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Western Digital 160 GB-per-platter desktop hard drives in Middle East

Posted August 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Western Digital hard driveThe next-generation WD Caviar Serial ATA (SATA) 3.5-inch desktop hard drives built on 160 GB-per-platter technology utilising WD-designed and -manufactured recording heads are now available in the Middle East.

The drives incorporate ramp load technology, a proven technique in mobile-class drives that parks the recording heads when the drive is idle, powered off and spinning up.

WD utilizes ramp load in its new desktop products to maximise shock robustness and minimise power consumption, enabling continued leadership in quality and long-term reliability.

“Our high density 160 GB-per-platter design with ramp load is a platform that enables WD to continue serving our customers’ growing needs for dependable, high capacity hard drives,” said Hafeez Khawaja, WD’s Senior Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

“Through its portfolio of high-performance, high-capacity drives, WD has established a strong presence in the Middle East market, and the new 160 GB-per-platter desktop drives will enable us to further strengthen our regional standing.”

The WD Caviar family of 3.5-inch hard drives delivers high performance with 7,200 RPM spindle speed, 300 MB/s transfer rate, cache sizes up to 16 MB, and Native Command Queuing (NCQ); capacities ranging from 40 GB to 500 GB; and cool operating temperatures and quiet operation, which enable customers to integrate WD products in the most demanding environments.

Fluke Australia releases new Ti40 and Ti50 IR FlexCam Series thermal imagers

Posted July 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Fluke Ti50Fluke Australia launched the new Ti40 and Ti50 IR FlexCam Series adding to its extensive range of thermography tools and providing professionals with a complete solution of thermal imagers.

Fluke’s Ti40 and Ti50 use IR-Fusion technology, which automatically merges visual and thermal images.

This enables impending trouble areas to be pinpointed quickly by automatically relating thermal images with the real world.

Other features include:

  • Up to 320 x 240 detectors with industry leading thermal sensitivity
  • A 180º articulating lens to provide a clear and crisp reading that can also view around obstructions
  • Choice of 3 different lenses, standard, wide angle or telephoto

John Piperides, sales program manager, Fluke Australia, said, “Fluke has worked hard to provide a complete solution in thermal imaging. The Ti40 and Ti50 IR FlexCam series add to Fluke’s family of troubleshooting tools providing pinpoint accuracy for every type of job.

“The tools are designed specifically with the end user in mind. They are lightweight and easy to use, yet rugged to withstand tough conditions.”

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Oil leak detection in heat exchangers for heating and cooling cystems

Posted July 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Turner DesignsTurner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments introduces the new ‘C’ series of continuous on-line oil in water monitoring instruments.

The TD-4100 C and the TD-4100 XDC can detect and measure oil, fuel, crude oils, and most heat transfer fluids in water from the low ppb to high ppm.

The ‘C’ series is for cooling water, steam condensate, in power plants, drinking water, and other industrial applications.

The TD-4100 XDC is for severe duty and hazardous area requirements.

With the lowest detection limits in the industry, the ‘C’ series can detect leaks before they become a problem.

The ‘C’ series uses UV fluorescent technology that resists interferences from turbidity and suspended solids.

No chemicals, pretreatment, mechanical manipulation or mixing of the sample is required. Specifically for high temperatures and pressures, the ‘C’ series water sample remains pressurized for easy return back onto the process. 

Straightforward operation with very little maintenance, the ‘C’ series senses when the instrument needs cleaning.  An optional self cleaning system is available. 

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Matrox EpicA series graphics cards for thin clients

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

EpicA CardsMatrox Graphics EpicA series dual- and quad-display graphics cards designed for thin clients and other mission-critical systems.

EpicA products have innovative, server-based software from Matrox to manage multi-display configurations in remote sessions.

The cards also feature support for 2 or 4 digital and analog monitors at a time, small form factors, low power consumption, passive (fanless) cooling, and PCI bus interfaces.

"EpicA series represents our continuing effort to bring reliable, high-quality, Matrox multi-display solutions to a wider variety of professional systems," said Samuel Recine, Business Development Manager, Matrox Graphics.

"EpicA products are ideal for mission-critical environments that need small, reliable, space-saving, low-power systems and the productivity advantages of Matrox multi-display technology."

The EpicA series includes the TC4, TC2, and TC2-Lite models. EpicA TC4 supports 4 monitors at a time and has 128 MB of graphics memory.

EpicA TC2 and EpicA TC2-Lite support 2 monitors at a time and have 64 MB and 32 MB of graphics memory, respectively.

EpicA products have display driver support for Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded (XPe), and Linux operating systems, and support Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA for Windows, and Linux rdesktop remote connection software.

For more information see

Samsung DVD camcorders capture the moment

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Samsung DVD CamcorderSamsung’s new lightweight and compact DVD camcorders allow users to capture footage in widescreen DVD format.

The three Samsung models - the VP-DC163i, VP-CD165Wi and VP-DC565Wi - are currently the only DVD camcorders on the market capable of recording up to one hour of footage with dual layer recording technology.

Users can save footage onto a variety of media formats including Memory Stick, MMC Card, SD Card and a Memory Stick Pro.

Real 16.9 widescreen recording displayed on the 2.7” LCD screen (2.5” LCD screen on VP-DC163i) means footage can be played back on a widescreen TV without image distortion.

These camcorders also boast the highest ratio optical zoom lenses in the consumer market (up to 33x), giving users the ability to zoom in and capture far away subjects.

Footage captured on Samsung’s DVD camcorders can be upscaled to HD quality using Samsung’s HyperVision DVD Player.

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TRENDnet and Network Magic simplify home network set-up

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Net Magic RouterUsers of the TRENDnet 802.11g Wi-Fi router now get extra help with Network Magic software.

Network Magic allows users to view a complete map of their network, ensure it is secure, set up printer and file sharing, and use network management features.

“Most people like the idea of having a wireless network in their home, but the set-up is often the hurdle for beginners.” said Matthew Mann, managing director of BAX IT, importers of TRENDnet products into Australia.

“By integrating Network Magic’s router set up and home networking software with the hardware, TRENDnet has improved the customer’s out-of-box experience, reduced potential support calls and ultimately made setting up a home network significantly easier.”

Network Magic leads users through a simple step-by-step process for installing and configuring the network.

Once set up is complete, users can install Network Magic on all their computers to help manage and protect the network on a day-to-day basis.

The TRENDnet 54Mbps Wireless G Router allows users to share files, an internet connection, or network resource while protecting the network using security features.

MAC, IP or Protocol Filtering and Firewall Rules limit internet access or block malicious intruders from accessing the network.

Available now from selected technology outlets, the TEW-432BRP router with Network Magic has a recommended retail price of AUD $129 inc GST.

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Zultys IP PBX version 3.0 released

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

New software version delivers productivity improvements to users of Zultys’ popular VoIP systems

Zultys Technologies released version 3.0 of the software for their MX30 and MX250 IP PBXs.

“This release is the culmination of a major software development effort that has been in process for over a year,” said Iain Milnes, president of Zultys.

“There has been extensive testing done for the past six months at over 80 trial sites around the globe. The feedback has been extremely positive and puts us way ahead of those companies struggling to shore up their telephony offerings.”

Features included:

  • instant message (IM) bridge between the Zultys PBX and public IM services such as AOL, ICQ, Yahoo!, and MSN
  • advanced automated attendant (AA), or basic IVR
  • integration with Microsoft Exchange for unified messaging
  • support for fractional PCM (T1 or E1) on the MX30 system

The IM feature now permits a business to control users having access to outside IM services while maintaining internal security and allowing all messages to be archived.

This allows a business to give its employees the tools to better communicate with business partners while at the same time reducing many unnecessary interactions.

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NETGEAR forays into the Middle East market

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Ahmad ZeidanNETGEAR unveiled a wide range of networking solutions and services to help small and mid-size businesses and individuals, as part of its launch into the Middle East.

Speaking at the press conference, Ahmad Zeidan, Channel Sales Manager for NETGEAR in the Middle East said, “With a proven track record in delivering cutting-edge technologies as affordable, easy-to-use solutions for residential and SMB markets, we have earned a reputation for ourselves as the preferred go-to partner worldwide.

“We intend to extend our leadership position and reputation in the UAE and the entire Middle East.

“We understand that the Middle East is a huge market and tapping it is going to be a major challenge for us. With regard to this, we are launching a sustained effort to ensure the needs of this important market are understood and translated into products and services that exceed their expectations. We are confident that our products and services will allow small and mid-size business entrepreneurs to positively impact their business results.”

“Driven by our vision to enter the Middle East market, our networking solutions will solve the dilemmas faced by SMBs today, such as the need to expand and upgrade communications technology to stay competitive in the market,” Zeidan said.

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Western Digital WD RE2 enterprise-class hard drives in ME

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Western Digital RE2Western Digital Corp. has launched its WD RE2 (RAID Edition) 500 GB SATA hard drives in the Middle East.

WD RE2 hard drives are designed for network attached storage, direct attached server storage and video surveillance environments that require 100 percent duty cycle.

According to market research firm Gartner, the number of EIDE or ATA/SATA terabytes shipped into multi-user servers and storage systems is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30.7 per cent between 2006 and 2009.

“WD RE2 drives are specifically designed for enterprise environments, and offers industry-best data transfer rate,” said Hafeez Khawaja, WD’s Senior Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

“The bustling economic activity across the Arab world has led to the steady expansion of the market for reliable and high-capacity storage solutions in the Middle East. It is this rising demand that we seek to address through the launch of the state-of-the-art WD RE2 drive.”

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VoIP is here

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

TA612V NetgearVoIP works. No doubt about it.

The only real decision to make is which company provides the best deal. And like early ISPs there are a plethora of providers out there offering cheap calls.

For the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to test a TA612V Netgear Smart Internet Phone Adapter with VoIP provided by BBPGlobal.

The good thing about BBPGlobal is that users are not tied into a contract. It’s a prepaid system, and once you register your account is credited with the equivalent of 500 free minutes.

Installation was a breeze. The TA612V connected to my ADSL modem easily enough. Registering the unit on the BBPGlobal web site was the difficult part.

The test unit had been lent out to another user who had registered the unit, so I was unable to register on the BBPGlobal web site.

A BBPGlobal support person was very helpful. However, the previous registration could not be cancelled or changed.

They did tell me that who ever registered it had not used any of the 500 free minutes.

Well, I wasn’t about to let them go to waste.

I plugged my Telstra phone into the unit and discovered it worked — very well. The dial tone was different, but I had no trouble making local and international calls. The TA612V has 2 phone ports.

Unfortunately I was not able to see how BBPGlobal’s online service really operates. Parts of the web site are only accessible to registered users.

Registered users also get a special number allowing them to receive calls over the system.

BBPGlobal are well worth considering when it comes to choosing a VoIP provider. Call rates are listed on the BBPGlobal web site (including mobiles) for all countries. And calls are billed in 1 second increments.

VoIP calls are cheap, but don’t forget the hidden costs. The price of the phone adapter, an ADSL connection, and of course Telstra’s line rental.

There are certainly savings to be made. But if you just want cheap phone calls it’s hard to beat a simple phone card.

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Netgear Storage Central SC101

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Netgear Storage Central SC101This is a neat, SAN (Storage Area Network) storage solution from Netgear.

The basic Netgear Storage Central SC101 unit is about the size of a small toaster and almost as easy to operate.

Open the front panel and slide in two 3.5” IDE disk drives of whatever capacity you can afford. It really is just like popping a slice of bread into a toaster.

The choice of drive may well affect overall performance, and I would suggest shopping around carefully. The review unit came with 2 Maxtor 80GB drives pre-installed. However, the unit also works with only one drive installed.

Set up is not that difficult and should be well within the capabilities of most home or SOHO users. Documentation is brief but adequate. A more comprehensive manual is available online, together with a useful user forum.

After installing the drives, the SC101 can be connected to a network. Software then needs to be installed on each computer that will access the SC101. As usual, an install wizard helps with the process.

A neat feature of the SC101 is the ability to create volumes spanning multiple units. Add another SC101 and it can either be access separately or allocate space from both units as if they were one volume.

Storage Sync Pro, included with the unit, helps users with the tedious chore of backing up.

The SC101 works on Windows (2003, XP SP2 or 2000 SP4).

Linux and Mac users should check if Netgear has developed the necessary drives yet.

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HP Compaq tc4200

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

HP tc4200The HP Compaq tc4200 is a powerful little convertible that twist and turns into a convenient tablet PC, for those who prefer it that way.

I was most impressed with its ability to decipher my handwriting.

Although, once the novelty wore off, I was more than happy to use the machine in conventional laptop mode – with the added convenience of a touch screen to easily navigate through documents.

I found the keyboard and touchpad surprisingly comfortable to use considering the size of the machine.

A magnesium alloy casing helps protect the tablet from the stress of life on the road.

Under the hood users will find the latest Centrino components, including: Intel Pentium M Processor 740 supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (1.73GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 533MHz FSB); 12.1" colour TFT XGA (1024 x 768 resolution) Wide Viewing Angle with Digitiser; 60GB (5400 rpm); 512MB (1 x 512MB) DDR2 SDRAM (400MHz); High speed 56K modem with digital line guard, integrated 10/100/1000 NIC, Intel Pro/Wireless 2915ABG 802.11a/b/g integrated wireless LAN, integrated Bluetooth; Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (with up to 128MB shared video memory)

The tc4200 is perfect for anyone who can’t decide between a tablet or a notebook.

The HP Compaq tc4200 has a RRP of AU$3,595

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Toshiba defines ultra portability

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

Toshiba Satellite U200The Satellite U200 provides mobility and protection in a new smaller form factor.

Launched by Toshiba’s Computer Systems Division Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Satellite U200, is ideal for highly mobile consumers.

Featuring the Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology-based platform, the Satellite U200 offers high performance in a small form factor.

Toshiba ConfigFree lets users connect to the internet from any Wi-Fi hotspot with Wireless LAN, Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth.

The Satellite U200 is well protected against potential damage through the integration of Toshiba Shock Absorbing Design elements.

The notebook also safeguards against the daily wear and tear of mobility with Toshiba HDD Protection with 3/axis motion monitoring system.

A spill-resistant keyboard provides users time to save their work and shut down the system after spilling liquid onto the notebook.

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108Mbps wireless family offers more coverage and speed

Posted June 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

RouterThe TRENDnet 108Mbps Super G Wireless family with Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) Smart Antenna technology available in Australia from BAXIT Services, delivers faster speeds at farther distances.

"The installed base of 802.11 WiFi users has grown rapidly over the past couple of years, so it is important to ensure backward compatibility with previous standards," said Matthew Mann, managing director, BAXIT Services, the distributor of TRENDnet products in Australia.

"The Super G MIMO product line delivers better performance for both Super G MIMO and existing 802.11b/g users providing assured compatibility and helping protect previous technology investments."

The new MIMO Router and Access Points support Traffic Shaping Quality of Service (QoS) which prioritises multimedia traffic such as Online Gaming, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and multimedia audio/video streaming.

Available from selected technology outlets, the 108Mbps Super G Wireless family includes the TEW-611BRP Router - $269, TEW-610APB Access Point - $269, TEW-601PC PCard - $149 and TEW-603PI PCI Adapter - $179 (all prices in AUD$ and inc GST).

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Optima's new powerful, lightweight notebook

Posted 3 April 2006 by Richard Price

Archived: Product News & Reviews

RW3 Series The Optima Centoris RW Series notebook --- based on an Intel Pentium M Processor with a 533/400 MHz front side bus optimised for use in thin, lightweight notebooks --- weighs in at 2.2kg.

The guts of the machine are certainly impressive, with everything you would expect from a notebook.

Including an Intel PRO/Wireless Network Card for internet/network access, and integrated expansion I/O ports for external devices.

The overall finish left a bit to be desired. The keyboard felt a bit delicate and spongy. And the DVD door didn’t fit flush with the rest of the body on my review model.

With a RRP of AU $1599 (inc GST) it’s an affordable, ultra-portable notebook for people on the move, and the 14-inch widescreen display handles well in cramped café conditions.

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image Fujitsu LifeBook P2110
This small, ultracompact notebook packs a hefty punch in a sleek magnesium alloy glove.
image Panasonic SV-AV10
It's a still camera, a digital camcorder, an audio player and a voice recorder.
image Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100
Replace that bulky desktop machine with a feature-packed notebook
Canon MV500i Canon MV500i
Compact entry level camera for anyone wanting to get into digital video
Handspring Treo 180 Handspring Treo180
A mobile phone, a PDA and a wireless messaging device
iPAQ H3870 Compaq iPAQ H3870
Opening the plastic protective cover of this iPAQ H3870 is driving me nuts

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