup, archival or large file data distribution, rewritable (BD-RE) Blu-ray discs can now be used to store files written from any application supporting OS 10.4.9.

Saves Time for Recorded Video Applications With 25 GBytes of capacity available, video enthusiasts no longer have to spend time compressing their favorite video files into MPEG-2 to fit on a single optical disc. Record video files in any Apple QuickTime™ compatible video format and play them using Apple's QuickTime Movie Player. The BD-RE disc is formatted as a data disc so users do not have to go through the time consuming process of creating a DVD Video format disc for play back on their Mac systems.

Key Benefits:

  • Easy to use: simply drag & drop files to the disc.
  • Versatile: supports writing from any Mac application.
  • Compatible: HFS format is readable on any Mac system.
  • High Capacity: 25 GByte discs hold more than six times the data of a standard DVD-R/W disc.

System Requirements:

  • Supports all Apple Mac™ Intel and PowerPC based systems running Mac OS 10.4.x or later.
  • 512 MB of RAM.

Price: $49.95.

Version 1.0 is available 15 June 2007

Products

OWC Doubles Mac Pro Memory to 32 GB

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that it is offering double the Apple Mac Pro memory vs. factory installed to up to 32 GB, twice the 16 GB Apple is currently supporting via factory installed.

OWC offers memory modules for Mac Pro 8-core/Quad-core Xeon systems at capacities of 2 GB for up to 16 GB priced as low as $86.19 per GB and 1 GB memory modules up to 8 GB for as low as $96.13 per GB. 4 GB modules up to 32 GB are available at $205.59 per GB for customers employing high-memory intensive applications, such as audio/video, photo, 3D modeling, and other applications where the extra memory really makes a difference in their computer's performance.

OWC Memory Upgrade Modules are fully tested premium quality, meeting and/or exceed all Apple specifications. Utilizing superior components, including true Apple-Qualified heat spreaders, the modules provide a lifetime of high-performance, reliable operation backed by a Money Back Guarantee and OWC's Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

"The new OWC memory options are another example of Other World Computing reaching out to give our customers all the available options for best memory, just as we have done with the up to 3 GB memory we support in the MacBook, which is 50% more than the Apple factory offered configs," said Lawrence O'Connor, CEO, OWC.

MacCuff mini: 'Poor Man's iMac' Mounting System for Mac mini

MacCuff miniPR: Sonnet Technologies announces MacCuff mini, the back-of-monitor mounting system for Mac mini computers. MacCuff mini provides users with a practical way to mount their computer to the back of an LCD display (or under a desk or table) while retaining full access to all of its ports and the disc slot.

In spite of its small size, the Mac mini can be inconvenient to place. On a small desk, the Mac mini takes up valuable space, a problem compounded by cable clutter. MacCuff mini moves a Mac mini and video cable off the desktop and behind the monitor.

Most LCD monitors have open VESA mounting holes on the back that provide an ideal spot to attach a MacCuff mini. Mounted securely on the back of a display, a Mac mini disappears. Sonnet helps cut the clutter by providing a 12-inch DVI-to-VGA monitor cable that connects the Mac mini to the monitor, without ever touching the desk. An included cable tie secures the power cable to the bracket to prevent accidental disconnects. MacCuff mini can just as easily be installed under a desk or shelf. Regardless the mounting method, MacCuff mini's open-frame design allows normal WiFi and Bluetooth operation.

MacCuff miniMacCuff mini is constructed of rugged steel, and its refined platinum finish with a durable plastic coating won't mar the computer's finish. Installation is easy. For back-of-monitor mounting, just locate the empty VESA mount screw holes on the back of the monitor, and then use the supplied machine screws to secure the MacCuff mini. For under-desk mounting, simply tape the included drill template to the surface, drill pilot holes, and attach the bracket using the supplied wood screws. Mac mini simply slides into the MacCuff mini.

MacCuff mini Benefits

  • MacCuff mini + Mac mini + inexpensive, third-party LCD display = "poor man's iMac"
  • Eliminates monitor cable clutter with included 0.3m (12-inch) DVI-to-VGA cable
  • Secures power cable; prevents accidental unplugging

MacCuff mini (part number CUFF-MINI) is available now for the retail price of $49.95.

Video Import for the Mac Moves to a New Level - at $89

PR: Daystar Technology, a leader in real-time video capture, is delivering more advances in Mac based multimedia creation. It is announcing the expansion of features and a new lower price on its XLR8 XtraView USB, the video-in solution for Mac OS X.

Since its introduction last year, this simple USB 2.0 device has provided easy to use, plug and play video on the Mac. Now, with its new features and price, XtraView USB is fully Mac Universal, supports over 30 third-party add-ons, and is able to work as a high-performance security system, TV viewer/recorder, video digitizer, or game console monitor.

"XtraView USB is the only device under $200 that can connect full-screen, real-time, raw uncompressed video to the Mac," said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "It stands alone as a high quality, pro device . . . without the sync glitches seen using competitive compression based devices costing up to three times more!"

New Features and Price:

  • Game Console support in real-time, uncompressed.
  • PowerPC and Intel Universal.
  • Full-screen TV viewing from any tuner or player.
  • Perfectly synched recording to QuickTime.
  • Now only $89!

Everything you need.

  • XtraView includes everything users need to capture, edit and create:
  • Both audio and video connect via the single USB 2.0 device.
  • XtraView Capture software with a simple "click and record" interface to transform any S-Video or RCA audio/video source into QuickTime movies.
  • XtraView Exporter software enables full QuickTime Pro export capabilities.
  • ArcSoft's VideoImpression 2.0 capture / editing software allows capture / editing at any size (iMovie requires large DV Streams).

Supported Systems: XtraView is designed to work with all modern Apple systems. It requires only USB 2.0, and Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later.

Addonics Diamond Hard Drive Kit Features Built-in eSATA/SATA

PR: Addonics Technologies has announced a hard drive kit with built-in eSATA and SATA connectors, which allow users to easily connect an external SATA hard drive to a system or use any SATA hard drive as a removable cartridge drive.

Addonics' Diamond Hard Drive Kit is the first enclosure to feature built-in eSATA/SATA connectors as well as provide the first direct bridge design, which connects the SATA hard drive to the computer in native SATA mode.

The Diamond Hard Drive Kit can be easily attached to any computer externally via the high performance eSATA port or used like a drive cartridge in the Diamond drive cradle mounted inside a standard 5-1Ú4" drive bay.

The SATA direct bridge in the Diamond drive enclosure also isolates the SATA hard drive power and data connectors from the wear and tear that most removable SATA hard drive systems are subjected to. The hard drive inside the Diamond enclosure can also be accessed by any computer via eSATA or USB connection using the Addonics USB - eSATA adapter. Users can also install any 2.5" SATA hard drive into the Diamond drive enclosure using an optional hard drive mounting bracket.

Addonics offers a wide assortment of I/O converters, cables and accessories to give the Diamond drive enclosure and cradle unlimited connection and installation possibilities.

For example, a user who wants the combined features of an external eSATA hard drive and removable hard drive would order the Diamond Combo hard drive, a bundled kit that includes an enclosure; cradle with SATA interface; a eSATA data cable; and a power adapter. The MSRP for this configuration would be $49.95.

Constructed in heavy gauge aluminum, the Diamond drive kit is built to last while at the same time providing excellent heat dissipation for the hard drive.

Operating system support in external hard drive mode includes eSATA - DOS, Windows 95, NT(SP6), 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac, Linux and Solaris. USB support is provided for Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac, Linux and Solaris. Internal hard drive support includes all the previously mentioned operating systems as well as optional interface support for IDE or SCSI.

The Diamond Hard Drive kit is available through the Addonics online store, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs, and distributors, including Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, and Ingram Micro.

NitroAV eSATA 3 Gb/s 4-Port PCIe Host Adapter

NitroAV cardPR: NitroAV 'SATAStar Series' again delivers the latest 3G/sec SATA II performance and tremendous value with the versatile 4-Port PCIe Host Adapter. The latest SATAStar Series member is specifically designed for the ultra fast PCIe bus on Windows, Linux and perfect with Apple's latest PCIe based Mac Pro or G5 Dual-core desktop computers.

The 4-Port PCIe provides huge bandwidth for data throughput with its eight (8x) physical lane, 4x/8x electrical PCIe host connection, compatible with 4x, 8x, and 16x PCIe slots. This 4-Port PCIe host adapter is designed for optimum performance and reliability required for large data storage needs as well as digital audio, digital video and graphic professionals alike. For video professionals this SATAStar adapter supports 10-bit uncompressed HD, 8-bit uncompressed HD, DV, HDV, DVPRO HD, 8-bit and 10-bit SD video workflow.

The 4-Port NitroAV 'SATAStar Series' eSATA II 3 Gb/s Professional PCIe Host Adapter offers the best performance and value on the market, at $189.95, many competing products are almost twice the price for the exact same thing. The 4-Port PCIe also supports multiple RAID levels as well as this Silicon Image 3124A based card supports SiI3726 and SiI4726 SATA port multipliers. Regardless if you are just using this card for hard drive storage/raids, backups or serious digital audio, video or graphics this card is the perfect solution for PCIe based computers.

Product Features:

  • 4 eSATA ports for super-fast SATA II performance
  • Hot-plug capability
  • Supports SATA II transfer rate of 3.0 Gbps
  • Supports First-party DMA commands for Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
  • Drivers for Mac OS X 10.4, Linux 32-bit, Linux 64-bit, Windows 2000, XP, XP Pro, Vista, and 2003 Server
  • Fully RoHS compliant
  • Fully compliant with SATA II and SATA 1.0 standard

The The 4-Port NitroAV 'SATAStar Series' eSATA II 3 Gb/s Professional PCIe Host Adapter is available for $189.95. All NitroAV products are sold through Partners, Resellers or through the online website.

WD Caviar SE16 SATA Hard Drives

PR: WD Caviar SE16 drives combine 16 MB cache with 3 Gb/s transfer rate for lightning-fast performance in demanding desktop and workstation applications. Technologically advanced acoustics minimize noise and cool drive operation and enhanced reliability features help protect the drive and the data stored on it.

Key Features

  • 16 MB Cache - Bigger cache means faster performance. A massive 16 MB cache combined with advanced acoustic and power-reducing technologies make these ultra-fast drives the perfect solution for the fully loaded PC.
  • Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) - The latest generation of WD Caviar SE16 drives employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density.(750 GB only)
  • IntelliSeek - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.
  • SecurePark - Parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface resulting in improved long term reliability due to less head wear, and improved non- operational shock tolerance.
  • StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.(750 GB only)

Designed for use in the fastest PCs on the market, including high-performance business computers and multimedia or gaming systems. Perfect for Windows Vista.

How this WD hard drive protects your data

  • Data Lifeguard is an exclusive set of data protection features, including shock protection, an environmental protection system and real-time embedded error detection and repair. WD's Data Lifeguard technology automatically finds, isolates, and repairs problems that may develop over the life of a hard drive.
  • Data Lifeguard Tools are software utilities designed for WD hard drives that work with the embedded Data Lifeguard features to make hard drive installation,diagnostics and repair both simple and worry-free. (Download Data Lifeguard Tools)
  • ShockGuard instantaneously protects the hard drive against damage from bumps and vibrations while it is running. This technology enables WD Caviar drives to achieve industry-leading shock specifications.
  • Rotational Speed: 7,200 RPM (nominal)
  • Buffer Size: 16 MB
  • Formatted Capacity: 750,156 MB
  • Capacity: 750 GB
  • Interface: SATA 3 Gb/s

Physical Dimensions

  • Height: 1.028 Inches (Max)
  • Length: 5.787 Inches (Max)
  • Width: 4.00 Inches (+/- 0.010 inch)
  • Weight: 1.39 Pounds

You can purchase Western Digital products at the following stores or online. Be sure to check individual stores for information on availability and rebate offers.

MicroNet 5 TB Platinum RAID Pro eSATA Disk Array

PR: MicroNet Technology, an innovator in storage solutions for small and medium businesses (SMBs), today introduced the Platinum RAID Pro, a multi-terabyte eSATA RAID solution that transcends the capacity limitations of SATA disk arrays and the performance bottlenecks of USB and FireWire storage with a compact transportable unit that provides simplicity and ease-of-use, allowing SMB users to focus on their business and not on data storage.

MicroNet's new 5 terabyte Platinum RAID Pro combines the highest capacity of any eSATA disk array on the market with a new performance-focused design built around a 64-bit Intel XScale processor to accelerate I/O throughput, and eSATA connectivity that provides more data bandwidth and eliminates the performance penalties of USB and FireWire bridging. Designed for small and medium businesses who need high-capacity and high-performance storage but not high-complexity storage, the Platinum RAID Pro delivers extraordinary ease-of-use. It is completely operating system independent and requires no drivers to be installed. The unit is factory-configured for RAID 5 so users can simply plug it in and immediately enjoy the benefits of huge capacity expansion and parity RAID data protection.

The capacity breakthrough achieved by MicroNet is the result of design innovations in the eSATA host bus adapter and RAID controller to eliminate the 2 terabyte volume size limitation that restricts the available capacity of alternative eSATA-based disk arrays, allowing customers to access the full 5 TB capacity potential of the Platinum RAID Pro. To take advantage of this unprecedented capacity, host computers must be running a modern operating system, including Windows Server 2003 and above, Windows Vista, recent Linux releases and Mac OS X, that is not burdened with older ATA address limitations.

"Because of the growing storage demands present in the SMB space, more customers are seeking greater capacity at affordable price points," said Behzad Eshghieh, CEO of MicroNet. "Specifically, organizations with storage-intensive digital media applications with a need for ready-to-use solutions to protect, transport and secure their irreplaceable files. The Platinum RAID Pro was created to meet the mammoth capacity and performance demands of these customers while maintaining MicroNet's reputation for storage products that are simple to install, manage and scale."

At the heart of the Platinum RAID Pro is the 64-bit Intel processor matched with 128 MB of error-correcting cache, providing the robust performance to easily handle the most intensive SMB RAID applications, including digital video, HD audio, digital imaging and streaming backup. Five 3 Gbps SATA-2 drives can be configured for RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 0+1 and JBOD operation. eSATA connectivity ensures that users can quickly address the mammoth available capacity, providing more than a 200 percent raw data rate improvement compared to FireWire- and USB-based external storage solutions. Performance is further improved with the pure SATA environment that bypasses the throughput hits imposed by having to convert SATA drive protocols to FireWire and USB signals.

The Platinum RAID Pro enclosure is a durable yet lightweight aluminum and Plexiglas design that includes a built-in handle to enhance portability. In addition to standard primary storage applications for SMBs, the convenient enclosure design makes the unit ideal for a variety of applications, including backup of multiple departmental systems and distribution of high-capacity digital content across multiple locations.

MicroNet's Platinum RAID Pro is currently available with pricing starting at $2,349 for a 2.5 terabyte array, $2,999 for a 3.75 TB configuration and $4,499 for the high-end 5 TB model. Customers can configure the array with appropriate eSATA HBA based on their host system requirements, either a two-port PCIe HBA or a four-port PCI-X adapter.

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