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“Mobile computing” usually means packing up a notebook computer and hauling it around in a shoulder bag. But computer users now can transfer huge computer files — PowerPoint presentations, databases, applications, spreadsheets — from computer to computer via tiny, removable hard drives that can fit into a shirt pocket. Most of the drives either fit into a slot on the computer or plug in with a USB connector. They show up on the user’s computer as another hard drive, with a drive letter assigned by the operating system. The user can drag and drop files onto the little drive using familiar commands. Then the removable drive can easily be transported to another computer — at home, in a branch office or down the hall — and plugged in for quick access. Here are some Web sites that promote the handy devices: IBM Corp. www.storage.ibm.com/hdd/ micro/soltns/interchange.htm IBM’s 1-inch-square 340 MB Microdrive can plug directly into notebook computers and other portable devices with CF+ Type II device slots. With an optional PC card adapter (which plugs into PCMCIA slots in notebook computers) or with a PC card reader on a desktop PC, it can allow the transfer of audio, video and text files between systems. A 1 GB drive with a PCMCIA adapter costs about $300. Toshiba America Inc. www.toshiba.com Toshiba produces a credit card-sized hard drive that holds up to 5 GB of data. The 1.8-inch drive conforms to the Type II notebook PC card format and costs about $400. The company has announced plans to release models with up to 20 GB capacity. Pockey www.pocketec.net Billed as “the ultimate hard drive,” Pockey’s palm-sized hard drive attaches to a computer via a USB cable. The drive comes in three sizes: 20 GB, 30 GB and 40 GB, ranging in cost from $250 to $400. A Pockey drive can be used to transport presentations, audio and video and other large files that won’t fit on a CD-R or Zip drive. LaCie www.lacie.com LaCie’s PocketDrive, shaped like a videocassette, is an external hard drive that connects to a computer through either USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectors. When connected through the FireWire hook-up, the drive can achieve speeds comparable to those of internal drives, report some testers. The 30 GB drive sells for $279, and the 60 GB model carries a pricetag of $700. Other sizes also are available. SanDisk www.sandisk.com Usually thought of as a storage device for digital cameras, SanDisk’s CompactFlash card can be plugged into computers with the addition of a $10 adapter. The cards range in capacity from 16 MB to 1 GB and in price from $25 to $800.

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