The Icy Dock MB662US-2S is another dual drive enclosure, and you can
get it in two flavors, depending on whether you use eSATA or FireWire
400/800 connections. Both versions also sport a USB 2.0 port. When you
plug two drives into the Icy Dock, it can treat them as two independent
drives or as either a RAID 0 or RAID 1 drive (you use a dip switch to
set the mode). In RAID 0, the two drives act as a single big, utrafast
volume—but if either drive fails, your data is toast. In RAID 1, the
two drives are automatically mirrored, meaning the Icy copies your data
to both drives. The instant, automatic backup is a protection against
either drive biting the dust. The Icy Dock keeps drives cool thanks to
a fan with selectable speeds, but the fan makes almost as much noise as
the Mac Pro we tested it with.
The Vantec NexStar can connect two 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drives at
once. That’s very useful if you want to transfer files between two
external drives. However, you’ll have to connect the NexStar using only
USB 2.0 or eSATA, there’s no FireWire port. The already-slow USB
pipeline gets overloaded while simultaneously reading one drive and
writing to another, so be prepared to wait while the drives do their
The NewerTech Voyager Q is a basic model that’s perfect for casual
users. It accepts a single 3.5-inch desktop or 2.5-inch laptop SATA
drive, and features USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and 800, and eSATA ports, so
you can connect it to any Mac. eSATA and FireWire 800 data transfers
will be roughly 3 times faster than USB 2 and FireWire 400, which is
true for all three enclosures reviewed here.
Coke versus Pepsi. Mac versus PC. Canon versus Nikon. Among these great
rivalries, we can only pick out one clear winner. (Here’s a hint: It’s
not the colored sugar water.) In the latest Canon-versus-Nikon
entry-level digital SLR (single-lens reflex) battle, both cameras score
hits against the other.
We have a confession to make: There are a few Palm fans among us. Back
in the day, you would have had to pry the grayscale Palm IIIx out of
our cold, dead, extremely well-organized hands. But Palm lost its
way--and we went back to our paper calendar for a while. With the Pre,
Palm is taking its flagging brand in a new direction. And while it has
adopted many of the multitouch gestures popularized by the iPhone, the
Pre also adds a fair amount of its own special sauce.
Who knew zombies were omnivores? Plants vs. Zombies presents a cuddlier
take on these murderous undead. They really want to eat your brains,
but they shamble in a straight path to your house, snacking on
landscaping that gets directly in their way. Thankfully, your garden
fights back, with pea-shooting plants, exploding peppers, giant
flytraps, and dozens more. You’ll plant these defenses to stop the
zombies in a sly, simple game with compelling strategy.
If an entire iTunes library was purchased from the iTunes Store, all
the tracks came with complete metadata. Those lucky (and wealthy) users
can scroll through iTunes without seeing any jarring blank spots in the
Artist, Album, and Genre columns, or songs named Track 01 and Track 02.
The rest of us? Our multi-gig libraries were patchworked together from
ripped CDs, mixes from friends, tracks digitized from analog sources,
and, um, “found” audio files that could’ve come from anywhere.
Painter has been around the computer graphics world almost as long as
Photoshop and has always been the absolute leader in the realm of
simulating natural media (paintbrushes, pencils, inks, and so on)—and
retains the title to this very day. While this latest version of
Painter continues to be the go-to app for painting on your Mac, this
update is possibly the least exciting in the program’s history and
doesn’t offer much in the way of upgrade incentive for existing users.
Even if it’s been a few decades since you wore a towel as a cape and
declared the family dachshund to be your loyal sidekick, who doesn’t
want to be a superhero? Four years after its initial release on the
Windows platform, the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes has landed on
The chances of your desk being thrown off course and landing in the
ocean are slim. But, if by chance your desk is tossed out to sea, and
you need immediate rescue from the Coast Guard, the 1TB LaCie Rugged XL
is the external hard drive you’ll want, to be more easily spotted by
the helicopter (although despite what its name might imply, its
ruggedness doesn’t extend to water-resistance, so your data might
suffer a bit).