Editor's Picks: What We Like
BackBy CertMag Editor — April 2009
Attention all hardware geeks: Illinois-based Other World Computing unveiled its newest storage solution earlier this year at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
The new Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual-Bay Quad Interface RAID Solution boasts top-of-the-line plug-and-play performance for both Macs and PCs. The quad interface, featuring FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA connections, allows users to switch easily between systems and interfaces without missing a beat.
Further, with up to 3 TB of storage space and transfer speeds clocking in at 300 MB per second, the Mercury can handle performance-hogging applications that would slow down many other storage solutions.
Its versatility and storage space make it ideal for photographers, professional musicians or aficionados, graphic artists, or those who think you simply can’t have enough storage space.
The silver brushed-metal exterior, made from aircraft-grade aluminum, will keep your data protected while still looking slick. The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual-Bay is available in seven pre-configured solutions, starting at 500 GB in the low $200s, all the way up to 3 TB for nearly $500.
In these tough times, the techie must find luxury and entertainment wherever he or she can. To that end, you might want to check out the latest in computer hardware: shape-shifting keyboards. The Pro:Motion keyboard from Smartfish Technologies slowly but surely adjust to the user’s typing style using a dynamic positioning controller, which changes the keyboard into different shapes and results in better blood circulation and fewer bouts of carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injuries. The Hospital for Special Surgery collaborated to create it, and it costs around $150. The added bonus? The extra comfort will come in handy when you’re logging extra hours at the keyboard due to the recession.
Also, if you’re one of the many who are this close to taking their economic woes out on technology, you might want to invest in the Ckbot, a new robot that automatically puts itself back together after being taken — or kicked — apart. According to published reports, the Ckbot’s parts locate one another using infrared lights, cameras and radio signals, then reassemble into a machine that can walk on flat surfaces.
The Ckbot was created by Mark Yim, an associate professor of robotics at the University of Pennsylvania. Yim said he aims to create technology that will lead to shape-shifting objects, which ultimately could reduce clutter in toolboxes, garages and homes by adapting forms. The price may be steep, but who wouldn’t love a gadget right now that can take a licking and keep on ticking?
File Sharing? ‘Drop’ It
Everybody has a need for portability these days. And a lot of people want to share the interesting media they’re working on. When flash drives, Google documents or other online services aren’t enough, it might be time to check out drop.io file storage, sharing and selling resource.
Drop.io is a Web service, free for individuals — but also available as a paid subscription service for businesses with more specific needs — that allows you to upload all types of files for storage and sharing with your friends, colleagues and/or anonymous Internet junkies.
When you create a drop for your stuff — and you can drop up to 100 MB worth with the free account — drop.io automatically gives you a free URL, e-mail, voicemail number and conference call line, all of which you can use to send content to your drop. You can add guests to your account; you can even allow them to add, delete and modify your content if you choose. And all of this can be password-protected at your will.
Additionally, you can allow friends and colleagues to monitor updates to your files and watch for new drops through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through RSS feeds or e-mail alerts. According to the drop.io site, you also can share your drop’s entire contents via zip file or as a Dropcast on iTunes. And if you choose, drop.io will help you set up an Amazon business account so you can charge your guests a fee for using your content.
Whatever your file sharing needs, drop.io seems like a cool way to save your stuff and keep tight controls on it.