We take a closer look at more
USB: will it work for
interfaces enable you to exchange components among running
systems as your needs dictate, with multiple points of connection
If your national brand computer came with Windows 98 installed, you
probably have USB installed. Garage-built systems and upgrades
may require configuration changes.
With USB, everything
has to work exactly right. When it does, the quick
connection feature of these devices is fantastic. But it
doesn't ALWAYS work exactly right. There are SOME
combinations of hardware and software that MIGHT choke on SOME
If you do have problems, Iomega provides excellent support options,
including online support at
IOMEGA USB External CD
externally: 4x through the USB connection!
UPDATE- USB 2.0 version now
available- write at up to 16x
Looking for this item?
get it here...
USB CD Rewritable
Drive from Iomega- portable convenience...
If you're looking for an easy, inexpensive way to add the
ability to burn CD's to one or more computers, the Iomega USB
CD-RW Drive may be exactly what you need. Whether you're
collecting music, archiving data, or sharing large multimedia
files, this package has everything you're likely to need.
Long known as
pioneers in high-capacity, portable, external data storage
systems, Iomega packages everything you need to make good
use of this rewritable CD drive. External, portable, and
easy to connect, this convenient system goes where you go.
All it needs is a Windows 98 computer (or suitably configured
MAC) with USB connections.
An obvious use for
this nifty little device is maintaining backups. With
virtually unlimited capacity, and the price of CD-R media now
around a quarter each (sometimes even free after rebate), it's a
viable solution for smaller installations. Ours came
bundled with an automated real-time data backup program
for just this purpose.
With the bundled
software, you can easily accomplish what you want the drive to
do. Adaptec's EZ CD Creator provides an intuitive,
drag-and drop interface for what used to be a fairly tricky
procedure. Copying CD's, compiling data archives, or
mixing music disks is relatively simple.
If you have a
specific, more immediate goal, the CD-RW package includes
specialty programs from Adobe, Adaptec, Iomega and others for
handling digital music files, sharing photographs with family
and friends, or using your CD-RW like a really high capacity Zip
Drive- writing and rewriting files directly to the CD (MAC
software varies). There's even a program for using the CD-RW
for automatic synchronized backups.
External CD devices are nothing new of course. They've
been around for years. But the USB connection is still
relatively new at this price-range, and it makes this portable
CD rewriter a practical solution for a wide range of people.
one, it's fast enough to use. Not blazingly fast, of
course. The USB bus is limited to about 12Mbps, and that
limits the write-speed to 4x- about half what you get with
similarly priced internal units.
Even so, people who would never
dream of opening their PC's can add a completely usable CD
rewriter almost as easily as plugging in a lamp.
whether your system's ready for USB devices?
and run the usb evaluation utility, available at
program (FROM INTEL)
will verify your system. If anything is missing, it will
make solid recommendations for how to achieve compliance.
Next, it's easy to
use. For those unfamiliar with CD burning procedures, the
software has a wizard style interface to help avoid mistakes.
Burning CD's with this package is much easier than programming a
VCR. Really, anyone who's likely to read this will have no
On top of that, it's
portable. It's USB. Disconnect from one system, plug into
another. No rebooting, no printer pass-through ports that
seldom work with our specific printers. The only problem
is, some of our older systems are too primitive to take
advantage of the USB connection. Fortunately, they're
networked with a newer system.
In April, 2001,
we've typically seen this external USB CD-RW advertised around
$199. As is
usually the case with electronics, prices have dropped rapidly,
so you'll likely get much more for less by shopping with our
recommended vendors. Ours was a bit of a shock, at first.
Despite the artwork on the box, somehow we were not expecting a
two-toned charcoal and purple, semi-freeform quasi-futuristic
case. Call us old-fashioned, but we still think of this
stuff as machinery.
Hooking it up...
Iomega's external power supply is a slim
design with its own power cord, a thoughtful touch that won't
hog outlet space.
Instructions are minimal. Install the software, plug in
the USB cable, and turn the unit on. Sure enough, within
seconds a new CD drive icon materializes in the Windows 98 file
manager, and we have a fully functional CD writer ready to go to
A matter of personal taste...
All in all, we have only
one criticism of this product. It's portable and
lightweight, but seems way bigger than it ought to be.
There's something disconcertingly 70's about the styling and the
presentation, but that's just our personal taste. Your
results may vary. Underneath all that, the Iomega USB
Rewritable CD appears to be a solid product, one that we're glad
to have available when we need it.
Get the IOMEGA USB CD-RW Drive Now
DIRECT CONNECT AT
Iomega USB CDRW...
UPDATE- USB 2.0
version now available- write at up to 16x
Backward compatible with USB 1.1, or add a
USB 2.0 card.
Iomega Panther USB 2.0 CDRW...