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Calluna Move IT 260
by Rick Smith (May 12, 2000)

While I have used PCMCIA hard drives in some of my pen computers, especially the IBM 730T, which uses a 250 megabyte IBM/Integral drive as its main drive, it is pleasing to see this capacity in half the space. Only a few years ago, desktop drives with this capacity weighed several pounds! Being so small and so interchangeable, the Calluna Move IT drives can be used as high capacity, high speed "floppies" to help to simply and easily transfer programs and/or data between different mobile devices. While other methods such as LANs, parallel cables or even USB cables can also transfer data between mobile devices, I find it much easier to use this hard drive, than using any other means.

Unbelievably, Calluna has managed to, in a volume of about a cubic inch, built a functional 260 megabyte hard disk drive! Not the electronic, "memory equivalent" of a hard drive, but a unit that has a motor which spins and with heads that move. Wow! And if that's not enough, Calluna is announcing a 650 megabyte unit in the same physical size. Being the same capacity as a CD-ROM, a 650 megabyte Calluna drive should make it MUCH easier to install software on tiny, mobile devices. Because this Calluna Move IT is so small and lightweight (about one and a half ounces), it should easily fit in all of today's thinner notebooks that only have Type II bays, making the Calluna Move IT a great solution for any mobile data interchange.

Installing the Move IT was quite simple, since PCMCIA/PC Card technology was "Plug and Play" almost before the term was invented. Since most laptops have the drivers already installed or they are readily available, all you have to do is push this drive into the slot. What could be easier? - You don't have to get out your Operating System CD or even an installation CD to get it to work.

I carry the Calluna Move IT with me on trips and it makes it handy when data needs to be transferred. While floppy diskettes used to be an alternative, most of today's "thin" laptops don't have internal drives and their owner's don't carry the external drives with them, making the Calluna Move IT the easiest way to transfer Powerpoint presentations or other large files. Another great use is to keep a backup copy of your presentations on the Move IT and carry it with you. This way, if your laptop gets lost, stolen or stops working, you can STILL make the presentation.

For the ultimate challenge, I tried to use the Move IT to transfer data and applications to the Xybernaut wearable computer. In fact, my ultimate goal was to install Sony/Etak's SkyMap GPS software onto the Xybernaut, before the Wearable Computer Conference in the Washington D.C. area on May 16th, 2000. Since the Sony/Etak software installs from three CDs, it was a challenge both for me to pick the proper strategy and for the Calluna Move IT to accomplish it. What makes it more of a challenge is that while I did get my SanDisk CompactFlash Reader to work in the Xybernaut, which has two Type II slots, my Type III IBM/Integral drives were not even recognized when they were plugged in.

Update: It worked! Read Stephen Jones' article about my use of the Calluna Move IT with the Xybernaut wearable computer. In fact, once the Calluna Move IT was recognized and the drivers installed, I tried the older IBM drives. Now, even they were recognized by the Xybernaut - go figure!

Therefore, I recommend the Calluna Move IT as a handy transfer device for mobile computing.

Pro

Size - about a cubic inch in volume
Weight - it only weighs 42 grams (1.5 ounces)
Easy installation on "foreign" (not your own) laptops

Con

Not enough capacity (when is there ever "enough" capacity?)


Actual Calluna Move IT hard drive

Copyright 2000 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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