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The Latest

The Latest
by Gary Woods

The latest connector showing up on Mac Computers is called Thunderbolt. One of the uses of this protocol is to connect an external hard drive but as usual, when something new pops up there's not a lot of hardware that works with it. Thunderbolt got me to thinking about all the hard drives I've had since way back in the dark ages of computing in the 80s.

The first drive I had was a massive 60 megabytes, that's megabytes not gigabytes. I used the drive with my Atari computer and it cost an astonishing $1,000. The next drive I purchased was for the first computer I built which ran MSDOS 5. This drive was a spiffy 1 gigabyte and I thought I'd never be able to fill it.

After that I went through all manner of drives with different connectors and cartridges and with each step the transfer rates became faster and the drives got bigger which brings us to the present and specifically the T3 RAID from Cal Digit ( which is a three-drive external enclosure that attaches to your Mac via Thunderbolt.

You can configure the RAID which means Redundant Array of Independent Disk in either a RAID 0 format which gives you the fastest data transfer or a RAID 1 which gives you a complete copy of all your data.

The T3 RAID will be available in both SSD (Solid State Drives) and HDD (Hard Disk Drives). Currently they're just quoting the HDD prices which is $699 for 6TB and $1,199 for 12TB. If you need a ton of storage for a media server or whatever your requirements check out the T3 RAID.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc