Another PC Company Innovates By Copying Apple

In another clear-cut case of Appleis innovation being borrowed by the Wintel camp, Sharp has unveiled a laptop that includes an amazing "new" feature that is just like something that Apple has been doing for years. Observer Brutno noticed in a PCWorld magazine article that Sharp was touting the ability to use its MM1-1 laptop series as an external hard drive through a USB 2.0 connection.

This is one of the features Apple built into its product line long ago, including almost every Mac with built-in FireWire except the Blue & White G3, and the Yikes! PowerMac G4. FireWire "target disk mode" allows Mac users to use their FireWire-equipped Macs as an external hard drive when connected to another Mac via a FireWire cable. Unlike Sharpis MM1-1, doing this on a Mac doesnit require a cradle (see below), relying instead on holding the "t" key down during start up. From the PCWorld article:

Sharp unveiled last week for corporate users a notebook PC that also functions as an external hard drive. When the notebook computer is powered off and placed in its cradle, a desktop computer has direct access to the notebookis internal hard drive via a USB 2.0 interface.

The new machine is part of Sharpis MM1-1 series, which was released to the consumer market in October. This series has been popular among Japanese consumers, according to Masaaki Takeda, a spokesperson for Sharp.

"Using a notebook PC as a hard disk drive is something new [emphasis added] and consumers are choosing the MM1-1 series because of this function," he said. The Osaka, Japan, company plans to keep the MM1-1 seriesi hard drive function in future products, he said.

You can find more information in the PCWorld magazine article.