Pocket-sized storage is all the rage these days and one of my favorite devices at the moment is Other World Computing's Mercury On-the-Go Pro hard drive.
This 11-oz. device is the size of a woman's wallet. You know, the kind that snaps open to reveal a couple of rows of credit cards and IDs.
The actual drive made by Toshiba is 60 GB in size. Think about it this way: it could hold 15,000 songs in MP3 format or, if you're so inclined, about 7,000 sizeable Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
Other World Computing has integrated the Toshiba drive into a translucent external hard drive case. It connects to a computer's FireWire or USB 2.0 port on a computer and is compatible with either a Mac (OS 8.6 and higher) or Windows system.
If you have an older system without either a FireWire or USB 2.0 connector, it does work with a USB 1.1 connector, which is standard on computers introduced since 1998, although the data transfer rate is much slower.
When attached to a computer with a Windows Me, XP or Mac OS X operating system it connects automatically. For Windows 98 and OS 8.6 through OS 9.2 it needs an included driver installed.
I had a small initialization problem when I installed it. Windows XP said, "yep, it's here," but failed to allocate a drive letter (should have been the "E" drive). A visit to the company's Web site fixed that fast. The site has instructions on how to muck around with Windows XP to make it work, but it was all relatively painless nothing a quick call to tech support couldn't fix, either.
After this little headache the drive worked nicely. Since it has 60 GB of space, there's lots of room to back up all of your critical data. (If you don't need that much storage there are smaller and cheaper versions, too.) People who work with image or video files will find this drive a necessity, especially if transporting files between non-networked computers is the objective. It would be ideal for a digital music or photo collection as well.
If you need a portable external hard drive that's easy to work with and to carry around, go get one of these devices. It's a gem.
May 27, 2003
Price: $487.33, $349.97 (U.S.)
More info: www.otherworldcomputing.com
Where to buy: For sale to Canadians and Americans via eshop.macsales.com. Search for product number: OWCMOFW60GB54T.