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Serious Hardware

Look ma, no hands-on

The simpler a gadget, the less there should be to say about it. At last, there is a device that lives up to this promise. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tries out the new Storagebird external drive from Fujitsu Siemens.

Yes. I was preparing myself to write a dissertation on how we are always short-changed by the term “plug and play””, since it is supposed to mean that you can use something the instant you plug it in, yet seldom are able to. I connected the palmtop-sized device to the power, connected the USB cord to the computer, and… my PC instantly recognised not only that there was a device, but what the device was called. Within seconds, the message popped up: “”Hardware installed and ready to run”” – without a single touch of my keyboard. That driver disk is for Windows 98 users, who need to install the driver from the disk before the device will be ready to use.

Yes. Drag the icon for a file or program from a desktop folder to the folder for the external drive, and it copies across in seconds (budget on around a second per megabyte). It’s as simple as that. Double-click on a document on the drive, and it automatically finds the necessary program to open it on your computer. After a while, you forget that it’s not built into your computer, so seamless is its operation.

Yes. For the first time in my Gadget experience, there is nothing to add to question 3.

Yes. At R1855 exc VAT, including delivery, it is not dramatically more expensive than a fixed drive of 20Gb, yet offers the convenience of fitting into a pocket and being swappable between computers.

For more information, visit or phone (011) 652-7129.

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