IntroductionFireWire hard drives have always held the promise of fast, simple-to-use storage. Unfortunately, in practice they haven’t always lived up to the promise – until now. These drives offer the ease of use of FireWire, plus more speed than previously available. The difference is in the bridge – the bit that turns a common EIDE drive into a FireWire drive. In the past, the only bridges available managed just 15MBps, a fraction of the speed that FireWire is capable of. The new bridges more than double that speed, offering 35MBps. It still doesn’t reach the full 50MBps capability of FireWire, but it is much closer. Clear improvement
The drives here all use the new bridge. The Mac & More Ice Warrior (top) is more slimline than the HighFly (bottom). It uses clear plastics similar to the smaller FireLight series that have proved to be such a success for Mac & More. When it comes to hard drives, compatibility and reliability is paramount. In theory, these drives should be compatible with any Mac with FireWire and Mac OS 9 or X. For the most part, this is true. However, the HighFly wouldn’t work with one machine for reasons I couldn’t fathom. The Ice Warrior seems very robust, and had no problems working with any of the Macs, in either OS 9 or X. One drawback with using these drives is that there is no formatting software supplied. It’s good that they need no drivers, but a little software safety-net would be nice. When the HighFly is reluctant to work with a machine, there’s little that can be done to fix the problem, because there were no drivers to check for or install.