WD pitches Firewire pocket HDD
Western Digital has released a Mac-friendly version of its My Passport Studio portable external hard drive, fitting the unit with a Firewire 400 port and pre-formatting it with Mac OS X's HFS+ file system.
Sure to please Mac fans? Well, possibly not. While WD was quick to tout the external drive's ability to be powered by the bus it's connected to, it had to admit that this feature only works with USB.
WD's My Passport Studio: Firewire for data only
Mac users who've got Firewire external drives know that the bus is perfectly capable of powering such a device in its own right. Firewire actually delivers a higher voltage than USB does.
Yet WD states in a footnote: "If using the FireWire cable, you must plug both the FireWire and USB connectors into the device."
In which case, why put the Firewire cable in at all? Yes, it's slightly faster, but surely the whole point of a portable drive is the convenience of one-cable connection?
WD has since got back to us to state that the drive uses USB 2.0 and a four-pin Firewire port at the drive end of the cable, not at the host end, where it connects using a six-pin Firewire. It supplies a suitable six-pin Firewire to four-pin Firewire and USB 2.0 cable in the box.
We're happy to clarify the point - though perhaps WD should have made this approach to connectivity more clear on its own website?
WD's drive is available now in 160GB, 250GB and 320GB incarnations priced at $130, $160/£134 and $220, respectively. UK pricing the for the 160GB and 320GB versions was not available at publication time.
The USB specs limit the current a device can request to a max of 500mA. This sets an upper limit on the power a USB port can supply. Its not a bug to only output this.
Stick with Iomega
I have a portable Iomega HD which is equally happy being powered by the Firewire port, a single USB port when plugged into a USB 2.0 port, two ports on the off chance that you need to plug it into a USB 1.1 port, or a 5V DC power adapter.
It also came with all those cables in the box, unlike my recently-acquired Epson printer which came with a power lead but no USB cable. Thinking it was a mistake, I looked at the bit of paper showing the package contents, and sure enough there was no USB cable shown.
Another product developed by the marketingtards and not by people who have a clue (and are probably paid less!)
Dollar gaining strength?
And check out the Dollar/Pound conversion.
Do WD know something about the future of exchange rates we don't?
Jolly Roger for piracy across the high seas of the Atlantic.
That's simply because 2.5" drives should beable to be powered from USB ports, but in some case's there just isn't neough power, specially in certain laptops. Dell are (or were, not sure now?) bad for this.
I had one that couldn't power 2.5" drives... what sucks, is I have a cable with 2 usb ends, but only 1 usb port!
The above, sounds like lazy/cheap manufacturing to me.