Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th Dec 2005 12:33 UTC
Linux Hard drive vendor LaCie has teamed up with Mandriva on a bus-powered USB 2.0 hard drive preloaded with desktop Linux. The "GlobeTrotter" boots Mandriva Linux LE 2005, and is available in 40GB and 80GB models priced at $140 [EUR 119] and $199 [EUR 168], respectively. The GlobeTrotter drives feature an industrial design by F.A. Porsche. The devices have rubber feet, a passively cooled case design, and a low-power drive that, unlike most USB drives, requires no separate power adapter, instead pulling power through the host PC's USB port.
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Eww.
by Jimmy on Fri 9th Dec 2005 15:03 UTC
Jimmy
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2005-07-06

You have to love the fact that the drive has "Designed by F.A. Porsche" written on the side of it in rather big font. Perhaps instead of this, the designer could have wrote something useful such as the hard drive capacity.

Reply Score: 1

Eww2
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 15:19 UTC
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or maybe the designer should have DONE HE'S JOB...

don't you love to know that porsche got a bazillion dollars to draw a %&!$ square and that raised the price you pay for about $40 on each unit?

at least the text on the front give you something to grab about.

maybe you can write on you external scsi2 CDrom drive attached to you sun at work that "your other external drive is a porsche"

Reply Score: 1

Ooops
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 15:20 UTC
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:s/HE'S/HIS/

i got a little confused writting with shift pressed ;)

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
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$200 for an 80gb drive??? No wonder Lacie's going down the tubes!

Seriously... You could buy a top of the line Rosewill enclosure (aluminum w/Firewire 400/800, and USB 2), and a good Western Digital 250GB drive, assemble it yourself (Easy - You're talking several screws & a couple of plugs), and still save money.

Lacie seems to have some real quality issues with their external drives, and as one friend of mine recently found, they aren't too helpful when their drives do die. My friend was told to crack open his case, determine the manufacturer, and call them, when he called Lacie after a drive of theirs had died.

Your money would be better spent on a custom solution, as outlined above. To spend it on Lacie, particularly when you consider their quality control problems, is just throwing your money away IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

Only 80GB?
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 15:28 UTC
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I like the way the drive looks. Passively cooled is great, and drawing power through USB instead of a separate cable is great too. (Sort of like firewire, eh?)

But only 40GB and 80GB capacities? Who are these drives being marketed to? If I buy an external drive I want something with lots of capacity so I can put backups on it, so I'm looking for 300GB or more.

I guess these drives aren't being marketed at me, then. Since they come preloaded with a bootable copy of Mandriva, my guess is they're being sold as a sort of portable workstation. You carry it around and plug it into any computer and you've got your own environment, all your data and preferences, it's all right there. It's smaller and cheaper than a laptop, and as long as you have access to a someone's computer, you're good to go.

And I see now that these drives are 2.5" laptop sized drives, which explains the limited capacity.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Only 80GB?
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 17:37 UTC in reply to "Only 80GB?"
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But only 40GB and 80GB capacities? Who are these drives being marketed to? If I buy an external drive I want something with lots of capacity so I can put backups on it, so I'm looking for 300GB or more.

I could sure use one with my laptop. This IBM T41 has only a 40GB drive and is starting to be full of programs and pictures.

Into 80GB I could transfer over 100 CD's and look at the size of that thing, looks like a cigarette case. I have a 200GB external USB drive but it has a power supply like a brick. No fun carrying that around the world.

Reply Score: 0

Not exactly news
by alcibiades on Fri 9th Dec 2005 15:33 UTC
alcibiades
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2005-10-12

Seem to recall this being around in the days of Mandrake 9.2. Anyway, more than a year.

Reply Score: 2

Old News
by fretinator on Fri 9th Dec 2005 16:20 UTC
fretinator
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2005-07-06

This has been around a long time (a year or so), I'm not sure how it became news again, unless there is a new version of the drive.

Reply Score: 1

drive capacity
by pjjmartin on Fri 9th Dec 2005 16:33 UTC
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2005-07-08

The drive is a small capacity because it's a 2.5" (laptop ) form factor. As such it doesn't require a fan or an external power supply, but the drive sizes are smaller and more expensive.

Reply Score: 3

RE: drive capacity
by fretinator on Fri 9th Dec 2005 16:41 UTC in reply to "drive capacity"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The drive is a small capacity because it's a 2.5" (laptop ) form factor. As such it doesn't require a fan or an external power supply, but the drive sizes are smaller and more expensive.

I get it, that makes sense. I am tempted by 2.5" drives for their portability, but I wind up buying big 3.5" ones for the space and price. I use Virtual Images to run Windows on linux, and some of these get to be 50-100GB, so the 2.5" doesn't cut it. However, in this case, where you are carrying the OS from machine to machine, it make sense, but not at that price. Just carry a Knoppix DVD and a cheap flash drive for permanent storage. You've now spent $20-30 for the same functionality.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: drive capacity
by Tyr. on Fri 9th Dec 2005 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE: drive capacity"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Just carry a Knoppix DVD and a cheap flash drive for permanent storage. You've now spent $20-30 for the same functionality.

The DVD comes to 4Gb, so I guess you must have a flash drive 36Gb in size ?

Seriously, to me the added value of this drive is that you are 100% sure you will be able to boot it, no matter what disaster as long as you have a functioning pc, and have access to your data.
Sure Knoppix might work, but what beats having it all in 1 package ? I know I'm always misplacing or scratching my DVD's.

Also it being bus powered is pretty cool, no lugging powerbricks around.

Reply Score: 2

Why this ???
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 19:50 UTC
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As lovely & great that it is an advancement of open source software - but is this now a PC offer or a backup solution ?

First of all - as mentioned before - 40/80 GB is kind of beginning to really look small as a backup solution.

It is incredibly expensive compared to a normal harddisk.

It is useless as a backup solution because it will have a few lousy GB left over for the FAT partition - & FAT can not handle BIG files - so its useless for Video/Film work.

Were this a mobile Linux desktop computer offer then Id expect the case to have lots of hip cool colours & Penguins all over it.

This could have been something if they marketed it as a
"new sexy Linux backup solution & integrated desktop system in a sexy case" ... instead of taking one of their smaller drives & just throwing Linux on it -

I doubt that this product will in any way help promote OSS - sorry but - hoever designed this must be an idiot IMO .

It is not useful backup.
It is not marketed as a desktop system.
It looks very boring - they coulld have made this into a sexy geek accessory - they didnt.
It has a small capacity.
It probably doesnt have any really useful Windows/Apple rescue tools.
It propably does not read HFS+ .

This product is a huge failure for soo many reasons.

Maybe they will learn & try it again but market it as a sexy OSS accessory with a 200 GB drive sometime.

Just putting OSS on something does not make it saleable - it still has to have a function & furfill that function.

Just IMO ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Why this ???
by fretinator on Fri 9th Dec 2005 20:38 UTC in reply to "Why this ???"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

It has a small capacity.

I hope everyone understands the limitation here. If you are going to do the self-powered usb device, it will have to be based on the 2.5" laptop drive form factor. Thus, 100GB is the limit (and 80GB is much better priced for laptop drives). If you'd rather have the previous form-factor for this kind of device (3.5" desktop drive, requires external AC adapter), then you will have large drives but a very bulky, non-portable device.

These are the only choices. Some people sacrfice space for portability, others don't. 'Nuff said.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why this ???
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 21:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Why this ???"
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Okay - I understand.

But still all the over issues I mentioned apply.

Must say that the 3.5" drive in my computer doesn really look that unportable.
They arent as light but saying "very bulky, non-portable device" seems a bit exagerated in my opinion ... maybe not as portable & light as a smaller drive.

I hope for LaCie that they also have things that are not based on spining disks because to me it seems that there is a lot more development outside of hard discs ... .

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Why this ???
by klynch on Sat 10th Dec 2005 04:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why this ???"
klynch Member since:
2005-07-06

I said the same thing about my Dell 8200 laptop when I got it... it's got more power than the leading smaller notebook did in its time and i thought 8 lbs wasn't much to lug around. Boy was I wrong about that.

It's the same thing with external hard drives. Sure I have one for portability, but I rarely expect to transport it. Only on a few occasions do I ever plan to unplug it from my PC. If I wanted to do that, I would most definitely settle for a smaller hard drive like this LaCie.

Reply Score: 2

They're pretty useful
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Dec 2005 22:40 UTC
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These are nice drives - I have an earlier 30GB model. The case is small, sturdy, and saves having to lug a separate PSU round. It's also quicker than a USB flash drive.

I don't have Linux on mine, but have a collection of portable applications (Firefox, OpenOffice, Gimp and Inkscape) that I can run when I am hotdesking in Windows at the office, and it works fine with my Linux desktop at home. Also I keep up-to-date installers for AVG, Adaware, Spybot S&D and other free stuff that I can pass on to people I help out with their PCs.

30GB+ is a reasonable amount of storage space - great for backing up customers' data before I reinstall their spyware infested Windows....

Maybe discs aren't the future, but these little bus powered USB drives are pretty useful right now.

Reply Score: 0

useless??
by Anonymous on Sat 10th Dec 2005 03:51 UTC
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This drive is a bit useless considering that a lot of new motherboards still won't let you boot off of a USB drive. At least you boot off a cd/dvd and use this for /home. But that tends to be slow.

Reply Score: 0

GRML Linux Western Digital Alternative
by Anonymous on Sat 10th Dec 2005 07:32 UTC
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Cool. Someone just emailed me about a similar discussion. Read "Mobile GRML" and "Chainboot Cheatcode" threads at GRML-users from last month,

http://lists.mur.at/pipermail/grml/2005-November/thread.html

GRML is advertised for sysadmins but gives a cool Debian platform with full Knoppix-based hardware auto-detection. That's good for portability. You can put any GUI on top (GNOME, KDE). GRML claims not to have Knoppix problems with Debian standards. Web site is http://www.GRML.org

From what I follow, GRML already boots from USB drives on PCs that have USB BIOS boot support.

LaCie has quality problems over the years (I know it from owning LaCie drives). That Western Digital Passport model looks awesome. About $100 buys 80 GB with good ruggedness specs - lots better than LaCie. USB 2 with no need for extra power cord.

To quote from a sysadmin at GRML-users, talking about USB hard drives vs. flash memory USB tags,

"Same with portable USB hard drives. These have all the advantages without the drawbacks. OK, they are a little bigger and not quite as rugged (depending on model) but win in [t]erms of cost, capacity, write speed, media lifespan, file system options, partitioning, etc."

Probably that will change over time, as memory prices drop to where you can get 80 GB for $100, but right now today, it seems like an accurate statement.

Reply Score: 0

The Obvious Why
by Anonymous on Sat 10th Dec 2005 07:37 UTC
Anonymous
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Oh, why this whole idea makes sense, it's that $100 is much cheaper than $1000 for a new laptop, and more rugged. If you visit places with computers with USB, you can boot any of them with your own personal desktop apps and data files.

Reply Score: 0

So many opinions such little knowledge
by Anonymous on Sat 10th Dec 2005 21:46 UTC
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The two main points are simple here.

Its a bootable USB disk, as far as I know its not supported that widley, when it works its nice. So its useful but more useful in a few years.

Its a 2.5" laptop disk inside, the largest you can get is 100gb (or is it now 120gb) so simply, if it was larger it would cost a lot more.

Thats about all you need to know, its hardly news btw, I have had one for 6 months...

Reply Score: 0

Good info that you missed
by Anonymous on Sat 10th Dec 2005 23:45 UTC
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That "yawn" wasn't justified.

The "chainboot cheatcode" reference details plans to boot via CD-ROM to a USB drive. So the USB drive will boot on any PC. ALL machines boot from CD, even old ones.

About notebook drives. There are hard drives, and there are ruggedized hard drives. Rugged versions tend to cost a lot. The WD passport is remarkably cheap for its specs. So yes, it's a notebook drive, but it's a RUGGED drive for cheap, and still name brand. More rugged than LaCie, and more than any other competition in the price range.

Reply Score: 0