NAB Show remains one of my favorites, and one of the only trade shows I’d unreservedly recommend attending on one’s own dime. From Thunderbolt to post-HD video to solid state storage, NAB has it all.
I’ll be at NAB Show this year, on Monday and Tuesday, April 16 and 17. That’s literally all I could spare out of my schedule, but I wouldn’t miss it!
We are finalizing our eighth Tech Field Day Event (and tenth event overall) which is coming up in the middle of September. Once again, we have a great batch of new and returning delegates. And once again, many of the presenters share intriguing characteristics. This time, it looks like we will have something of a storage focus!
The Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter demonstrates the power of Thunderbolt to bring flexible, high-performance connectivity to compact computers. But we are still in the first generation of devices like this, and it will be a while before prices drop out of the stratosphere.
I remain impressed by CalDigit’s USB 3.0 products. My own tests show that these cards are fast and compatible, and I was pleased to see that CalDigit recently updated their driver for Mac OS 10.6.7, which changed some of the core features used by the previous driver. This is the kind of commitment I expect, both in terms of interoperability and support.
The H1 is a very handy device, produces excellent quality recordings, and is reasonably priced. It does just about everything I could want, including recording directly to MP3 on solid-state microSD storage. But I cannot recommend it with the battery drain issue I have experienced. Hopefully the replacement unit will remove the single concern.
That NAB Show is a hotspot of Thunderbolt interest should come as no surprise: The broadcast and media professionals present represent a nexus of Apple customers and storage power users. Because they have been dragging their feet on eSATA and USB 3, Apple ran the risk of alienating this core customer group. But Thunderbolt promises to deliver a new level of performance and a whole world of peripherals. The excitement was palpable!
Although the SANLink appears to be something of an oddball, it indicates the shape of things to come. Thunderbolt will transform the use cases for portable and all-in-one computers, likely spelling the end of the empty boxes for desktop use. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if Apple soon canceled the Mac Pro line entirely in favor of a beefed up Mac Mini and iMac stable. And the dozen or so MacBook Pro users wanting to connect to a Fibre Channel SAN will finally have the opportunity to do so sometime later this year.
When Apple announced the new MacBook Pro at the end of February, there were just two Thunderbolt peripherals featured: The LaCie Little Big Disk and the Promise Pegasus. Both of these storage devices were on display at the NAB Show in Las Vegas last week, and each appeals to a different market segment. The 2-drive Little Big Disk is a portable matched up with the MacBook Pro, while the Promise Pegasus is a 4- or 6-drive desktop RAID system. Promise expects to deliver the Pegasus to the market sometime after the summer.
LaCie looks to be the first out of the gate with a Thunderbolt storage system. They promise to deliver their Little Big Disk portable RAID storage device sometime this summer, and the polished look of the devices on display at the NAB show suggests that they will meet this target.