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January 11th, 2000

[6:00 AM] MACWORLD Expo Wrap-Up: VST Offers Impressive Array of New Drives
by John Braun

John Braun and Bryan Chaffin were able to visit with VST's David Bonfiglio on the show floor, and learn more about some of their upcoming drive products being shown at MACWORLD.

The first was a portable CDRW drive, using a Ricoh mechanism and offering 4/4/20 (CDR write/CDRW write/CD read) speeds. It uses NiMH rechargeable batteries and can burn 4-6 discs on a single charge. USB support will be standard, with FireWire an option. Suggested retail will be $499. For someone who needs to burn a CD on the spot, this sounds like a great solution.

Next was a portable drive which supports both USB and FireWire connections, with capacities up to 25 GB. Although USB use requires an external power adapter, FireWire users can just plug in the drive and start working. For those in a mixed USB and FireWire environment, this drive does the trick.

We also saw their RAID solution, which Steve Jobs mentioned during the keynote (insert link here). It can support up to four 25 GB drives for a whopping 100 GB of storage. With included software, it offers both RAID 0 (striping) and RAID 1 (mirroring) offering both speed and data redundancy. There is also an included battery back, in the form of a standard PowerBook Li-Ion battery which can keep the array running for up to 2 hours. Up to 4 arrays may be chained together.

Last, and our favorite, was the Tri-Media reader. This is a drive that can read floppy, Smart Media and Compact Flash media. The obvious target for this drive is digital camera owners. We took the 48 MB Compact Flash from our Nikon CoolPix 900 and inserted it into the drive (no nasty PCMCIA adapter required) and our card showed up on the attached Mac immediately. We were then able to double-click on and view our images.

Release of all these products is expected before the end of Q1 2000.

The Mac Observer Spin: VST has one of the largest and best designed form factor FireWire product lines on the market.

VST - MACWORLD Expo SF Special Report

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