A fast burn. TEAC America Inc. of Montebello, Calif., last month announced what it called the fastest combination-speed CD-rewritable drive available: 12X write, 10X rewrite and 32X playback speeds with 85-millisecond access time and a 4M data buffer.

The TEAC CD-RW drive comes with either an IDE or a Fast SCSI-2 interface. It's compatible with Microsoft Windows 9x and Windows 2000.

TEAC America also will bring out an external CD-RW drive that connects to a PC's Universal Serial Bus interface and has 4X record, 4X rewrite and 32X read rates. The company claims IDE-level performance via the USB connection.

Light, lighter, lightest. Plus Corp. of Allendale, N.J., has joined the smaller-and-lighter trend with its palm-size Plus U3 digital projectors.

The tiny projectors measure 7 inches by 9 inches by 1.9 inches and weigh only 2.9 pounds but deliver 800 ANSI lumens via digital light processing technology. Two models provide either XGA or SuperVGA resolution.

Plus Corp. asserts that a magnesium alloy case makes the tiny projectors up to 20 times more rugged than those in plastic casings. See details at

Versa versions. NEC Computers Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., recently released a modular-bay notebook computer that permits users to hot-swap up to six drive types.

The NEC Versa SXi comes with a 600-, 650-, 700- or 750-MHz Pentium III SpeedStep CPU, a 12G hard drive, 128M of RAM and modular Versa Bay II drive-swapping technology. The user can swap out a 1.44M floppy or high-density floppy drive, a second hard drive, a DVD-ROM, a CD-ROM or a CD-RW drive.

The Versa SXi has a 14-inch XGA display and an integrated Mini PCI connection with an RJ-45 port for quick network hookups. An RJ-11 port can connect a modem.

Two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are included. The standard eight-cell battery can be upgraded to 12 cells. A 600-MHz Versa sells for about $3,000 and weighs about 6 pounds.

Wireless doesn't mean virusless. A cellular phone virus similar to the ILOVEYOU virus recently surfaced in a wireless network operated by Telefonica SA of Madrid, Spain. According to antivirus vendor F-Secure Corp. of Finland, other wireless viruses are on the way to plague users of phones and handheld computers.

Visit for information about the company's F-Secure Anti-Virus software for Wireless Application Protocol gateways.

'Carlos A. Soto


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