On Friday, Addonics Technologies announced a cable to allow a Toshiba 1.8-inch hard drive -- the same hard drive used within the Apple iPod -- to be connected to a computer.
However, the cable could also prove to be the RIAA's latest weapon in the war over sharing copyrighted music.
By itself, the $14.99 cable provides a connection between the 1.8-inch Toshiba hard drive and a standard 2.5-inch 40-pin IDE hard drive interface. A number of intermediary attachments will also allow the drive to connect to a Serial ATA, Firewire, or USB interface. A USB converter kit with enclosure costs about $69.95, but allows the drive to be accessed by a notebook or desktop PC.
Addonics created the drive cable from specifications provided by Toshiba and its own knowhow, Bill Kwong, president of Addonics, told ExtremeTech.
However, the cable was also commissioned by computer forensics experts, Kwong said, who needed a way to determine if illegally copied data -- such as music illegally copied from RIAA artists -- was stored on the iPod's drive. A standard IDE write blocker can be used to turn the Toshiba drive into a read-only device for forensic applications, he added, preventing the intentional or accidental destruction of data.
The cable can also be used in isolated instances to back up a user's iPod, in the event that the drive is suspected of failing.
Since the iPod is natively USB-based, Addonics isn't recommending that users void their warranty, crack the iPod case, and directly connect their iPod's drive to another computer. But in a worst-case scenario, where an iPod may be close to failing and its data inaccessible, the cable may allow the user to rescue some data from the drive, Kwong said.
"Really, we're not intending that users should use this on a running iPod," Kwong said. "But if you really need to take the hard drive out -- that is where [the cable] would become useful."
Addonics Technologies today announced a Toshiba 1.8-inch to 2.5-inch IDE connector, which allows users to connect the drive to any computer including the hard drive found on the Apple iPOD. The new Toshiba 1.8" to 2.5" IDE connector allows users to attach this small 1.8" hard drive just like a 2.5" hard drive. It can also be connected to the standard 40 pin IDE cable common found on any desktop computer, server, and most industrial PCs by adding the Addonics 2.5" to 3.5" converter kit. You now can easily read or write onto this tiny hard drive using almost any system. With the new Addonics converter any Toshiba 1.8-inch hard drive can also become a read only drive by using the standard IDE Write blocker, which makes it an appropriate solution for forensics applications. The write-blocking feature prevents accidental and intentional destruction of data and preserves evidence for computer crime/security investigations. The Addonics 1.8-inch to 2.5-inch IDE connector also allows iPOD owners to connect the hard drive inside their iPOD as a regular 2.5" hard drive to other computers. With the connector, an iPOD user who has defective iPOD can export data off the drive. The connector can be combined with the Addonics Pocket ExDrive enclosure, which allows the Toshiba 1.8-inch drive to be used an external hard drive or as a removable hard drive. Users can connect the enclosure to USB, Firewire, SATA or CardBus/PCMCIA by attaching an Addonics USIB interface cable. List price of the Toshiba 1.8" to 2.5" IDE hard drive connector converter (AAT18IDE25) is $14.99. Components needed to use a Toshiba 1.8 inch drive as an external/removable hard drive would require the Toshiba 1.8" to 2.5" IDE hard drive, Pocket ExDrive enclosure and Addonics USIB cable. List price for a USB configuration would be $69.95. Addonics products are available through the company online store www.shopaddonics.com, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, and Ingram Micro. Addonics Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a broad line of external and mobile storage products. Addonics is headquartered at 2466 Kruse Drive, San Jose, CA 95131, Phone: 408-433-3899.
Visit Addonics at www.addonics.com