Hard drive vendor LaCie has teamed up with Mandriva on a bus-powered USB 2.0 hard drive preloaded with desktop Linux.
The “GlobeTrotter” boots Mandriva Linux LE 2005, and is available in 40GB and 80GB models priced at $140 and $199, respectively.
The GlobeTrotter drives feature an industrial design by F.A. Porsche. The devices have rubber feet, a passively cooled case design, and a low-power drive that, unlike most USB drives, requires no separate power adapter, instead pulling power through the host PCs USB port.
The GlobeTrotter devices are based on 2.5-inch (laptop-size) drives spinning at 5400rpm. The 80GB model has an 8MB buffer, while the 40GB version has a 2MB buffer. A 14GB ext3 partition holds Mandrivas root filesystem, with the remaining space split on both models between an ext3 partition for Linux /home files, and a partition formatted with a filesystem (likely VFAT) compatible with Windows and Mac computers.
The GlobeTrotters both have a USB 2.0 interface theoretically capable of transfers up to 480Mbps, yet compliant with USB 1.1 hosts as well.
On the software side, the GlobeTrotters come preloaded with Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005. This distribution features many standard open source GNU/Linux applications, such as OpenOffice 1.1.4, Firefox and Konqueror, Gimp, Acrobat 7, Real and Flash plugins, Kontact, Evolution, K3b, and so on. It also includes some fairly serious development tools, including the GNU gcc compiler collection, a Java SDK and runtime, and the KDevelop IDE (integrated development environment).