Lab Notes

Lab Notes

In the race. Kenwood Technologies Inc. of San Jose, Calif., has come out with the 72X TrueX, the latest version of the company's superfast CD-ROM spinners.

The 72X's predecessor, the 62X, rotates at 11,000 rpm; the new drive spins at 2,700 to 5,100 rpm. Because of the 72X's slower rotation, the drive is quieter and vibrates significantly less. The 72X's data transfer rate ranges from 6.75 megabytes/sec to 10.8 megabytes/sec.

Kenwood improved on the 62X's transfer rate of 6.75 megabytes/sec to 9.3 megabytes/sec, and on the overall performance, by installing seven lasers to read seven tracks of data simultaneously.

The 72X may not be Speed Racer, but at $130 it is fast for the buck. For more information, visit or call 408-467-7900.

Copycat. Government spies might find the Solitaire Forensics device handy. Users can clone a hard drive by plugging the device from Logicube Inc. of Chatsworth, Calif., into a PC's parallel port.

The handheld device, which weighs less than a pound, can copy the contents of a hard drive at up to 850M per minute.

Solitaire Forensics uses a technology called CleverCopy to skip over blank sectors on a hard drive. The device can copy and hold up to 24 partitions or create a master drive consisting of 24 partitions from various machines.

Solitaire Forensics comes with a travel case, screwdriver and flashlight. Visit or call 818-700-8488 to learn more.

Gigahertz mania. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Intel Corp. both are touting their new 1-GHz processors. Each chip maker is saying it was the first to come out with the current fastest processor, but only AMD's Athlon is already available in computers.

Even though a handful of vendors, including Compaq Computer Corp. and Gateway Inc., are selling PCs built with the 1-GHz Athlon, at most manufacturers' sites it's difficult to place orders for PCs with either of the two speedy chips. Some computer makers are charging a hefty premium'up to $5,000 for a top-notch system.

Nonetheless, it looks as if AMD is making inroads in the government market. Compaq, for instance, recently started selling notebook PCs with AMD K6-2 processors to government buyers.

Most makers are targeting the 1-GHz desktop PCs at home users because so few of the systems have come off the production line.

But by the time the federal buying season is in full swing, expect most computer makers to be selling plenty of PCs with the fast processors.

'Michael Cheek, [email protected],

and Carlos A. Soto, [email protected]


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