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September 16th, 1999

[4:30 PM] Diamond Ships Home Networking Solution

Diamond Multimedia has announced that their home networking solution for USB Macs is now shipping. HomeFree Phoneline USB allows USB Macs to network across the phone lines in their homes. The product comes with substantial software additions and is priced aggressively. According to Diamond:

Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. today announced shipment of HomeFree(tm) Phoneline USB, the PC industry's first USB home networking product with cross-platform support. Diamond's HomeFree Phoneline USB product allows consumers to quickly install home networking hardware and begin sharing Internet access, peripherals and multiplayer games between PC and Macintosh computers.

"Consumers don't need to open their computer cases to install this product," said Jim Cady, president of Diamond Multimedia's Communications Division. "If you can hook up an external modem, you can install HomeFree USB. Plug in the USB pin connector, plug in the phone cords, install the CD software, and you're off and running with simultaneous Internet access, gaming, printing and more - regardless of whether you have Macs or PCs." How Consumers Win with Cross-Platform USB

The HomeFree Phoneline USB product provides PC and Macintosh users with a solution that is easy to install and works across multiple platforms. HomeFree Phoneline USB simply plugs into a computer's USB port and is automatically detected at startup. The product CD then prompts the user to continue with installation. The connection permits sharing between Windows 95- and 98-based systems and iMac and Power Macintosh G3 computers. Now, for the first time, consumers can easily and affordably network a Macintosh with a Windows-based PC. Switch between Office and Home Networks

Many business professionals often need access to home and office networks from a single laptop computer. As a result, HomeFree USB includes AlterNet(tm), a Diamond-designed network switching software that allows consumers to easily change a mobile computer's network profile. With the touch of a button, consumers can quickly switch their network profile between the Ethernet environment at work and their Diamond HomeFree home networking setup at home. Pricing and Availability

Diamond's HomeFree Phoneline USB product features a Lite version of Miramar Systems' award-winning PC MACLAN software that enables PCs and Macintosh computers to share files, drives, printers and other peripherals.

Also included with the HomeFree Phoneline USB product are versions of Vicomsoft's SurfDoubler software for both Macintosh and for Windows that provides for the sharing of a single Internet connection between two computers, using a Macintosh computer as the Internet sharing PC.

Featuring AMD's PCnet(TM)-Home networking controller, the HomeFree Phoneline USB product uses existing home phonelines to link multiple computers and is based upon the HomePNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance) network standard, which stems from Tut System's HomeRun technology. AMD's PCnet-Home controller is the industry's first single chip solution that is based on the widely endorsed HomePNA specification and is the first HomePNA compliant product to receive Microsoft PC 98 certification. The HomeFree Phoneline USB product delivers fast throughput speeds of up to 1 Mbps at a range of up to 500 feet between each computer. Windows and Macintosh System Requirements

Mac system requirements include an available USB port and Mac OS 8.1. The recommended Mac system is an iMac or Power Macintosh G3 computer running Mac OS 8.5.

The product is priced at US$69.95 and is shipping to retailers now.

The Mac Observer Spin: Easy home networking is a powerful tool for consumers, especially those looking to easily share a single connection to the Internet. While we have not yet tested the system, it looks to be an excellent product.

Diamond Multimedia

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