If you want a portable, fast storage solution, you can't do better than the new 1TB model of the Mercury On-The-Go Pro FireWire from Other World Computing. It's a 2.5-inch portable hard drive with plenty of oomph.
The pocket-sized portable storage solution for Mac or PC users features FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and/or USB 2.0 connectivity for data transfer speeds up to 100MB/second and is bus powered, so it can be used without an AC adapter. If your Mac sports a FireWire 800 port, go with the "triple interface" model, which is blisteringly fast.
There may be smaller hard drives, but the Mercury On-The-Go series offers a durable and relatively stylish solution; it has a clear plastic casing that lets you see the internal hard drive and the circuit board. It comes with a travel pouch, all the data cables you could want and a CD with Data Backup, Nova Backup, Carbon Copy Cloner and SpeedTools Utilities software.
If you're using an older Mac, or using a PCI FireWire card to interface with the storage solution, you should use SpeedTools Utilities to tune the drive for optimum performance. The folks at OWC say that transfer errors and corruption can be avoided by using this software, especially if you're using Mac OS 8 or 9.
What's more, Carbon Copy Cloner adds to the value of the OWC solution. The data backup and cloning application lets you clone bootable OS X volumes, which can come in handy.
The Mercury On-The-Go has been formatted as a Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) volume, using the GUID Partition Table scheme. The means it's ready to go out of the box for all Intel-based Macs.
However, if you want to use it with boot compatibility on PowerPC-based Macs using Mac OS X, you'll need to repartition/format the drive and change the partition mapping from GUID to APM (Apple Partition Map). If you don't plan on using it as a start-up drive, then ignore what I just wrote, as it will work as formatted for normal external storage use.
The new Mercury On-The-Go Pro 1TB model is available in three interface configurations:
° "Triple interface" with FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 connectivity, US$269.99;
° "Combo Interface" with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity, $249.99;
· USB 2.0 only connectivity, $229.99 MSRP
The new OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro 1TB models are available for immediate ordering from Other World Computing at http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go . They're compatible with Mac OS 8.6 to 9.2.2 and all versions of Mac OS X.
-- Dennis Sellers