A Portable Data Mover
There is a first time for everything and this is definitely one of those occasions. Just in case any flights of fancy kick in as to what this occasion should be, I should explain that this first time experience relates to a product that requires not one but two USB ports in order to connect to a computer. The product in question is FreeAgent Go from Seagate. Fortunately a special two-headed USB lead is provided in the box so that the device can be attached to your system.
FreeAgent Go is a member of Seagate's latest family of Data Movers - that's portable external disk drives to you and me. Described as a lifestyle product aimed at mobile consumers and business professionals, the FreeAgent Go is available in 80, 120 and 160GB capacities. This review is based on the 160GB model which is currently emitting an amber glow on my workspace.
Stylishly decked out in cocoa-brown with an amber face that pulses to indicate when activity is in process, the unit's dimensions are 185 x 122 x 99mm (L x W x D) with a weight of 182g. I'm sure you will agree that these dimensions and weight qualify this device for easy portability. The FreeAgent Go can serve the dual purpose of acting as a straightforward external storage device or as the means of taking your working environment with you as you commute from one system to another. Unfortunately no travel pouch is included as part of this kit.
The latter mode is achieved through the use of Ceedo technology which works by creating a virtual state that can make use of a host computer while remaining separate from any residual influence. The Ceedo software has its own front end that automatically gives you access to your browser and email client plus your documents / pictures / music folders and favourites. Additional applications, some of which are available free of charge, are available for downloading from the Ceedo website. These cover topics such as instant messengers, file sharing, productivity and search engines.
Along with the Ceedo software, Seagate provides a set of FreeAgent tools that are located on the host computer. Every time I loaded this tool set an error message, relating to a failed initialisation of MAXRESTORE.DLL, appeared. Switching to a second system produced the same error message. However once this dialogue box was closed down, the Seagate software ran without any apparent problem. This set of tools allows you to launch Ceedo; synchronise selected folders; and run diagnostics on your FreeAgent Go drive.
As mentioned earlier, especially with 160GB of storage space, this device could act as additional storage capacity. Tests were run using both the synchronisation option and straightforward copying. Copying 19.3GB of data took just under 28 minutes with the time increasing by 90 seconds when synchronisation was included. A second test, involving 4.83MB of document files, took a mere five seconds to transfer from the host computer to the FreeAgent Go drive.
PC users will require Windows 2000/XP/
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