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January 7th, 2000

[Show Floor] MACWORLD Expo - From The Show Floor: FireWire Takes Over MACWORLD
by Bryan Chaffin

The biggest deal in town for this year's MACWORLD Expo in San Francisco has got to be FireWire. FireWire products seem to have completely overrun the show floor.

VST is showing a wide range of FireWire products including drives, RAID products, and more. The company had their products featured when shown by Steve Jobs during his Keynote coverage. That was the RAID solution which includes a PowerBook recharging bay that had one of the drives fall out and hit the ground. While that event drew laughter from the audience, Dave Bonfiglio, Marketing Representative for VST, told The Mac Observer that the drive still functioned, even after its fall.

New FireWire products from Iomega are also to be found in plenty including FireWire variations of their Zip drives and a new CD-RW that works with FireWire.

MicroNet is showing the FireWire SAN (storage area network) which is a cube-shaped hard drive that holds from 70 to 220 GB of data. The device also offers up to 30 MB/sec of throughput according to the company.

LaCie, too, is coming to the FireWire party, though the company is not yet ready to make any announcements. The company was showing a very cool hard drive that includes both FireWire and USB ports, making it easy for customers to use it wherever they may need it. This product could be released as early as the end of Q1 or the beginning of Q2.

CastleWood will likely be bringing their Orb product to FireWire, though no official announcements are at hand. Company reps were demonstrating a prototype Orb unit in a FireWire case, though we may end up seeing a full FireWire model coming to market.

These are just a few of the many companies showing an incredible array of products.

The Mac Observer Spin: What hasn't been made too big a deal by many vendors is that the fact that most of these products are being aimed at the PC world too. That's very understandable for MACWORLD Expo, but that interest in the Windows world actually bodes very well for all of us. If FireWire can force its way into the Wintel market, Mac users will end up getting a far larger choice of products, and most of those products will be cheaper than they might have otherwise been due to the economy of scale in the Wintel world.

The bottom line is that if the Expo is any indication, FireWire is here to stay.

MACWORLD Expo SF Special Report

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