You're right, i have a few 80gig'ers lying around now, not worth stuffing in a case but would be handy as music/VM backups.
Such a simple idea, gah!
Long-time Mac-centric vendor Newer Technology launched the easiest-to-use drive dock we ever seen at this week's Macworld Expo. Dubbed the Voyager Q, this toaster-like device is a docking station for bare 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA I and II drives. The Voyager Q, which retails for $99, includes two FireWire 800 ports, plus …
We have just such a stack of drives at work. Trouble is, the majority of them are IDE rather than SATA - I suspect a lot of people will be in a similar situation. I appreciate that there'd be issues with making an IDE version, not least the different connectors used by 2.5" and 3.5" drives, but I think there'd be a market for it.
Even better would be a 'two slot' version for disk duplication - great for backups or rebuilds; just pop two disks in, press the button and leave it to do its thing. A sampled 'ker-chunk' sound at the end of the duplication process is optional :-)
These toaster-shaped things have been around for a while. However, I have some Sharkoon thingy, utterly ghetto fabulous, which just plugs straight into the drive- it groks IDE, 2.5 inch disk IDE, SATA, and can power the disk- and connects to the computer via USB mass storage (so works fine on my linux boxes). It even came with rubber catsuits for 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch disks, to keep them safe on your desk. The whole thing was dead cheap and works like a charm.
It isn't as cool-looking as this thing, but it's awesome for recovering data from disks for people :)
I've had a LanTec NextStar device that's essentially the same as this for almost a year. The only difference is that mine only does USB 2.0 High Speed and eSata, not FireWire. And, yes, it came with all cables.
Note that over eSATA you can run disk diagnostics like S.M.A.R.T. queries and self-tests that require the ability to send ATA commands directly. It's indescribably good for data recovery and testing.
Yawn. I've had a "Scythe Kama Connect 2" for ages. This is a USB adapter for SATA and PATA drives (including both 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch ones). It works really well as a "whats in this HDD" device. Details & pics are here:
I don't really see the value in the toaster drive dock. I mean it's cool, but if I'm buying drives specifically for it then I'd rather put them in protective caddies (and I'd rather have the drive slot in horizontally to keep dust off the contacts). And if I'm using it with random hard drives then it needs to support PATA too. (And doing a "toaster style" device for PATA is impossible because the drive manufacturers all put the connectors in different places; one of the things they fixed in SATA was they standardised the connector location to make hotswap enclosures like this possible).
Maybe this is just ahead of it's time - in 5 years I won't care about PATA any more.
Aria do one too....
(Quickfind code 33969 if the link doesn't work).
Yeah it doesn't have Firewire but hey for £20 ish it's a darn better price than $99.