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October 6th, 1999

11:00 AM] Cool New PCI Card From OrangeMicro Offers FireWire And USB

Orange Micro has announced a combination FireWire/USB PCI expansion card. The OrangeLink Card features FireWire (IEEE-1394), which is a high speed connection developed by Apple, allowing near real-time digital video editing and up to 400Mbps data transfer rates. FireWire has caught on, and peripherals from external CD-Rs to video cameras to hard drives are constantly being released with FireWire connectivity. The OrangeLink Card also has support for Universal Serial Bus (USB), which is another type of connection allowing nearly any type of device to be connected to a computer. USB and FireWire are slowly but surely replacing Serial, Parallel, and SCSI has standard Mac and PC peripheral connections. According to Orange Micro:

The OrangeLink™ FireWire/USB Board has 2 USB and 2 FireWire ports which are compatible with all known peripherals conforming to those specifications. It is a half size (7") PCI card. The FireWire ports run at 400 Mbits per second and provide 15 watts of power on a typical system. They draw power from the PCI bus of a host system when it is needed by devices such as the new VST portable disk drives. The OrangeLink uses the new OHCI FireWire technology similar to that implemented on Apple's new G4 computer. The OrangeLink FireWire/USB PCI Board comes with two software packages which will allow users to connect Digital Video (DV) camcorders to the FireWire ports for input, output and video editing functions. Premiere LE is included for Macintosh users, and Ulead Video Studio software is provided for PC users. Both packages are designed for users who are new to digital video editing. More sophisticated software such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere 5.1c (full version) are also compatible with the OrangeLink series.

The OrangeLink FireWire/USB card has a suggested price of US$159 and is expected to ship in November. You can find more information at the Orange Micro web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Ok, this is a cool card for pr Blue & White G3 owners, especially those who are already tight with their PCI slots (Apple, that's a hint to go ahead and put more slots in your PowerMacs). For those who are not ready to upgrade to a new PowerMac G4, but still want to be able to use all the cool USB and FireWire devices that are coming out, this card is just perfect. Hopefully, other companies will also come out with similar cards...

In the meanwhile, kudos to OrangeMicro for being the first!

Orange Micro

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