Mini-media superdrive makes transferring digital photos a...

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October 26, 1998|By Gareth Branwyn

Mini-media superdrive makes transferring digital photos a snap

Anyone who's spent time transferring data from a digital camera to a desktop computer knows what a hassle it can be. You have to shut down your PC, root around behind it to find the right port, swap plugs, power back up, download the images (often one by one) and put your PC back in order when you're done. ActionTec has a better idea.

The CameraConnect Pro ($119) is a disk drive that has slots for CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and ATA Flash PC Cards, the kinds of removable media found on most digital cameras and on some hand-held computers. The drive measures 3.13 inches by 5.5 inches by 2.5 inches and weighs 13.5 ounces. It plugs into your parallel port and has a pass-through cable for your printer. The CameraConnect appears on your desktop like any other drive and supports dragging and dropping files. Transferring images via the CameraConnect is significantly faster than directly from the camera, which can be a real time-saver for those who need to offload images in bulk.

For most users, the camera-to-PC transfer technology is perfectly adequate, but for those who use a digital camera frequently (or several cameras with different storage media), the CameraConnect is worth the investment.

Information: 408-752-7700 or on the Web at www.actiontec.com. The Millennia 450 MHz Pentium II is the latest in a long line of reasonably priced, cutting-edge machines from Micron Electronics. The basic model boasts 64MB of RAM, a 10GB hard drive, a 32X CD-ROM drive, a very respectable 17-inch monitor, a built-in 56.6 V.90 modem, an 8MB graphics accelerator, and a one-year, on-site service warranty. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the price: $1,799. You can upgrade to a DVD-ROM drive, 128MB of RAM and a built-in Zip drive (with 10 free cartridges) and pay $2,135.

The Millennia is an excellent choice for the home or small-business user in search of high performance, but it has some drawbacks. Its newly designed MicroATX case (which I don't like nearly as much as the older Micron cases) only has one ISA and two PCI expansion slots inside. One PCI is taken up by the video card, and the ISA is occupied by the modem card. This leaves one free slot for add-ons such as a TV card. I have a Net te-lephony card I want to try (for making phone calls over the Net), but I'd have to lose the modem card to install it, which would defeat the purpose of making a Net phone call.

The lack of expandability might be a deal-breaker for some, but if you're looking for a cheap, high-performance PC that's likely to remain relevant into the next century, the Millennia 450 is an impressive bargain.

Information: 800-209-9686 or www.micronpc.com

You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.

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