The Enclosure

 
 
By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-16 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Product: Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Drive Enclosure Kit (FSU209)
Web Site: www.belkin.com
Pro: Easy installation and assembly; quiet fan
Con: Pricey; USB 2.0 only (no FireWire support); limited to 137GB
Score:
Street Price: $109 list, $80 street (check prices)
Belkin supplied us with one of their new USB 2.0 external drive enclosures. This particular enclosure supports 5.25-inch devices, but has mount points for 3.5-inch drives as well. You can install either a hard drive or an optical drive in this case. However, there is no bezel for 3.5-inch removable devices, so you cant install a SuperDrive high capacity floppy or Iomega Zip drive. One of the niftiest features of the Belkin enclosure is its relative lack of screws. The only screws supplied are to fasten the storage device to the case. The case itself snaps together, and the two halves are held in place by external bezels.
Inside the case are pre-connected ATA, power, and audio cables. The audio cable is used if youre installing a CD or DVD drive; there is no provision for digital optical output. A 40W power supply, the logic board, and a small cooling fan occupy the back portion of the case. The front bezel snaps in after the unit is assembled, or is left off entirely if you install an optical drive.


 
 
 
 
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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