OWC’s portable drive, the Envoy Pro, originally came in a USB 3 version, but with the push for ever higher throughput speeds required for 4K, HDR and 8K video shooting and streaming, the company has introduced another, new 300g lightweight Envoy Pro EX that’s been equipped with a captive Thunderbolt 3 cable. The Thunderbolt 3 Envoy Pro EX actually is a series of devices, all equipped with Thunderbolt 3, but split up in the Envoy Pro EX series and the Envoy Pro EX (VE) series, which is even faster and has bigger capacities.
Hedge for Mac/Windows, the fast offloading app, has been updated – or rather, upgraded – to version 18.1. Hedge now offers Fast Lane on Windows machines as well, but far more interesting fro anyone using Macs instead, is the ability of Hedge to offload anything to anything. It’s what the company calls a car wash concept.
With its new storage product range, CalDigit takes a completely different approach from its competitors. The company seems to realise more than any other supplier that Apple’s portable solutions are poor in legacy connection capabilities. Hence, the upcoming T4 RAID system and the recently released AV Pro 2 single-disk solution will charge your laptop and adds a USB 3.0 hub to get more connectivity without adding extra devices.
Bombich Software recently released an upgrade to its backup and disk cloning application, Carbon Copy Cloner. Carbon Copy Cloner 5 offers complex task filtering, coaching tips, smarter pruning, task grouping and scheduling and more. It still allows you to create exact — bootable — clones of a startup disk and enables you to check if a backup or clone hasn’t been corrupted due to bit rot or other errors. And while I was at it, I had a short talk with Mike Bombich, the developer and publisher of Carbon Copy Cloner, on backing up, offloading and securing your backups.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen. 1 port and all of the cables you need to start using it immediately. You can set this small-footprint unit to RAID 0, RAID 1, disk spanning and JBOD modes. It has a black minimal design and you can buy it as a bare enclosure or with disks already installed. I got the chance to test the 2TB version.
Verbatim is the only manufacturer of optical media that makes dependable media. Even as they’re well over a decade old, their Archival Grade recordable DVDs and their recordable Blu-ray discs can still be burned and read without a glitch. I tested their M-DISC Blu-Ray disc that can hold a whopping 100GB.
Ever since the late Steve Jobs declared war on optical discs for distributing music and movies, the industry and media have been telling us the optical disc is dead. Far from it, I'd say, especially if you think about whether you're comfortable with entrusting your precious data with cloud service providers. There isn't a month going by without a hack or a security breach, ransomware being demanded and other such alarming events. Backing up to optical media has its benefits. And with the right equipment and the media to match, your risk of data loss is considerably lower. The OWC Mercury Pro Optical Drive might fit the bill.
Mac users roughly have two options if they want to use bare SATA drives: use a Wiebetech (now: CRU) Ultradock device and connect the drive through legacy interfaces or USB 3, or a Thunderbolt dock. If the latter is opted for, there’s either the RocketStor 5212 with one Gen. 1 Thunderbolt port, or the Thunderbolt 2 OWC Drive Dock. And of these two, the latter is obviously the fastest way to access those bare SATA drives.
PhotoSweeper is a virtual mop for your images. The app lets you get rid of duplicates, but you are in control of what duplicates mean exactly. Version 3 is a free upgrade for licensed users and it comes with a few nifty new features.
Hazel 4 lets you pick any file to see what you’re doing and how the rule's conditions match that file while editing. There’s rule synchronisation that allows you to sync to a specific file for multiple folders on the same machine — or across machines even. There’s now even a monitored folder.