Earlier, later models not affected; Apple likely to resolve issue soon
Storage accessory company FirmTek has reported that a specific model of MacBook Pro has mysteriously lost support for its own ExpressCard slot under OS X Mavericks (10.9). Users upgrading a 17-inch model from 2010, otherwise known as "MacBookPro6,1" under the extended "About This Mac" information, will find that cards of any sort inserted into the built-in ExpressCard slot do not work, even after drivers are reapplied. The problem does not affect earlier or later models.
Adapter reads 170MB/s, writes 120MB/s, bootable
OWC has launched a new eSATA ExpressCard adapter for MacBooks. The card, which is rated for 3GB/s, is hot swappable and fits flush inside the MacBook frame, making for easy transport within the MacBook. The new card is ACHI compliant, requiring no drivers for any Mac notebook running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
New 3G EC modem ships
nova media has launched the GlobeTrotter Express 441 ExpressCard modem, providing Macintosh notebook users worldwide access to 3G connections. The modem supports HSPA connections in the 850-, 900-, 1900- and 2100-MHz bands providing maximum 7.2 Mb/sec download speeds and 5.76Mb/sec upload speeds. GPRS and Quad-Band Edge connections are supported within the afore-mentioned bands. The modem features an auto-off switch, triggered by retracting the antennae, so it can remain in the express card slot of a MacBook Pro constantly, only drawing power when the antennae is raised, and not interfering with airplane signals when retracted.
ExpressCard Standard 2
PCMCIA has introduced the next-generation ExpressCard technology, Standard 2.0, which is claimed to support transfer rates ten times faster than the current Standard 1.2 protocol utilized in a wide range of notebooks. Devices that could potentially benefit from the increased speed include eSATA adapters for external hard drives, streaming media and video adapters, or high-performance storage modules such as SSDs.
ExpressCard 2.0 nearing
The ExpressCard 2.0 format is nearing completion, the PCMCIA trade group has announced. The existing format is a popular means of expansion on notebooks, such as Apple's MacBook Pro; the updated edition will be based on both the USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 standards, and should be substantially faster, achieving two to 10 times the speeds of ExpressCard 1.x. This will make it better suited to storage functions, such as connecting flash memory or SATA II drives. Systems with ExpressCard 2.0 slots will remain compatible with v1.x peripherals.
Yoggie Mac security cards
Yoggie has introduced two new security devices for Mac computers, the Gatekeeper Pico and Gatekeeper Card Pro. Both contain complete mini-computer systems including a processor, memory, and secured operating system. The Pico version is roughly the size of a USB-key and connects through the USB port, while the Card Pro slides into an ExpressCard slot. Each will boot with the computer and hijack the network connections using a low-level driver, which routes internet traffic through the device first so an attack doesn't reach the host computer.
PCMCIA to ExpressCard
Synchrotech has introduced the ExpressAdapt, a new CardBus-to-ExpressCard adapter. The device is only compatible with USB-mode ExpressCards instead of PCIe-based ones, but no drivers are needed for either Windows or Mac OS X. Power regulation circuitry supports the lower voltages required of many ExpressCard devices, including 1000mAh at 3.3V and 650mAh at 1.5V, which can be supplied on both rails if needed. The adapter is compatible with any 32-bit PC CardBus Type II slot. The ExpressAdapt is available from Synchrotech for $45.
Synchrotech has announced the MicroU2E-MV USB to ExpressCard adapter, which allows ExpressCards with voltages of both 1.5V and 3.3V to connect to a USB port. The adapter can accept both ExpressCard 34 and 54 sizes and is cross-platform, bringing ExpressCard connectivity to Mac (and PC) laptops lacking ExpressCard slots. The adapter, which is limited to USB-based cards (and will not work with PCIe-based ExpressCards), is available now for $48 and requires a USB 2.0-based ExpressCard and a host computer running Mac OS X or Mac OS 8.6 and above (also Windows ME or later).
Magma ships Expressbox4
Magma this week announced the immediate availability of ExpressBox4, an external PCI-Express Expansion box for desktop or laptop computers. Offering users four hot-swappable, full-size PCI Express expansion slots, the Expressbox4 connects to desktop machines via an existing x8 PCI Express slot, or to laptops via an ExpressCard slot. The ExpressBox4 ships with its own 400W power-supply, and is available in either desktop or 2U rack mountable version. Offering seamless integration (with the expansion slots appearing completely transparent to the host system without need of additional software), it works with Mac OS X 10.3 or later and costs $2,400.
Rogers 7.2Mbps ExpressCard
Canada's Rogers Wireless will be the first carrier in carrier in the world with a new ExpressCard modem, Novatel has announced. The Merlin X950D is a quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band HSPA modem, able to fit into both 34 and 54 ExpressCard slots. Notable however is that the modem supports not only 2.1Mbps HSUPA, but 7.2Mbps HSDPA, twice as fast as most 3G networks worldwide. Rogers has yet to launch 7.2Mbps speeds, but is rumored to be testing the technology in limited fashion.
The PCMCIA group today outlined ExpressCard 2.0, the next major change to the removable card standard for notebooks. The format is now being reworked to take advantage of technologies that have been introduced since its initial release, including PCI Express 2.0 and USB 3.0. Depending on the connection, the right cards could transfer data between 2X (PCIe) and 10X (USB) faster than existing technology. The extra speed will be crucial for flash-based ExpressCard storage as well as SATA II external drives and streaming media adapters, the group says.
Gigabyte 3.5G/GPS modem
Umbrella technology company Gigabyte has offered a brief peak at a new cellular modem, the MD800. Buyers will have the option of three different interfaces -- ExpressCard, mini-USB or PCMCIA -- and gain access to 3.5G-level broadband, likely some form of HSPA. The card should also be the first to combine this with both GPS and assisted GPS abilities, expanding the functions of phones and/or computers.
Launch2net, AT&T modems
Nova Media today highlighted launch2net -- an application that handles setup as well as connections to the internet for PC card and ExpressCard modems -- on the heels of AT&T's new LaptopConnect modems. "If you need a bit more than just a connect/disconnect button, launch2net is the right software for you." said Jan Fuellemann of nova media. "launch2net offers advanced statistics, auto-connect, disconnect after a certain time or traffic spend online, a menu icon so the software does not have to be running to establish a connection and more." Launch2net is priced at $110, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.
HSPA broadband modems
Sierra Wireless has introduced two new HSPA mobile broadband modems -- the AirCard 885E ExpressCard and Compass 885 USB modem. Both devices boast a small form-factor and offer the latest high-speed mobile broadband technology for use worldwide. Both the AirCard 885E ExpressCard and the Compass 885 USB modem are slated for shipment in mid-2008, and are compatible with Mac as well as Windows systems.
RadTech restoration clini
RadTech on Monday announced its annual notebook restoration clinic alongside a fully stocked company store with special show pricing at this week's Macworld Expo. Once again, RadTech will host daily notebook restoration clinics, offering attendees the opportunity to bring their display and chassis damaged notebooks to RadTech's booth for demos of its preventive maintenance and restoration products and solutions (for a display or chassis). Conference attendees can also evaluate and test RadTech's full line of over 600 products, including seven new ones for iPhone and iPod, four new luggage and case offerings for notebooks, eight digital audio and high-definition video connectivity solutions and a new high-speed eSATA interface for the latest Apple's notebook computers.
21-in-1 ExpressCard reader
Sonnet has begun selling a new device for ExpressCard slots, the 21-in-1 Multimedia Memory Card Reader and Writer. Unlike a previous ExpressCard device, the R&W can also copy to memory cards, and does so without increasing in size; it fits flush with a notebook's body for travel. The 21 supported formats are divided between SD, xD, MMC and Memory Stick types, and include the likes of SDHC, microSD and Memory Stick Micro. Maximum transfer speed is 480Mbps.
ExpressCard wireless n/b/g
QuickerTek Monday introduced a wireless upgrade for MacBook Pro owners. The new ExpressCard wireless adapter adds 802.11b/g/n WiFi access for maximum networking compatibility using triple antennas located outside of the "wireless signal-degrading (but beautiful) 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro case." In addition, the wireless upgrade also works with all Apple AirPort Base Stations including the 802.11n AirPort Extreme from Apple. The company said that the triple antennas provide the highest speed MIMO specification wireless performance and that virtually any wireless network running 802.11b/g/n equipment on 2.4GHz range is available. The MacBook Pro Wireless ExpressCard is backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor and is available now for $150.