New pocket-size drive works well on the go, but is tough...

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April 26, 1999

New pocket-size drive works well on the go, but is tough to connect

I was excited when Iomega, the company famous for its monosyllabic hardware (Zip, Buz, Jaz, etc.), announced the Clik! drive ($250 for digital camera version).

The idea was to have a 40MB disk -- the size of a matchbook -- that would work with cameras, palmtop PCs and other portable devices. The drive would fit in a pocket and could be used in the field without a computer. Later, you'd drop the drive into a cradle attached to your PC and the Clik! would magically appear as another drive on your desktop computer.

That was more than a year ago. Just when I was beginning to dismiss the Clik! as vaporware, Iomega quietly released it. I'm happy to announce that the Clik! delivers on its promise. It does, however, have a few flaws that must be addressed before it becomes the Zip of digital photography.

Connecting the hardware was a snap, but getting the software to work was another story. After three installation attempts (and a call to tech support), I learned that the Clik! requires its own parallel port or you have to detach the printer to use it. It also copies everything you have on your camera's storage card at once (so you can't move individual picture files from your camera's memory card to a Clik! disk).

Still, the Clik! drive is a great solution for anyone who wants to manage images on the fly. It's convenient and indispensable for traveling with my digital camera, even if my ardor wanes whenever I have to connect it to my desktop. Clik! clicks, but not completely.

Information: 800-697-8833 or www.iomega.com

-- Eric Diamond

Uninterruptible Power Supply with USB

A friend of mine has a saying: "The computer can smell your fear." He means that a computer failure will occur at the worst possible moment.

I don't know about you, but my experience has borne this out. Our area is notorious for power outages, which seem to happen while I'm doing something like moving my money around online or finishing an important article (at least that's what I tell my editors).

For those occasions when you need to stay connected long enough to close critical files and applications, consider an Uninterruptible Power Supply from American Power Conversion's impressive new line of Back-UPS Pro battery backup/surge suppressors.

These handsome systems come in two models, priced at $230 and $300. The low-end Model 350 has a capacity of 350 volt-amps (220W) while the Model 500 can handle 500VA (315W) of input.

A unique feature of the Back-UPS Pro is that it uses Windows 98 and your computer's USB port to control the device through an excellent power management program. The compact but hefty unit has seven surge receptacles -- four with battery backup, three with surge protection only. It can provide power for up to 40 minutes, depending on the equipment connected to it.

Information: 800-877-4080 or www.apcc.com.

-- Gareth Branwyn

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

Pub Date: 04/26/99

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