Welcome to Reviews OnLine: Hot Products
Hot Products
(March 4, 2002)

Standout Products from the show floor of McCormick Place:

Expand Beyond
Sierra Wireless

Most people that their computer cases for granted and don't realize that they even have a choice. CoolerMaster has created some very stunning designs that look great and provide Active Thermal Convection (hence the ATC in the product name).

Active Thermal Convection allows the heat to more easily dissipate from the case since one of the fans is on the top of this all aluminum case.

The CoolerMaster ATC-210 features:

  • Easy motherboard mounting (drawer-style)
  • Tool-less assembly (no screwdriver needed)
  • Dual front mounted USB ports
  • Good internal venting
  • Fits standard ATX motherboard
  • Dual exhaust fans (top and back)

    What makes this case look like it belongs in an art museum is the hinged acrylic bezel that covers the entire front. This bezel comes in two colors verdant (green tint) and Azure (blue tint).

    This case weighs about 14 pounds and the power supply (300 watt, 400 watt or PS2 redundant) adds another 2 pounds. This case is available now (as of March 2002). 


    Expand Beyond's
    Managing a database is not an easy task for your Oracle database administrator. Problems occur at unexpected times and your DBA may end up having to drive to the office in the middle of the night. Expand Beyond's PocketDBA wireless software can make your DBA's life easier by allowing secure wireless access to the databases they support.

    With PocketDBA your DBA can do more than simple data browsing and can control, manage and troubleshoot all your Oracle databases in real-time. PocketDBA incorporates security at very stage of data transmission including SSL, HTTPS, time-outs, log-ins and passwords. Account and database information is never stored in the PDA, so lost or stolen handhelds never become a security problem. A two-tiered architecture is also employed so your database servers are kept off the public Internet.

    The key features of PocketDBA are its quick installation and its intuitive, menu-driven user interface. PocketDBA can perform many Oracle tasks and is like running SQL*Plus in the palm of your hand. Some of these tasks are:

  • Add and remove users
  • Modify passwords
  • Change default tablespaces
  • Set access permissions to database objects
  • View / Modify privileges and resource limits
  • Browse tables, indexes and schemas
  • View attributes of database files
  • View information all connected user activity
  • Kill runaway user locks and processes.
  • View storage allocation to extent level
  • Add and reorganize storage as necessary.
  • Detect and resolve performance bottlenecks
  • Issue any Oracle command or database query

    PocketDBA can help keep database systems running at peak efficiency by increasing uptime, improving performance and reducing costs. Oracle 7.3.4 and higher is supported which includes Oracle 8.x and Oracle 9.x. Operating support is for Solaris 8 and higher, Windows NT/2000 and Red Hat Linux 6.2, 7.0 and 7.1. Palm OS devices running Palm 3.5 or 4.0 with Web Clipping are supported along with Pocket PC 2000 and 2002. (Unfortunately, Windows CE 3.0 is not supported.)

    Pricing for PocketDBA is $600 per database instance per year, plus $50 per DBA user which includes technical support.

    If you need to manage the server in addition to the database, Expand Beyond also has created PocketAdmin. This package provides full SSH terminal capability and cursor control from any Palm OS wireless handheld device. It uses a secure shell to access any VT-100 compliant firewall, router or server. You can then edit files, run custom scripts, view logs and manage system processes. 


    Fast Handheld Cloning
    Logicube Solitaire - Fast Hard Drive Replicator
    This handheld unit from Logicube clones (copies) one hard drive to another in minutes. This can be very helpful if you sell computer systems, need to configure systems for a training room or in some way need to configure completely identical systems.

    The Solitaire copies IDE hard disk drives at 850 megabytes per minute (5400 rpm drive) and can also format and “wipe” a drive clean to DOD (Department of Defense) specifications.

    Priced around $850, this compact device is a bargain if you need to be cloning drives on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, you have only one or two drives to clone, PowerQuest’s Drive Copy or Drive Image might be a cheaper solution, but make SURE to check their licensing agreement for your intended application.

    The Logicube Solitaire can also be used in the field by technical staff to quickly backup an entire hard drive BEFORE performing repairs or doing that “simple” installation that ends up losing ALL your data. The Solitaire provides the ideal safety net, allowing you to quickly (and accurately) restore ALL your data and programs if something goes wrong.

    For really serious applications, Logicube offers a complete line of drive cloning devices that can clone anywhere from 2 to 15 drives at a time! Now that's cloning. 


    RIM Blackberry
    E-mail is probably the most popular and most powerful Internet "application" that continues to keep the number of new Internet users climbing. Unfortunately, when you leave your wired home or office, sending or receiving e-mails becomes a problem. Many people are unreachable when they travel to attend high technology trade shows and it is a common phrase to hear, "I'll e-mail you when I return to the office next week". Research In Motion (RIM) has created their BlackBerry technology to help alleviate some of these problems. Their solutions consist of both hardware and services that help you send and receive email from existing email accounts, while away from your "wired world"

    There are two basic hardware form factors. The original RIM 950 looks like a "super-pager", while newer models are larger and more PDA-like. Images of both devices are below. Some of the key features of this BlackBerry solution are:

  • Easy, completely wireless connectivity -- no modem connections or "docking" required

  • Uses your current e-mail account -- no special "on-the-road" e-mail account

  • Provides full message control -- send, receive, store, and delete

  • Automated "push" technology -- messages come to you, instead of logging in to "see" if you have mail

  • High level of security -- supports an industry standard triple DES

    In addition to their e-mail capabilities, these devices can perform an "over the air Calendar Sync". You can get calendar updates "pushed" to you wirelessly -- no more "checking with the office" to see if there are any schedule changes. You can now be wirelessly brought "up-to-date", without lifting a finger to dial a phone or logon to another computer system.

    To respond and send new messages, the built-in thumb-touch keyboard is used. While you may frown at this type of keyboard, I have successfully used this keyboard style on my HP handhelds for over a decade. It takes some getting used to, but it is remarkably handy.

    Also included is a full-featured, connected organizer with calendar, address book, task list and alarm. And yes, you can synchronize the RIM handheld with a PC.

    These RIM devices use 32-bit, Intel 386 processors and weigh about 5 ounces including their battery.


    Sierra Wireless
    AirCard 555
    The AirCard 555 Wireless AirCard is Sierra's first dual band PC card (PCMCIA style) that complies with the 3G wireless network standard. This 1xRTT (radio transmission technology) interface uses Lucent's Flexent cdma2000 3G wireless technology and enables high-speed Internet/Intranet wireless access from laptops, as well as handheld computers.

    Verizon Wireless has recently created their Express Network that uses the low power AC555 to offer reliable 40 to 60 kbps (144 kbps peak) Internet connectivity to mobile business customers. This service is currently available in:

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • New York up to Boston, Massachusetts
  • Portland, Maine
  • Silicon Valley in California
  • San Francisco Bay Area, California
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (for Olympics)

    Because the Sierra AC555 is both 1xRTT and IS95A compatible, it is compatible with the Verizon Wireless CDMA (IS95A) network, which can provide ubiquitous coverage across the entire Verizon Wireless digital network. The cdma2000 1xRTT specification is an international 3G standard that has evolved from today's commercially successful CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) networks.

    Users are able to add voice and SMS (short messaging service) capabilities to their computing devices using the Sierra Wireless AC55.

    This article was edited remotely using this service and technology. 


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