Sundry personal storage: Plextors European division announced at CeBIT three new products: the Portable HDD, the Professional Network HDD for small-business networks and the Portable Floppy Disk Drive. The microdisk versus flash RAM battle continues. Latest sallies include a rumored 80GB version of the one-eighth-inch (thick) hard drives that fit in iPods, from Toshiba, along with 0.85-inch (wide) hard drives and a 4GB one expected to ship midyear. In addition, the company will be applying Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, so watch for 6GB to 8GB Microdrives in this size by 2006.Samsung, meanwhile, showed the first mobile phone to include an internal had disk drive (1-inch diagonal 1.5GB). PCMCIA, CF and other card stuff: The PCMCIA was at CeBIT to show and promote the ExpressCard, the next-generation replacement for Cardbus. Suitable for use in both notebook and desktop computers, ExpressCards can be narrower, faster and lighter than current PCMCIA cards, according to Manny Pitta, PCMCIA marketing chair. Vendors already shipping ExpressCard-equipped notebooks include Compaq, Fujitsu, HP, IBM (ThinkPad T43), LG and Toshiba. Hitachi, Intel, Marvell, Nokia, Seagate and Toshiba have started the CE-ATA storage interface initiative, for devices that meet the CE/handheld market needs for low voltage, low pin count and power efficiency. Expect to see products support CE-ATA by possibly the end of this year. Security and accessories: UK-based DeadMans Handle Ltd. showed its notebook data security program (for Windows 95 and up). Deadmans Handle provides a challenge query that looks like a normal update or other pop-up query but fail to answer it right, and the system will freeze, or even wipe out all data designated as confidential. The program is now available free trial downloads. Targus brought along a shopping cart full of new I/O, security, travel and other accessories, including the Defcon VPCL lock, which secures to a notebook through the video port; a 4-in-1 laser pointer, presenter, multimedia and trackball mouse; the Mobile Dock Station, with video-through-USB and ventilation feet; a number of new professional, midrange and student-budget backpacks, rolling cases and other casual/formal casessome including "flow-through" holes for headphone wires. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
DataPlay, the quarter-sized DVD with up to a half-gig capacity, now has burnersthe Topy Mini Writer from Ritek and its Photocopier device also include an SD/MMC/Memory Stick slot. It can also be an MP3 player, FM tuner, and voice or line-in recorder.