The 12/20PleX, Plextorís 12X-20X SCSI CD-ROM drive, boasts Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) technology, which improves data throughput at the outer rim of the disc. A 512KB buffer saves CPU resources, resulting in better audio and video playback. The 12/20Plex is compatible with CD-R/W, allowing users to migrate to the next generation of writable CD media. A full two year warranty covers parts, labor and replacement. Plextor Corp., Santa Clara, CA, (800) 886-3935, www.plextor.com.
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Both the motor and the tray in Toshibaís XM-6102B internal 12X-24X CD-ROM drive were redesigned to handle the 6,300 RPM achieved at 24X, minimizing media vibration. The drive is MPC-3 compliant and supports multi-session, Photo CD, Video CD and CD-EXTRA. Like other Toshiba CD-ROM drives, the XM-6102B employs the Active Wide Range playback system, enabling data to be read at 80% of a specific rotational speed. For flexibility, the drive may be mounted horizontally or vertically. Toshiba America Information Systems, Irvine, CA, (714) 457-0777, www.tais.com/taisdpd/.
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For those on the go, Axonix offers the ProMedia 20XT, a portable CD-ROM drive capable of 20X speeds. Because the unit draws power directly from a laptop computer via a Type II PC Card, it requires no bulky AC adapters or battery packs. The ProMedia 20XT weighs just 15 ounces and measures 6" x 5 1/8" x 7/8". It supports Windows 95 Plug and Play, allowing one to insert an auto-play disc and instantly run the application without clicking on icons or performing set-up procedures. The drive can also be hot swapped while the computer power is on. Axonix Corp., Salt Lake City, UT, (800) 866-9797, www.axonix.com.
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From Sony comes the PRD-650 Discman, a 6X portable CD-ROM drive that suits mobile presenters and students who wish to access reference material around the clock. The drive requires four AA batteries or an optional lithium-ion battery to provide several hours of CD-ROM or audio CD use. It comes standard with a PC Card and cable for Windows machines or a SCSI II cable for Macintosh PowerBooks. Sony recently lowered its SRP by $100, to $299.99. Sony Electronics, Inc., San Jose, CA, (800) 352-7669, www.sony.com/technology.
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In libraries and other locations where multiple people need to access CD-ROMs, a CD tower or CD server may fit the bill. JMR Electronicsí Info Towers 7 & 14 accommodate seven or 14 half-height 5 1/4" drive bays respectively and an Axis controller bay in a single enclosure. Drives are protected behind a lockable smoked Plexiglas front door. Other highlights include internal cabling, a 300 watt power supply, a quiet cooling fan and rear-panel cut-out for I/O installation. JMR Electronics, Chatsworth, CA, (818) 993-4801, jmr.com.
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Ornetix Network Products has introduced HyperLinQ, a miniature CD-ROM server that slides into a standard 5.25" drive bay of a CD-ROM tower. CD-Commander software provides network users with point-and-click access to up to 112 drives. The performance of HyperLinQ has no effect on, and is not affected by, the file server. TurboCache, a sophisticated caching mechanism, delivers a speed equivalent to 55X CD drives. The server supports Microsoft Windows NT, Novell NetWare and IntraNetWare networks in their native modes. Ornetix Network Products, San Jose, CA, (888) ORNETIX, www.ornetix.com.
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This article originally appeared in the 09/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.