Stories by Bill O'Brien

Devices take you online where Wi-Fi can't

When your router/modem is "here" and you have one or more computers either upstairs or downstairs from that location -- or both! -- life begins to get complex. Hardwiring your network is fast and efficient, but it's often not a practical answer, especially for homes and small offices. Renters may have difficulty convincing their landlords to let them rewire a home or apartment that they don't own themselves. Even wiring your own place may not be fiscally feasible.

NAS devices offer big storage on small networks

We are collecting and keeping more information today than ever before. Whether it's video, pictures, music, or just plain old gobs of e-mail and text messages, all that information has to be stored and backed up.

Western Digital 500GB My Passport Studio

When last we left <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&amp;searchTerms=Western+Digital+Corporation">Western Digital</a> and its quest to dominate the Mac external storage world, it was with a <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&amp;articleId=9107020">320GB My Passport Studio</a> drive. While almost flawless, Western Digital did take a few elbows in the ribs from some media outlets because the drive supported only USB 2.0 and FireWire400. "Heavens," those naysayers exclaimed, "What about high-speed FireWire800?"

Western Digital's home NAS array

While RAID 5 isn't exactly the Holy Grail of desktop NAS, it is a very attractive option that combines the speed of striped RAID 0 and sufficient data protection without a humongous loss of storage capacity (as with RAID 1) in the trade. That's what makes Western Digital's ShareSpace NAS array an attractive option. Still you'll need to dig a little deeper to ferret out all that makes up ShareSpace and whether or not it's right for you.

New Intel 80GB SSD is faster than the best HDD

Solid state drives (SSDs) are finally coming into their own -- they're faster, more durable, and use less power than traditional mechanical hard drives. However, the strongest indicator that this may be the storage tech of the future is Intel's release of its X18 and X25 solid state drives.

Apricorn 160 GB Aegis Mini hard drive

How much would you pay for a portable hard drive that lets you tote around 160 GB in a shirt pocket -- with no need for a power brick? Apricorn is betting you'll be willing to spring for upward of US$260 for its 160 GB Aegis Mini. However, it remains to be seen how many are willing to pay that price for portability.

Iomega Rev 120 – Kicking the tape out of IT

Iomega is at it again. The company that brought you the Bernoulli Box 26 years ago has been steadily working toward removing tape drive systems from the IT industry with its Rev series of cartridge hard drives. Back in 2004, Iomega introduced the somewhat minimalist Rev 35, a 35GB cartridge system; in 2006, the Rev 70 doubled that capacity. Now, Iomega has brought to market its latest attempt at torpedoing tape drives: the Rev 120, with 120GB on tap.