A Little Relief for Powerbook and Notebook Users

There are no desktop computers on my desk. I like the freedom of taking my computer wherever I go. There are some disadvantages to working on a notebook system. One is that there are fewer USB and Firewire ports to plug external devices into. In addition, my Powerbook G4 doesnít include a USB 2.0 port.

IOGear came to my rescue with a product pegged the IOGear USB/FireWire Combo CardBus Card. The card, also known as the GUF202, slips snugly into the 32-bit Type II CardBus slot on most Powerbook G3 and G4 models, as well as most PC notebooks. Thatís the empty credit card-size slot on the left side of most notebooks. Driver installation is not necessary on most Macs running OS X. An installation disk with drivers for Windows-based systems is provided.

The card comes with an external power cord, which can be used if youíre connecting devices that require additional power. The card has four ports, two USB 2.0 (which support earlier versions of USB), one FireWire 400 and one Firewire 800. Prior to installing this card, I was forced to unplug peripheral devices from time to time to make room for other devices. After installation, I successfully connected an ISight (Firewire webcam), an external FireWire hard drive, an external CD writer and an external DVD writer, not to mention an Epson scanner. Without the card, two of those would have to go.

Retailing for $79/US, $109/CAN, $119/AUS, the IOGear is a welcome addition to any Powerbook or PC Notebook user. Requires OS 8.6 or higher and a G3 or G4 Powerbook for Mac. PC requirements include Windows 98SE, 2000, ME or XP. More information can be found at www.iogear.com.
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