Coverage For Migo

DATE 02/2004 02/2004 12/31/03 12/29/03 12/2003 12/22/03 12/21/03 12/18/03 12/2003 12/8/03 12/7/03 12/3/03 12/1/03 12/2003 12/2003 12/2003 11/25/03 11/20/03 11/20/03 11/15/03 11/6/03 PUBLICATION PC World Mobile PC EWEEK South Florida SunSentinel Maximum PC Network World The Sunday Times (UK) New York Times MyBusiness Magazine Globe and Mail Honolulu Advertiser NBC Channel 4 – D.C. Datamation ComputerUser Business 2.0 PC World Network Computing CNBC The Wall Street Journal KNTV CNN Headline News TITLE Desktop in a Key Chain Forward Solutions Migo Best (and Worst) of the 2003 Desktop and Mobile PC Market Drive Goes Wherever You Go Reviews: Forward Solutions Migo Power These Up Doors Awards for 2003 PC Data and Bookmarks Dangle From Your Key Chain My Gadget Migo Words From Well-Traveled Taking your computer profile with you Who's Walking Around With Your Files? Migo Thumbdrive Silicon Santa Little Drives, Big Promises Leave Your Laptop At Home Power Lunch You Can Lug Home Your Office Computer Inside Your Pocket TechNow! CNN Headline News Lori MacVittie Walt Mossberg Walt Mossberg Scott McGrew AUTHOR Carla Thornton Dylan Tweney Rob Enderle Jeff Zbar Dwight Looi Keith Shaw Nigel Powell J.D. Biersdorfer Lena Basha Ian Johnson Chris Oliver I.J. Hudson Brian Livingston Elizabeth Millard Soshana Berger 1,130,740 556,308 317,411 147,714 N/A N/A 900,000 550,000 1,250,000 220,000 N/A 1,820,600 79,000 N/A Circulation 1,250,000 200,000 400,100 234,254 300,000 170,000

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Mobile Enterprise Magazine Bloomberg Radio: Bootcamp CJAD AM 800

Putting the P in PC Taking Your PC Along...on a Key Chain Holder Overnight

Tim Bajarin Fred Fishkin Evan Berle and Peter Anthony Holder Alex Salkever

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BusinessWeek Online

Consumers: Thanks for the Memory Forward Solutions’ Migo Fills a Much Needed Void for Mobile Computing: The Mobile Windows Desktop XChange Panelists Debate the State of Innovation More on Flash-based Applications Weekend Web Much Ado About A USB Dongle? Migo Keeps Data in Sync; Lets users take office with them. Gadget of the Week World’s Smallest PC USB Key Makes Backups Easy The USB Dongle That May Change the World The Latest Tech Gadgets Silicon Business Today Forward Solutions develops Migo Desktop Replication for mobile computing experts USB device takes your computer with you News

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Luc Hatlestad David Morgenstern

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KNTV Rafe’s Radar Edmonton Journal EWEEK ABC World News Now KICU TV MobileMag

Scott McGrew Rafe Needleman Andy Walker Rob Enderle Dick DeBartolo Interview Dave Conabree

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Staff Staff

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Forward Solutions Unveils Portable Personal Computing System Forward Solutions' Migo absolutely a must have! Keeping Track Of Memory Cards My Migo



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Ramon Ray David Strom M. Wiley

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ET Planet Storage Pipeline CNET

Desktop to go where Migo goes Forward Solutions' Migo Has Storage On The Run Desktop to go where Migo goes

Staff Terry Sweney Ed Frauenheim

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On Monday, Forward Solutions.... Migo: More Than Just A USB Drive Secured Computing This gets the thumbs-up!

Ramon Ray Doug Olenick Michael Vizard Chua Hian Hou

Desktop in a Key Chain
Carla Thornton February 2004 I love my desktop. It has my files, e-mail, and Internet settings arranged just the way I like. That’s why I hate to leave it when I travel. What I really want is an easier way to set up my laptop to operate like my desktop while I’m on the road. Forward Solutions’ Migo ( is a USB flash drive ($150 for 128MB, $200 for 256MB) that makes parting with your desktop easier – at least for Outlook and IE users. The Migo has data management and synchronization software on board. When you plug it into a USB port on your office computer, it can copy the desktop (and some interface settings), Outlook in-box, favorites, and selected files. Plug it into another PC, type in your password, and you’ll see a copy of your office PC. Plugged back into my office machine, the Migo syncs my e-mail and any new favorites I’ve saved on the other PC: then it updates files, including folder structures. Even with the convenience of the Migo, however, I hesitate to abandon my notebook altogether. A destination PC that has a corrupted in-box, as one of my test machines did, may reject the Migo. M-Systems takes a similar approach: Its $60 (64MB) to $290 (512MB) DiskOnKey Classic 2.0 USB flash drive ( allows you to copy your files. Once you install the company’s free, downloadable MyKey applet on the drive, the program creates a hidden partition where you can password-protect files and hide them from other users’ view. Alas, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. You have to launch the on-board applet every time you want to see your password-protected files. And to reallocate space, you have to wipe the entire key. Argh.

February 2004

Best (and Worst) of the 2003 Desktop and Mobile PC Market
Rob Enderle December 31, 2003,4149,1424627,00.asp The year's dramatic turns in the global economy and geopolitics were echoed in the PC industry. Here are some of the good and bad events that crossed that smaller stage. The Good Intel makes waves: After being slapped upside the head by Transmeta Corp. a few years ago, Intel Corp. came back with a bang in 2003. It released its first processor designed from the ground up for mobility—the Pentium M—as well as the Centrino technology bundle, which took the laptop space by storm. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Intel's Centrino was HP's tablet computer, which originally boasted a compelling design but was hampered by horribly slow performance. X marks the SPOT: Microsoft's SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology)-based watches arrived in beta form in 2003, and mine is now wedded to my wrist. The devices automatically update to reflect the local time and receive inbound messages on helpful information such as weather and stocks. Cheap wireless networking: The mobile workforce has long dreamed of a low-cost wireless network for their laptops. A number of vendors launched a nationwide initiative to drive wireless technology everywhere, but it took T-Mobile to provide both Wi-Fi and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data at affordable rates. A lthough it isn't broadband yet, cheap wireless networking took a giant leap forward in 2003. Apple unleashes "Panther": Speaking of steps forward, Apple Computer Inc. finally gave in and made a solid effort to make its operating system compatible with the Microsoft-dominated world, with the release of its "Panther" OS. Now mobile Apple users can access some of the same resources us Windows folks have had for years and maybe get off the euthanasia list maintained by their local IT departments. My first Ferrari: While I've secretly lusted after Apple laptops, Acer Inc. stole my heart this year with its new laptop co-branded with Ferrari. Sporting the Ferrari horse on its hot-red lid and a mobile Athlon XP chip inside, this is one sweet box. Yes, I have PC envy (and am seeking counseling for it).

IBM's T-40 keeps going … and going: IBM released its new T-40 series, which can get up to seven hours of battery life, allowing many of us to leave the power brick at home. Now if it only looked like the Acer. ... New class of power notebooks: When I think "performance product," I envision the new class of power notebooks with desktop chips and 17-inch panoramic screens. I'm writing this column with Gateway's model now, and it not only makes me much more productive, but I can play a decent game of Unreal on it. It even has health benefits: It has done wonders for my biceps. My only regret is that no one is yet making one with either the new Extreme Edition Pentium 4 or the Athlon 64 FX. (OK, so maybe that would be over the top, but it would still be cool.) AMD's 64-bit move: Speaking of the Athlon 64, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. stepped out from behind Intel in 2003 and made the bold move of going to 64 bits on the desktop. Intel came back with what amounted to a workstation chip at one-third the price, and the two companies are now competing heavily in the performance space. There is something to be said for competition, and the performance user clearly won this battle. Is that a computer in your pocket, or. ... ? Some of you (wimps!) would rather not use your laptops to build upper-body strength, and one of my pet projects has been to help launch a new class of pocket computers. Several companies made progress this year with modular computers: Antelope Technologies started shipping its product; OQO received a second round of funding; and thanks to their efforts, the promise of a full-boat Windows PC we can put in our shirt pockets by Christmas 2004 just got much better. Desktop blades: The other brand-new technology to hit the market in 2003 was desktop blades. With reliability and security that rival servers and no heat or noise on the desktop, these blades favored companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard. HP left IBM in the dust getting its version of the product out first, but Clear Cube is the old hand in this space. The other Mini that made a splash in '03: Another new form factor was the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX motherboard. Showing up in desktops about the size of paperback books and becoming a favorite for creative new desktop PC designs, automotive use and even robots, this was the most interesting part of Comdex Las Vegas 2003. The USB dongle that could change the world: Speaking of good things in small packages, there was nothing smaller than Forward Solutions' MiGo portable USB storage device, which allows you to take much of your PC's personality with you on a little USB dongle. The idea of storing your files and settings on a device you could put on a keychain boggles the mind and inspired me to paint an alternative future where we wouldn't even have to carry laptops anymore.

See eWEEK Labs' review of the Migo portable device. Flat panels/LCD TVs: Flat-panel prices dropped like a rock in 2003, and even LCD TVs started to become affordable. It's about time too: CRTs are horrible for landfills. (It's always good when you can buy something cool and do something nice for the

environment.) The best of this breed was a 17-inch-wide LCD TV from Dell for $699, which got rave reviews. Peripherals: Peripherals enjoyed dramatic improvements in '03: Logitech launched several lines of inexpensive THX-certified speakers that will prompt the neighbors you hate to move; Microsoft made up for its disastrous Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with its gorgeous Elite line; ThinkOutside rolled out a really cool wireless PDA keyboard; Gateway released a $350 Camera (T50) with a ton of features and 5-megapixel performance; and HP released a scanner (4600) that looks like art. CD-/DVD-Rs:: Verbatim came out with some really cool-looking media, such as CD-Rs that look like vinyl records and DVD-Rs that look like film reels. I put a friend's wedding on the DVD-Rs, and the result definitely did not suck. Also in 2003, both Sonic and InterVideo brought out easy-to-use, powerful tools for PC-based DVD creation. Media Center PCs: Media Center PCs approached a rubicon this year, with the Gateway 910 series giving Sony a run for the money. Come to think of it, Sony brought out some incredibly good-looking systems: the V505D, Z1 and TR series are just stunning. Just as we started the year with a new processor, we ended the year with one as well: Transmeta's Efficeon Processor hit the market, insuring competition and continued low prices for mobile and forming the heart of HP's PC Blades. Competition is always good news. The Bad Now for the flipside. Clearly, the economy really stunk for most of the year, resulting in layoffs, shortages, lots of doom and gloom, and a Comdex that radiated a fraction of its former glory. Don't even get me started on spam, which approached national crisis levels as the government attempted to respond. Diversity on the desktop: The absolute worst event of 2003 was a group of "security experts" arguing for diversity on the desktop, backed up by an idiotic recommendation from one of the large firms to put 10 percent of IT staff on Apple. Throwing out nearly two decades of data on the benefits of desktop standards, this classic "research" recommendation would only add cost and virtually no benefit. Desktops are not servers—too many seem to forget this—and there is still no substitute for thinking. What were they thinking? IBM launched ThinkVantage, and the software created problems with those of us who had the otherwise wonderful T-40 laptops. Whether it was issues with Rapid Restore taking out our files or phantom wireless problems that just didn't seem to want to go away, the moment peaked with a group of analysts actually asking Intel to go to IBM on their behalf to fix the related problems. And the award for worst mobile product goes to. ... : Sharp brought out a new version of its Linux-based Zaurus, which cost a whopping $850 here in the states and wouldn't synchronize with any major e-mail program. This was a huge step back (remember the old $100 PDAs that didn't sync with anything?) and probably should get

the award for one the worst mobile products of the year along with that horrible Nokia game phone. Trusted computing: Trusted computing, a technology backed by an international cast of vendors and even more critical for mobile machines than for desktops, went virtually nowhere. Even though companies like IBM feel it is critical for open-source platforms, concerns about digital rights management and government access sidelined the effort. China's new Wi-Fi rules: China decided to start driving technology standards; its first, targeted at Wi-Fi, would provide a back door for the Chinese government and heavily favor Chinese technology providers. This could herald similar actions by other countries, making it nearly impossible for an international company to compete or for folks to have smart phones, laptops or handheld computers with embedded Wi-Fi devices. A bad Apple: Apple, not to be outdone by Microsoft in the horrible-pricing-decision department, didn't give provide recent hardware customers its new OS for free or even at a discount. Some folks found that they had to pay the $130 even if they bought the new hardware after the release of the new OS. This year Apple gets the crown for sticking it to loyal customers. Patch pain: Microsoft patches were certainly no fun either; while much of this was driven by folks who seemed to take every security alert and turn it into an attack (not exactly pillars of our community), these patches drove IT managers to distraction worldwide. Apple and Linux had patch problems as well, once again demonstrating how difficult this feat is when you are dealing with large numbers of machines. Silicon Valley to close Its doors: The most recent really sad event was Silicon Valley announcing they would cease operations at the end of the year. Right on the cusp of the recovery, it is a shame to see this mainstay of the technology media world follow so many others. My fingers remain crossed for TechTV. Ending on a high note, recent surveys indicate the market is in recovery (there is even a company, VenLogic, training firms on how to do IPOs); HP is being rewarded for skillfully executing its merger; Microsoft has generally recovered from its pricing mistake; and even Gateway is suddenly looking like a player again. On a personal note, I haven't had a major crash in months and discovered a whole new set of PC-modder toys to keep me going over the holidays. Here is hoping for the best for you in the New Year! Rob Enderle is the principal analyst for the Enderle Group, a company specializing in emerging personal technology.

Jeffrey D. Zbar December 29, 2003 Once upon a time, a business trip meant Joey Smith would have to synchronize the files, e-mail and other data in his laptop computer with that in his desktop, pack the computer and all his cables, and hope he found a comfortable place to work. Smith even had trouble ensuring he'd backed up the right files when leaving the office at day's end. He'd burn selected files to CD-ROM to take home hoping along the way that he didn't forget any important files back at the office. "That just wasn't efficient for me," he said. Now, Smith pulls a thumb-sized drive from the USB port, stashes it in his pocket, and ambles carefree out the door. What's changed? Smith purchased a USB flash memory drive called Migo. The device, from Forward Solutions, copies selected folders, files and documents, stores the last 30 days of e-mail from Outlook, and captures a user's preferences, favorite Web sites and settings. When Smith arrives at another location, he plugs Migo into any PC running Windows 98 or later operating systems, and the device commandeers the PC. His settings come up. Outlook loads his most recent e-mails. Even the image on his desktop at the office comes up on the host PC. When he's done, all the files are stored back on the Migo. Only a trace of the files he opened remains on the host computer. If he opened a Microsoft Word file, for example, the only sign of the file would be the name on a drop-down menu, but the file itself could not be accessed. "All my files are updated, so when I get home at night and plug it in, I'm real time up to speed," said Smith, managing partner with Capital City Partners Southeast, a Coral Gables investment banking firm. Migo takes advantage of flash memory storage technology that allows anywhere from 16 megabytes to almost a gigabyte of data to be stored on a USB device the size of an adult thumb. The difference is that where devices from Targus, M-Systems DiscOnKey and Trek will store data, Migo is powered by a microprocessor that allows the user to select, retrieve, store and upload settings and files to a host computer. Log on to the password-protected Migo, and up pop your settings. Log off, and everything's stored back on your Migo and all the original settings are restored on the host PC. For $200, Smith got a Migo with 256 megabytes of memory that allows him to recreate

his Outlook (Migo does not work with Outlook Express) inbox and recent documents easily. Also, any files he needs to open, like Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, must have the application on the host PC. "This just brings a whole new dimension to mobile computing," said Tim Irving, president of Island Octopus Inc., a Migo dealer in Sanibel. The device is not yet available at retail. Using his Migo, Irving will access files at a cyber cafe, a client office or the airport. "It goes beyond mobile devices. It replicates my complete computing environment. When I pull it out, that computer never knows I was there." Smith still may travel with his laptop computer. But Migo has made back-up and document portability much simpler, he said. Jeffery D. Zbar is a freelance writer. He can be reached at PORTABLE COMPUTING What: Migo, a thumb-sized flash drive that replicates your PC desktop, files, 30 days of Outlook e-mail and Web page favorites on any Windows PC Cost: $150 for a 128-megabyte version or $200 for a 256-megabyte version Where: Learn more at

Power these up!
Cool Tools editor Keith Shaw picks five devices that can make you more powerful on the job. By Keith Shaw December 22, 2003 Gadgets get a bum rap - often thought of as executive toys or useless trinkets that exist merely to boost young executive egos. What could be more annoying than watching these yuppies show off the latest Titanium-embossed gizmo that can play the theme from "Chips," as if they figured that owning the gadget will get them the corner office? Let them have those - here are five devices offering increased productivity, which we prefer over gloss. Handspring Treo 600. When converged devices came out, the naysayers looked at their bulkiness and stuck with their tiny cell phones. After a few revisions, Handspring has come out with a device that is small enough for those "tiny cell phone" snobs, yet powerful enough for you to get your work done. The Treo 600 offers a lot to like. It comes with an embedded keyboard that speeds up your data input, whether it's wireless e-mail or a new document. The keyboard is backlit, which means you can work in the dark. Like previous Treo devices, the 600 works on the Palm OS, our favorite mobile operating system. And the cell phone includes not only a speaker, but a conference calling feature that lets you patch in multiple colleagues at once. The Treo 600 is available on the GSM/General Packet Radio Service wireless networks run by AT&T Wireless, and T-Mobile, but we preferred the Sprint model, which runs on the CDMA 1x network, because it offers more coverage for making cell calls and the data speeds are a bit faster. The Sprint version costs about $500 (depending on rebates), plus monthly voice and/or data service. With the Treo 600 in your pocket, you'll become more productive - and productivity produces power.

USB Flash - the next generation. In the past, USB Flash devices served as floppy disk replacements. Plug into a port, transfer files, move to the next computer, plug in and transfer files. But now, manufacturers are loading these devices with useful applications. Forward Solutions' Migo device (between $150 and $200, depending on storage space) replicates the desktop of your notebook or PC, and stores a copy of your documents and data from the last 30 days. Instead of figuring out what files you need and moving them over manually to a USB Flash device, the Migo software does it for you during a synchronization process. Just move to another USB-enabled desktop (such as an Internet kiosk), and voilà, the look, feel and the last 30 days of your documents appears on the screen. You also can transfer Internet-based e-mail, and Migo is working on a method to provide Exchange-based e-mail users access to their e-mail. Stay tuned. Another notable USB Flash device is Kanguru Solutions' Kanguru Wizard ($50), which includes software that can make your data "disappear." When you install the device on a computer, you can move confidential data into a "virtual drive" on the PC. When you remove the Wizard device, the virtual drive disappears, and any prying eyes won't be able to find the files on the computer.

The third USB device we like is StealthSurfer's StealthSurfer (between $50 and $130, depending on storage space). Its customized Netscape Web browser can be used on an Internet kiosk or other public computer. StealthSurfer will keep your private information from being left behind on that public machine. Like all the USB devices, you can also use the StealthSurfer for file storage and transfer.

All three of these devices let you leave your notebook at home while keeping your data with you (and secure). More power than that is hard to come by.

APC TravelPower Case. Nothing says power like being powered up at all times. If you're carrying around a notebook, cell phone, PDA, etc., then you are always worried about running out of power. The TravelPower Case ($99 or $129, depending on model) from APC is an innocent-looking notebook bag that includes power adapters and cords for charging all of your devices through one power outlet (be that a car adapter, airline adapter or standard AC plug). The bag includes adapter plugs for most standard notebooks, and also can hold all your papers and other business paraphernalia. If you travel, this power bag will keep you charged up and ready to go.

Doors awards for 2003
Nigel Powell December 21, 2003 In our fifth annual awards, the Doors team recognises 20 landmarks that made this the year that consumer technologies caught the popular imagination LAPTOP VISIONARY: Intel. Mobile computing took pole position in 2003 as WiFi hotspots appeared all over the land, enabling people to access the internet from hotels, libraries and pubs. About time, too. Desktop boxes were ditched as fully featured laptops causing noticeably less shoulder strain dipped in price towards £1,000, and the public said yes please. Doors credits Intel, in particular, for achieving this. Its Centrino chips have powered a generation of power- efficient and ever-dinkier notebooks that "talk WiFi" as standard, which is another way of saying you can use them to go online without wires. And you'll be able to do it faster once Intel embraces the latest high-speed standards in the new year. Remember: when Intel decides to push an idea, things change. (Just think USB). THE NEW ZORRO: Steve Linford. Britain's masked avenger of the antispam movement is Steve Linford, 46, who has received vicious abuse for his work keeping our inboxes free of Viagra ads -and worse. Linford put together the Spamhaus Block List (SBL), a humungous database of spam sources that is relied upon by many of the world's biggest e mail backbones, from government agencies to free providers. SBL is no "silver bullet", but Spamhaus's finger in the dyke is a noble response to the global scourge of spam. It is undoubtedly more effective than the approach taken by California's spam vigilante, Charles Booher, who faces prison and a huge fine after allegedly threatening to send anthrax to a Canadian plastic surgery company that offered him penis enlargement. LANDMARK DIGITAL CAMERA: Canon EOS-300D. There are keen amateur photographers who will go to their graves clutching a roll of film -but the EOS-300D (left) is a sure sign that digital is now in the ascendency. Breaking the sub-£1,000 barrier for a camera with near-professional specifications, this Canon is remarkable for taking pictures full of minute detail. Check the sample images at and note every razor-sharp hair on the cat and the gloriously saturated colours on the statues. Meanwhile, camera quality for the beginner has leapt to three or four million pixels -good enough to print at A4 without noticeable grain. If only someone could fix those horrible mobile-phone cams ... COMMUNITY CRUSADER: David Williams. If the councillors of the Welsh sea-side resort of Colwyn Bay showed half as much passion and pride in their town as resident David Williams (below), one wonders if it would be in the "dilapidated" state that he describes. Williams is the webmaster of www.colwyn1., a site that is a shrine to Colwyn's heyday, stuffed full of pictures and affectionate anecdotes garnered from his career as a local newspaper photographer. It also acts as a goad for the men in suits, shaming them into action when the pond is filled with empty beer cans, or footpaths fall into dis-repair. Williams is neither a vindictive Victor Meldrew type, nor, as he can- didly admits, the world's best site designer: he is a one-man crusade against the inadequacies of bureaucrats, and his site stands as a testament to his cause. INDISPENSABLE GADGET: The Pen Drive. The tiny USB pen drive had humble beginnings indeed -no more than a keychain device to store data as a replacement for the ageing floppy disk. Today, the market for these little gizmos has exploded beyond recognition. Spurred on by plummeting memory prices and the proliferation of USB ports on computers, sales have increased twentyfold in three years, and global sales are expected to top £2.2 billion by 2006. This Christmas, you cannot turn round without seeing a new derivative, from the Migo (above), which transports your complete PC setup and e-mail system around on a key fob, to the Philips Camera Key Ring with its snazzy digital camera and flash-memory combo. There is even one built into a wristwatch ( SOFTWARE OF THE YEAR: Microsoft Digital Image Suite. Great photo software from Microsoft? Bill Gates's crew may have released some stinkers in the past, but Digital Image Suite is a winner. For £65, this is software that will put a smile on the face of any digital-camera owner - beginner or pro. It comprises two programs: an album for storing and archiving photos to CD, and an editor for enhancing and editing images. Both are superb. The editor will improve poor pictures and remove glitches with ease; the album makes it a doddle to find what you want, and will even create narrated photo shows on video CDs that will play back for relatives across the Atlantic. A must for any digital-camera enthusiast. WHITE FEATHERS AWARD: MSN.

Wafer-thin excuse of the year must be MSN's attempt to explain away the hard-nosed commercial decision to close its online chat rooms by citing the pretext that children risked being stalked by paedophiles -undoubtedly true rather than simply admitting it wouldn't foot the bill for proper supervision. Gillian Kent, director of MSN, told Doors: "We have taken a stand to provide our users with a safer online environment." This move merely turfed thousands of kids into the cyber-streets elsewhere on the net. Rival portals, such as Freeserve and AOL, have rightly rec- ognised their obligation to provide registration, professional moderators and education for young chat-room visitors, rather than abandoning the less profitable parts of their services because they don't want to invest in making them safe. BODY PART OF THE YEAR: The teenage thumb. Thumb culture was busier than ever, as the mobile phone further evolved from a communications device to a customised badge of identity for the digital age. Texting dominated: a record 1.8 billion messages were sent in the UK during October, as teens found a lingua franca for flirting, dumping and gossiping. Meanwhile, electronic ringtones invaded every playground, and the Sugababes hit Round Round made more money as a ringtone than as a single. Java games and Multimedia Messaging Services -this year's new kids on the block -are competing in a European youth market worth £4.8 billion. Picture messaging created a silent rhyming slang: sending Britney Spears meant "Fancy a few beers?". THE LAZARUS RISES AWARD: Rock music. "The biggest underground movement since punk" is an over-used accolade, but when applied to internet-led music by the head of the UK independent Gut Records, the tag carried authenticity. "Screamo", which sounds as you think it might, and its lighter cousin "emo" (short for emotional) combine to provide rock music for web-savvy youth, and the internet message board is the medium for keeping in touch with heavy-metal heroes. The Brighton band Hiding With Girls let fans choose its next single through its website, and the Welsh quintet Funeral for a Friend (right) cultivated chat forums to breach the Top 30 in October. As a brand, Kerrang! spread the rock gospel: its strong web-radio audience helped it to win a new digital radio licence. LET'S GET SOCIABLE CHALLENGE SHIELD: Online gaming. Gamers are sad individuals who sit alone for hours in their bedrooms, right? Absolutely not. In 2003, gamers got a life as leading console makers took online multiplayer facilities into the mainstream. Half a million players worldwide are ready and waiting for action on Microsoft's Xbox Live service, goading and cajoling each other over headsets while thrashing round the track in, for example, Project Gotham Racing 2. And talk seems to result in, er, relationships.

"Many players who would not ordinarily have been in contact made friends through playing," reports Professor Talmadge Wright of Loyola University, Chicago. "Actions in cyberspace can have seemingly beneficial consequences." With PlayStation2 ramping up its net service and hard-core PC players well practised, we await the first online gamers' wedding. MULTIMEDIA OCTOPUS: Encarta 2004. Here is the buzz phrase "rich media" gloriously defined before your eyes -video, image, sound, animation and text all elegantly married. The latest edition of Microsoft's flagship encyclopaedia, on both DVD and CD-Rom, boasts an innovative visual browser as an easy way into the vast arsenal of information, and painstaking cross-referencing brings depth to any search. Even if Encarta were judged only on the tentacle-like reach of its features, it would emerge leagues ahead of most other reference works. A dictionary of 20,000 quotations has been added to the existing library of sound files and 3-D recreations of such historical sites as Edward I's unfinished masterpiece, Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey. Meanwhile, 360-degree views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas vie with superb video clips -among which, insights into the life of the octopus prove appropriately engrossing. TECHIE LEAP FORWARD: Microsoft Media Center. With the digital lifestyle rapidly turning our living rooms into a branch of Dixons, is it any wonder that a Mori survey revealed that two-thirds of people want all their home entertainments in a single box? Full marks, then, to Microsoft's Media Center, which not only combines television recording, DVD, music, the internet and computing into a single operating system, but makes them work with unmitigated ease and elegance. And all from one remote control. Someone really should buy Bill Gates a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and remind him how we spell "centre" over here, but when the likes of Jupiter Research claims this will become the operating system of choice in the new year, that's some kind of landmark. GOOD RIDDANCE WOODEN SPOON: Oftel. Oftel is no more. Crack open another bottle of champers. The telecoms watchdog known unaffectionately by its critics as "Gums" leaves a shameful legacy. Under its toothless boss David Edmonds, it has spent more time justifying its existence than taking BT to task for its disgraceful tardiness in dragging UK telecoms into the 21st century. Oftel recently trumpeted that 3m UK homes have broadband - unverified figures provided by BT and the cable companies themselves, and with no indication of how many of those customers were surfing at a slothful 128kbps, Oftel's laughable minimum standard. Oftel's successor, the all-encompassing Ofcom, promises a rigorous review of broadband and clearer research. The fact that it published Oftel's 3m figure on its own website does not bode well.

LOADED GUN AWARD: The all-powerful consumer. Online shoppers have never had it so good as internet shops and related services have fallen over themselves to become more appealing -none more so than price-comparison websites. Not only have their range and number exploded this year, but a site such as shares information that was once for its directors' eyes only. The increasing tendency for consumers to shop around online for the best deal at a site such as has placed a loaded gun in the shopper's hand. This was also the year when the auction site eBay overtook Amazon as the UK's biggest online retailer -a direct gauge of the consumer's appetite for striking a bargain. In response, Amazon has upped the ante by introducing its Marketplace as a means to sell second-hand goods. DIGITAL PATHFINDER: Ashley Highfeild. The BBC has assumed new confidence in blazing a trail for 21st-century technology, its web portal,, standing second to none in scope and delivery of multimedia, news and social services. Overseeing this empire, and cast as chief futurologist, is Ashley Highfield (right), director of new media, whose talk for the Royal Television Society was a tour de force, outlining the digitally powered society that beckons ( Such leadership has not gone without criticism, however. Detractors -notably the British Internet Publishers' Alliance point to the BBC's budget "overspend" of £100m a year on internet services alone, and the difficulty of competing with a publicly funded service. They call for BBC Online to be more accountable. TEACHING GRANNY TO SUCK EGGS TROPHY: Apple. Downloading turned into a torrent in 2003, as legal music clubs burst onto the web. Amid the controversy surrounding the ethics of file-sharing networks, such as Kazaa, that enable the illicit swapping of music files, one company led the way in legitimate listening. Apple must take credit for two immensely popular innovations that this year changed the way we receive, listen to and pay for music. The iPod media player became the Walkman of its era, placing a 10,000-song jukebox in the palm of your hand, and the iTunes music service offered tracks for download over the internet at 99 cents apiece 25 million sales since April, the UK service launches next year. Apple taught those dumb music moguls a lesson they should have learnt years ago: that licensing their artists' songs to legitimate download services keeps music alive. RADIO AS TELEVISION AWARD: Freeview. Three factors have propelled Freeview's digital set-top box into 2.5m homes, which now enjoy 32 free television and text channels, plus 20 radio stations, after paying as little as

£50 for the box. One motive is BBC4, a glorious Shangri-la for the minority who want telly that deserves to be watched, rather than ambient wallpaper; another is the European Champions League football on ITV2; but the biggest motive is the radio, especially Kerrang!, Kiss and Smash Hits, which regularly attracted audiences of 500,000 each. Perversely, you might think that digital-quality radio is driving demand for this TV box: Freeview pulls in 8m listeners. Compare this with the paltry 317,000 viewers that the jejune BBC3 managed on its best night yet. HERO AMONG BLOGGERS: Salam Pax. Salam Pax, the Baghdad blogger, provided a rare note of humanity from the Iraqi front line. Pax's ramblings at -sample: "War sucks big time. Don't let yourself be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom" -were at once trivial and heart-rending. This anonymous 29-year-old architect, who was speaking from the centre of war, confirmed that tyrants cannot silence dissent so long as someone in the neighbourhood has a modem. Concurrently, BBC World Service listeners upped their text messages to the radio station tenfold. News websites saw unprecedented demand for alternatives to the official accounts of events, and the Arab television station Al-Jazeera launched an English version of its website to counter alleged western bias. This truly was the first internet war. UNSUNG SURVIVOR: Johnny Broadband. For two years, one of the few helpful guides through the burgeoning jungle of high-speed websites was the much-lauded -until Johnny fell on hard times last summer. Why? Because behind the superhero was a regular guy called John Morley, from Nottinghamshire, who lost his job as an internet developer. He created his directory of 20,000 links as a labour of love, then found he couldn't afford the £111 that his hosting company was asking for renewal. Johnny moved his site to its current address,, for which was charging £40 a month, but the site's 1,000 hits a day used more bandwidth -so the bill went up by £80. "I am still hanging in there, but this is money I just can't afford," Morley says. Such are the realities of life in the internet fast lane. FINALLY AFFORDABLE: The DVD recorder. At last, you can throw out the last vestige of 1970s technology, that old video recorder. No more fast-forwarding through tape to find what you want, then viewing it at half the quality of the original signal. DVD recorders, such as the entry-level Philips DVDR70 (above right), have fallen to £250. Next year, expect recorders for even less in the supermarkets. Once your VCR goes, you can join the digital age to enjoy better picture and sound quality, and fast programme retrieval. Four years ago, basic DVD players cost £400 and there were plenty of sceptics who though they would never take off.

Today, a player such as the Pacific 1002 costs one-tenth of that price (Pounds 42 from Memo to manufacturers: it's about price, people.

PC Data and Bookmarks Dangle From Your Key Chain
By J.D. BIERSDORFER December 18, 2003 With their large storage capacity and small size, U.S.B. flash memory drives have become a common way to carry large files from one computer to another. The tiny devices are getting even more useful, as demonstrated by the Migo from Forward Solutions, which can not only carry files but synchronize Outlook mailboxes so your correspondence is up to date no matter what computer you are using. The Migo has synchronization software that can keep documents and other files updated between different computers, and can even transfer personalized touches like your preferred desktop wallpaper and browser bookmarks to the PC at hand. In the event that personal information is to be stored in its memory, the Migo can be protected with a password for security. The Migo is available in two sizes, 128 megabytes (suggested price: $150) or 256 megabytes ($200); full specifications and a list of dealers can be found at The drive works with Windows 98 SE and later and Outlook 2000 and later. For students, business travelers or anybody who spends days roaming nomadically from computer to computer, the Migo can make every PC you use feel just a little bit like home.

My Gadget
Lena Basha December 2003 Gil Rutkowski Owner of Inova Consulting Corp. ( Chicago What he does: Owns a consulting and staffing company devoted to helping small- and medium-sized companies develop their IT departments. Favorite Gadget: A high-capacity USB-flash memory device What it is: The Migo USB-flash memory device can hold up to 256MB, allowing users to not only transfer simple data between computing devices, but also MP3s, Internet favorites, desktop background and Outlook e-mails – all on a device the size of a key. Why he likes it: “When I go to clients, I don’t want to carry a whole lot of CDs or burn fresh CDs whenever I need something. The Migo takes care of that. I see it as the keys to a car. You plug it in, you turn it and you’re moving. I have many friends who are computer literate, but who are easily tripped up by new technology and software. The Migo is so simple to install and use, I’m quite confident that I could drop this on anyone’s desk and with minimal instruction they’d have no issues using it.” Price: $150 for 128MB version; $200 for the 256MB version. To Buy:

By Ian Johnson December 8, 2003 TechReviews/?query=Migo

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Reviewed on: Windows XP, Windows 2000 Also available for: Windows 98 through XP Professional

The Good: Portable; easy to use; simple software; really cool way to temporarily duplicate your personal desktop on another machine. The Bad: Only works with Outlook 2000 or 2003 e-mail client, and the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser at the moment (although the company promises other e-mail clients and Web browsers will be added soon). The Verdict: If Outlook 2000/2003 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer are available on your work machine as well as another computer at home or at a travel destination, the Migo could relieve you of having to lug a laptop to get at your personal desktop and files. It's also a handy backup device.

REVIEW: Keyring memory drives are a fabulous invention, because they make it easy to take digital copies of information, pictures and music with you anywhere — plug them into a USB drive on any computer and you've got instant access to all those important files. But most people still have to carry a notebook computer home or on business trips, even if there's another computer available at their destination, because they need access to things like their personal e-mail system and list of Web favourites. It seems like such wasted effort to haul a notebook around when computers have become so prolific, but what 'ya gonna do, right? Well, if you have the right software configuration on your main machine, you might want to check out the Migo from Forward Solutions Inc.

Migo is basically a keychain drive — plug it into a Windows computer and the system will set it up as a removable hard drive so that you can drag-and-drop files to and from it. The drive comes in 128MB or 256MB capacities for $149.95 (U.S.) or $199.95, respectively. That's a hefty premium over a standard keychain drive, but there's a reason. The Migo has some built-in software called PocketLogin that makes it far, far more useful than one of its generic cousins. When you plug in the Migo and call it up in the My Computer window, you'll find a file stored on it. Run that file, and things get interesting. First of all, you'll be presented with a screen that asks whether you want to synchronize the Migo with the computer, or run your own profile on that computer. You choose the first option when you run Migo on your main computer. For most people, that's probably the work PC, but some may choose to synchronize with a home computer. Up comes a screen with option so synchronize the folders in the machine's Outlook 2000 or 2003 mail client (including mail folders, contacts and calendar items). It will also take note of your basic Windows preference settings and wallpaper, your Web browser favourites, as well as specific files and folders you tell it to copy. The software's interface is simple and clear, so you shouldn't have to resort to the manual. The whole sync process takes less than a minute. The second option in the log-in screen is used when you're working on a Windows computer in, say, a hotel, Internet cafe, at a friend's place — anywhere you need access to that main computer's files and settings. For most people, this would probably be at a home computer, accessing the settings and files of a work system, but it could also be a machine at school, a resort or grandma's house. Choose this second log-in option, and a small tab will appear at the top of the screen. Highlight the tab and click on your main computer's name on the drop-down tab, and the Migo's magic happens. After a couple of seconds, the borrowed computer's desktop will get replaced by what you'd see if you were logging in on your main PC. Like a curtain dropping from the top of the screen, the borrowed machine's desktop image will be overwritten by your own wallpaper from your main machine, along with shortcut icons to your files, folders and email system. Fire up the browser, it will have all your favourites listed. Use the e-mail link, and you'll see your computer's inbox and outbox as they were when you last synchronized the Migo with your PC, and you'll be able to check answer e-mail as if you were at your own desktop. You'll be able to access all the files stored on the Migo from desktop icons as if they were stored on the computer you're borrowing, too. The crucial point here is that everything you do on the borrowed computer is entirely temporary. You're working off the Migo, so when you unplug it, there's no trace of what you were doing on the borrowed computer. Whether it's your home PC or an Internet cafe machine, no files or work record are left behind for others to snoop. I looked for telltale tracks among the borrowed PC's temp files, Web cache and document history after I removed the Migo, but couldn't find anything.

The Migo is also password protected (there's a built-in hint system to help you if you get forgetful), but unfortunately there's no encryption. If you lose the Migo or it gets stolen, your files will still be secure due to the way the Migo stores the data, the company says. Here's how Migo's director of product development, John Dye, says it works: The password mechanism is part of both the firmware and software of the Migo. Without the password, you cannot access the data that is stored on the secured partition. When the user creates a password for the Migo, the device reformats the drive into two separate partitions. The first is a small 3 MB non-secure (public) partition containing the PocketLogin software application. The second is a much larger (125MB or 253MB depending on the size of Migo you have) partition that holds the user's data. When the user inserts the Migo into their computer, they see the unprotected area along with the PocketLogin application. Clicking on the application opens a window prompt asking for a password. The firmware in the Migo checks the password and then remounts the drive using the protected portion of the drive. Form there, the user has access to the secured data until the device is removed from the computer or the user exits PocketLogin. So if the password isn't supplied, the drive appears with a 3MB storage capacity. If the password is provided, it unlocks the drive as the full 128MB or 256MB device. I'm not a professional code-breaker but I know a few basic system-busting tricks, and I couldn't crack the security. Still, I'm not sure I'd personally want to put it up against a hard-core hacker without some solid encryption as a last line of defense. That said, the Migo's software is superb in terms of user-friendliness. You don't need to install a thing on any Windows computer to get it to work, as long as the PC has a USB port and can recognize a removable drive — just run that little program stored on the Migo and up comes your personal desktop. The software ran perfectly in my tests on Windows 2000 and XP machines, except in one case on a Win2000 desktop on a corporate network. For some reason, the Migo wanted to log in and synchronize with the borrowed computer as if were my primary PC. I still haven't been able to figure out what I did wrong in that one case — my only theory is that the other computer was an identical model to mine on the same network, and with an identical disk image created by the IT department - but otherwise the software behaved as it was supposed to. The desktop overlay on a borrowed PC's desktop is intriguing. You'll only see the shortcuts to your files and folders, but if you go to the Start button, you'll still be able to access all the underlying files and resources of the borrowed PC. But on the surface, anything you access from the temporary desktop is "yours" — your browser favourites, files and even an MP3 folder, for example, and they all come out of the Migo's memory. The main limitation is the size of the Migo. Even the 256MB unit only has so much space — if you save a lot of photo, music or video files along with your basic desktop settings, you'll run out of space pretty quickly. As such, the system-customization can only go as far as the Migo's storage allows, and you may have to leave big files, archives or databases behind on your main PC. The Migo will warn you if you're trying to synchronize more than it can handle, too, and has a meter showing how much space is used and how much is still free in case you want to add in some more files.

When you log back in to your primary PC, any changes you've made to the Migo files while working on borrowed computers will be synchronized on your main machine. Your e-mail boxes will be updated, and the latest copies of files and folders will overwrite the old ones on your computer. The Migo is supremely portable, but the designers cut corners in one spot they really shouldn't have. Most keychain memory drives have a good, solid cap to cover the USB connector and prevent it from getting wet, soiled or filled with lint. The Migo comes only with one of those little opaque plastic covers they put on the ends of USB cables to protect them during shipping — those ones you throw away as soon as you open the retail package. The lack of a decent cap, considering the premium you're paying for the Migo, is just cheesy. On the up-side, software maintenance is all taken care of for you. PocketLogin's synchronization process automatically checks for software and firmware upgrades on the Internet each time you hook it up to a computer with Internet access. The Migo is brilliant, but it has its Achilles heel. It currently only works with the Microsoft Outlook 2000 or 2002 e-mail system. It's not compatible with Outlook Express or other email clients. This is a problem, since most people I know are on Outlook at the office, but run Outlook Express at home. Not too many hotels and Internet cafe computers are tooled up with Outlook, either — most let you access e-mail only through a Web portal such as Hotmail or YahooMail. Making e-mail portable is one of those most compelling reasons to invest in a device like this. Sure, synchronizing all the files automatically at the touch of a button is a fantastic convenience, but most people could probably get by simply by copying the files they need onto a cheaper keychain drive before leaving work, and then working off the keychain drive at home or at a hotel. Having your wallpaper cover the existing one on the temporary desktop you're using is cool, too, but it's just fun eye candy. Without wide e-mail compatibility you're mainly left with the ability to work with your files when you're at someone's else's computer. As such, the business case for paying a substantial per cent premium over a standard keychain drive in order to get the Migo software gets weaker. But that could soon change. Forward Solutions says it plans to support e-mail systems and Web browsers beyond Outlook and IE, although it doesn't have solid dates yet. The main upcoming e-mail update will handle Lotus Notes followed by AOL, it said, and the company is also working on a Mac and Linux product as well as Netscape support. General software updates to the Migo are free, but the company hasn't finalized the pricing for upgrades to handle new mail systems. Until the upgrades arrive, if you do run Outlook both at home and at work or you know you'll have Outlook access at a hotel or friend's place where you regularly stay, the Migo is a really cool way to take your desktop with you without lugging a laptop. And it's a nice backup device to make sure you've got a copy of important files in case your desktop crashes or your notebook gets stolen.

The gadget is most useful to a niche audience using Microsoft software now, but when it becomes able to synch with other browsers and e-mail systems outside the workplace, the Migo is suddenly going to become very appealing to a wide range of people.

Words from well-traveled
By Chris Oliver Advertiser Staff Writer December 7, 2003 Inside Denver International Airport last month, travelers moved slowly through the security checkpoint in various states of undress. Beneath a "Got Laptop?" sign, transportation security officials worked tirelessly to keep the line moving. With outside temperatures in the low 40s, hats, coats, scarves, jackets, and shoes had to come off inside the terminal. The biggest holdup? Shoes. If you're traveling through an airport this holiday season, whether it's Neighbor Island or to the East Coast and beyond, wear easy-to-remove shoes. They do have to come off at security. What else can make your journey easier and reduce stress? We asked some of Hawai'i's frequent travelers for their best holiday travel tips: Jeanette Foster, travel writer: Foster, who is updating Frommer's Hawai'i guide for 2005, travels inter-island twice a month, to the Mainland six times a year, internationally two or three times a year. "I try not to check baggage and always prepare myself for delays with a bottle of water and reading materials," she said. To save space in her bag, Foster intends to leave her laptop at home and take instead a Migo, a tiny device that contains software which allows the user to copy the contents of a PC — e-mail, Web-page favorites and key files or folders. "When you get to where you're going, at a hotel business center or Internet cafe, you plug in the Migo, enter your password and you're all set. It's a godsend for business travelers," Foster said.

The Migo

Taking your computer profile with you
I.J. Hudson, Tech Reporter December 3, 2003 The Migo from Forward Solutions, plugs into almost any windows computer, and carries your profile. That could include important documents, your latest email, presentations, and even your wallpaper to personalize it all. Why? So any computer at a hotel, cybercafe, or another office can be personalized to look and act like your machine at work or home. Who's it for? Joshua Feller is President of Forward Solutions: "the real focus is the mobile professional, the person that either works in the office all day and then goes to home and work and is used to dragging a laptop back and forth or trying to copy things on the disks. Now you just need to carry the Migo." The Migo has built in security and software to help you set up which files you want to carry. "We allow you to pick and choose either entire folders of data, or within a particular folder, you can filter it, and you can see I only want two weeks of data or files that have changed in the last 30 or 60 days as opposed to taking the entire my documents folder, which could be hundreds and hundreds of megabytes," says Feller. Plug in the Migo, the wallpaper and icons change, and the data is there for Outlook, Word and other applications. The Migo doesn't transport applications. They must be resident on the machine. Return from the road trip and the Migo syncs up the work or home machine with the work you've done on the road. Thousands of road warriors carry laptop computers all across the country, and Feller says the Migo could save them from losing company data if the laptop is stolen. "If that machine is stolen, you've lost the asset, but you have all the data in your pocket, and you can just go into your presentation and say, may I borrow the computer in the conference room?' You plug it in, log in and do your presentation as though nothing had happened." Someday, a slightly huskier Migo may make the migration of old programs and data to a new machine a snap. The Migo from Forward Solutions retails for 200-dollars.

Who's Walking Around With Your Files?
By Brian Livingston December 1, 2003 At this very moment, one of your employees may be walking out of your building with a complete set of word-processing documents, e-mail messages, even Windows desktop settings. This could actually be good. It probably means that your employees have the benefit of new, little devices you've given them, called keychain drives, that allow them to work away from the office without having to carry a laptop computer. The Keychain of the Future Storage devices that fit on a keyring or belt — and fit into a USB slot on any desktop or notebook PC — aren't all that new. But these little external drives are now being programmed to support roaming workers in ways that add a whole new dimension to portable computing. Examples of the new breed of roaming devices are: • Optimal Desktop. This product is software that you install on removable media. The ultra-portable device stores all your browser favorites, desktop settings, and files you commonly work with, so you can access them at a different computer. In addition to working with USB keychain drives of any capacity, Optimal Desktop can be used with Zip or Jaz disks or the Flash memory contained in handhelds. • Migo. A new entry into the market, Migo stores the same kinds of information as the Optimal Desktop, but goes farther by also handling Microsoft Outlook e-mail files. You can copy any or all messages and e-mail folders to a Migo from one machine and then reply to the messages from another. Migo synchronizes everything when the device is once again plugged into the primary PC. The product is software that's integrated into a specially "hardened," secure USB drive. Optimal Desktop has been shipping for about the past 12 months, but the Migo device became available only about eight weeks ago. Both offerings go far beyond the ordinary cut-and-paste usage of plain USB keychain drives, in terms of empowering office workers to be productive outside of headquarters. A Whole Office in Your Pocket

Optimal Desktop comes in a Standard edition, which is downloadable free; a Professional edition, which is $39.95 for one user; and a Mobile edition, which is $49.95. In a telephone interview, Karan Bavandi, the president and CEO of software maker Optimal Access Inc., said corporate orders for 1,000 or more copies of Optimal Desktop Mobile would receive a 50 percent to 60 percent discount from these prices. Bavandi says any removable device that has Optimal Desktop Mobile installed can be password-protected to prevent access if the device is lost or stolen. In addition, the software can maintain a list of passwords needed to log onto various Web sites, and that password application can itself be password-protected. A Secure Enterprise E-Mail Gizmo By contrast to Optimal Desktop, Migo is somewhat more oriented toward enterprises that have a substantial investment in Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server for centrally managed e-mail. Once employees have been set up with Migo devices, any important files and any selected quantity of their e-mails can go anywhere with them on their keychains. Any computer at home or in an Internet café can become a workstation, displaying each user's familiar shortcuts and mail folders. This type of roaming requires that the "guest" computer the employee is using have both Microsoft Windows (98 SE or higher) and Microsoft Outlook (2000 or XP, with Outlook 2003 support coming soon). Because Migo devices don't ordinarily store entire application suites, the outside PC also needs Microsoft Office if Word and Excel documents are to be edited remotely. Migo lists for $150 with a 128 MB USB drive or $200 for 256 MB. Josh Feller, president of Forward Solutions Inc., the manufacturer of Migo, says the price of the larger unit would drop to "the $140 to $150 range" for orders of 1,000. The Corporate Interest in Roaming Isn't it dangerous for employees to take all that data outside of the company itself? Not really. The people who work with this data probably have many ways to save it or print it out if they ever wished to. If your files are so sensitive that this concerns you, you should have adminstrator-level alerts in place to prevent users from attempting to download an entire file, whether to a USB drive or a removable hard disk. Optimal Desktop and Migo are ideal for cases in which employees are trusted to handle their day-to-day documents responsibly but can't always be sitting in front of the same desktop computer. Using intelligent keychain drives, your company can stock a set of standard laptop computers, which are then "brought to life" by employees who simply plug their traveling gizmo into a USB port. If one laptop fails, the USB device can be switched to any other machine that has the same suite of software, and the work can continue. Forward Solutions' Feller says the Migo is specially designed to give confidence to enterprise IT leaders. The firmware of the device itself protects the passwords, making it extremely secure against attacks on the data if a device falls into the wrong hands.

Conclusion Most enterprises have a need for some employees to work on documents while traveling or during their off-hours at home. Software such as Optimal Desktop Mobile and hardware such as Migo now makes it exceptionally easy for users to do this without lugging with them a laptop computer and all the usual transformers and cables. To research the possibilities of these products for your company, see the descriptions at and


Silicon Santa
Handing out holiday bonuses? These high-tech gadgets are sure to cheer everyone from the achiever in the corner office to the slacker down in the mail room. By Shoshana Berger, December 2003 Issue,1640,53303|2,00.html The CEO [1] IBM ThinkPad T41: You need a computer that knows how to keep a secret. This 4.9-pound laptop comes with built-in encryption to shield your proprietary data from prying competitors. $1,669-$3,699; [2] Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 5: These space-age loudspeakers deliver 2,500 watts of sound that's calibrated to the acoustics of your room with the push of a button. $16,000; [3] Shanling CD-T100 CD player: The retro looks are more than skin-deep. The CDT100 uses four vacuum tubes to bring out the depth in your discs. $1,995; [4] PolyVision Interactive Plasma Display: No more group hugs around the PC. Instead, share your vision on this digital whiteboard that doubles as a computer monitor. $12,499; [5] Nokia Vertu: It's just a phone, not a PDA -- but that's why you hired a personal assistant. Vertu announces your arrival in fine metal casings forged from stainless steel, gold, or platinum. $5,200-$21,000; [6] Sony Clié PEG UX-50: This extra-slick handheld is also extra-handy: Powered by Palm OS 5, it has an MP3 player, a digital camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a rotating color screen. $700; The Tech Wonk [1] Antec iLuminate LED: Any PC looks fast and furious with LEDs under the hood, pulsating to the beat of your music. $20;

[2] Dremel 8000-01 Cordless: This little baby is like a Cuisinart for case modders. The 10.8-volt cordless rotary tool comes with 60 attachments to make handy work of your extracurricular projects. $70; [3] Koss Pro4AA: Selective hearing can be a beautiful thing. These headphones seal your ears inside an acoustic cocoon so you can appreciate the head-banging bass without driving your co-workers crazy. $100; [4] HP Workstation zx6000: It's pretty, it's powerful, and if you want, it comes with Linux installed. The HP zx6000 is the first dual-processor workstation based on Intel's nextgeneration Itanium2 64-bit chip. From $5,623; [5] Sony Ericsson T616: Maintain your telepresence with this handsome little camera phone that comes equipped with five-way conference-call capability, multimedia messaging, and POP and IMAP e-mail. $369.99; [6] Combat DigiQ Tanks: With three battle modes, infrared cannons, and remote control, DigiQ's 2-inch tanks let you fight corporate battles from the comfort of your cubicle. $79.95 each;

The Road Warrior [1] Aura FoneGear: Bluetooth cell-phone headsets are expensive. Here's a cheaper cordless alternative. Aura's FoneGear uses magnetic induction to deliver 25 hours of talk on one AA battery. $59-$79; [2] Migo: This 256MB USB key fob synchronizes and transfers your desktop settings, Outlook e-mail, and browser favorites to any PC, so you'll always feel right at home. $200; [3] Apple iPod: The best MP3 player keeps getting better. Now available with personalized engravings and 40GB of storage, the iPod is the ultimate accessory for jetset nomads. $500; [4] TravelPro Platinum 3 Rollaboard: TravelPro was founded by an airline pilot, so the company's no-nonsense Platinum 3 includes plenty of pockets and an expandable main compartment. $300; [5] Sony Vaio TR2: Meet the perfect cross-country companion. Powered by a wirelessready, 1-GHz Pentium M processor and a long-life battery, the 3.1-pound TR2 also includes a CD-RW/DVD drive. $2,200; [6] Handspring Treo 600: The Mensa-smart phone has arrived, brilliantly endowed with a "qwerty" keyboard, Palm OS 5, Outlook-compatible e-mail, and a Web browser. From $500;

The Mail Room Dude [1] Diesel DZ7023: The Space Invaders-style readout is old school, but the water-resistant case gives this watch a clean, contemporary feel. $120; [2] Tapwave Zodiac: Crossbreed a PDA with a GameBoy and what do you get? The Zodiac multimedia player -- a do-it-all entertainment device that delivers MP3s, videos, and Tony Hawk skateboarding. From $300; [3] Jansport T246 Euphonic: This made-for-media knapsack sports retractable hi-fi earbuds, side pockets for your MP3 player or discs, and a built-in volume control. $60; [4] Apple iBook: Slick as soap, the 4.9-pound, 12-inch iBook comes with a CDRW/DVD drive and enough multimedia software to terrorize the recording industry. $1,300; [5] T-Mobile Sidekick: The original was sweet, but the new version is sweeter, with a luscious color screen, a camera, 32MB of memory, POP e-mail access, and AIM instant messaging. $300; [6] Mongoose Hornet FS: Rocket to work on the electric FS; its 24-volt brushless DC motor and full suspension hum through the urban jungle at up to 15 mph. $539.99; The Garage Entrepreneurs [1] Mini Memory watch: The 128MB memory card and the USB cable built into the band mean your data will always be close at hand. $128; [2] Yamaha MusicCast: Garage rock goes high-tech with this 80GB server and built-in CD-RW drive. You can also pump your music to five different locations via Wi-Fi. $2,800; [3] Microsoft MN-700 Wireless Base Station: Gates & Co. weigh in with an 802.11g wireless router that comes with 256-bit encryption and a very competitive price. $139; [4] Minolta DiMage Xt Biz: Designed specifically for business users, this 3.2-megapixel digital camera attaches voice recordings to pictures so you can connect your ideas to their inspiration. $350;

[5] Mitel Networks 5240: This voice-over-IP phone does more than just save money; it also boasts a large backlit display, visual voice-mail, Web browsing, XML compatibility, and PDA integration. $650; [6] Toshiba Portege M200: Toshiba's newest tablet PC comes with a 1.5-GHz Centrino chip, an elegant docking station, and a display that adjusts automatically to show off your big ideas in portrait or landscape mode. From $2,300;

December 2003


Leave Your Laptop at Home
Lori MacVittie Nov 25, 2003 If you travel between two or more offices within your organization and hate carrying your laptop around, but don't want to be without your e-mail and important documents, Forward Solutions can help you out. The Migo device lets you transport any part of your desktop between machines without installing drivers or software. Migo is a combination of synchronization software and a USB 1.1 storage device. Other USB storage devices may be used to transport documents, but it's unlikely they can provide customizable synchronization with Outlook for instant access to your e-mail, calendar and contacts in a familiar environment. Nor are they likely to offer the personality transplant provided by Migo. I tested a 128-MB version of Migo in our Real-World Labs® in Green Bay, Wis., and was delighted with the prospect of being able to substitute a finger-sized device for my laptop while traveling between my home office and our labs. Migo can store profiles for many machines--you assign them nicknames to differentiate. Additionally, each machine is designated as a "synchronization" or "login" machine. Synchronization machines serve as your primary workstations; login machines are secondary machines that you work from, such as those in remote offices. The machine type (login or synchronization) can be changed at any time. Sync and Go I designated my Windows XP SP1a laptop as a synchronization machine and was presented with a set of configuration options. File synchronization can be based on file type, modification within a user-configurable number of days or simply "all files." As a boon, when you choose the files and directories to synchronize, Migo displays the amount of space left on the device as well as the space necessary to synchronize the files you've chosen. I synchronized my desktop, a few directories and some specific files, as well as Outlook and IE, including bookmarks. Because the device is USB 1.1, it's slow for both synchronization and the log in/log out process, but it did the job. Next, I plugged Migo into the Windows XP Pro SP1a Dell I use in the lab, gave the machine a nickname and made it a login machine. Migo loaded its software, which

appears in the system tray, and placed a small tab at the top of the desktop called "PocketLogin." When you click on the PocketLogin tab, you get a visual representation of the desktop for each machine you've designated as a synchronized machine (see screen at right). I clicked on the visual representation of my laptop, and Migo "logged me in." My laptop's desktop appeared, down to the background but minus the shortcuts to applications I hadn't synchronized. Clicking on "My Documents" took me to the documents I had synchronized off my laptop, not to the local folder on the login machine. I modified a few files from "My Documents." When I later returned to my sync laptop, I was presented with a list of new and modified files and was able to sync these changes to their folders. Suspicious as I am, I opened the control panel on the login machine to see if an additional, perhaps temporary, user had been created. Impressively, Migo performed no modifications to the machine or its settings; all desktop shortcuts to user-specific data were directed at the Migo device rather than the local machine. Sync Specifics I ran Outlook 2003 on my login machine, and this posed a problem: Migo supports only Oulook 2000 and 2002. Forward Solutions expects to offer support for Outlook 2003 soon. I worked around the difficulty by opening my PST (Outlook's personal folder files) on Migo within Outlook 2003 and configuring my Outlook 2003 to use Migo as its data store. I tried Migo on a different XP machine in the lab with Outlook 2000, and it worked as expected. Still not satisfied, I tried the same process on a Windows 2000 Pro machine and was pleased to discover no difference in functionality. Good • Flexible synchronization options • Zero-footprint application except on Windows 98 (requires driver install) • Attractive pricing Bad • Device is USB 1.1 (not 2.0) • Does not

Migo uses the existing transport to send and only modifies the POP3 settings to match your own, so it requires that you have at least one mail account on the login machine in order to send mail through it. This is the only way to deal with ISPs that require users to send mail from an IP within their network. If you're using Outlook in corporate mode (i.e., connecting to Exchange), you'll need a VPN connection or you'll have to read mail via Exchange's Web interface. Forward Solutions says it is looking into more elegant solutions for Exchange, as well as support for additional groupware solutions in the future. You'll also need to remember your Exchange password. For security reasons, Migo doesn't transfer your POP3/IMAP account passwords. My IE bookmarks were accessible, though IE cookies and auto-form-fill data were not transferred. I'd like to see support for other common and personalized applications as well, such as instant messaging clients and alternative browsers. You can sync the configuration files, but most people aren't aware of the location of these files, and it would be sweet for Migo to do this for users. Resizing the task bar proves the product isn't flawless. When I did that, all local shortcuts reappeared on the desktop and couldn't be hidden again without logging out and logging back in. Data storage on the device appears to be secure. I couldn't see any files on the device unless I was logged in with the proper password. I copied the executable to a different USB storage device, but the application wouldn't run off a non-Migo device. Plugging the device into a Linux machine and mounting the file system provided a similar experience: The main application appeared, but no other files could be seen or accessed on the file system. Out of Network Migo doesn't solve issues with remote connectivity to Exchange if you're outside the organization. If you can't communicate with Exchange via Outlook remotely now, Migo cannot give you this functionality, unless the machine you use as your remote desktop via Migo uses a VPN connection to provide access. POP3 and IMAP, however, can be used if your organization allows remote access over the public network, but this limits the use of calendaring, as integration with Exchange is necessary for such functionality within Outlook. If, however, you're looking only for the basics--e-mail, contacts and files-Migo is just the thing to obviate carrying a laptop from office to office, and it's well worth the price. Lori MacVittie is a Network Computing technology editor working in our Green Bay, Wis., labs. Write to her at

You Can Lug Home Your Office Computer Inside Your Pocket
By WALTER S. MOSSBERG November 20, 2003 In a world of multiple PCs, keeping them all coordinated is a hassle. Some people lug laptops home every night, so they can work on their office files and office e-mail after hours. Others use slow dial-up connections at home or in hotels to perform cumbersome remote log-ins to office networks. But, what if you could take the key contents of your office PC, and much of its look and feel, anywhere, without lugging a laptop or logging in to your office network? A new $150 gadget about as big as your thumb, called the Migo, lets you do just that. You just plug the little Migo into the USB port of your office PC -- or any other Windows PC you choose -- and software embedded on the device will copy onto the Migo your recent Outlook e-mail, Web-page "favorites," key files or folders you designate, even your desktop icons and wallpaper. Then, when you get to any other PC where you'd like to work -- at home, at a hotel business center, Internet cafe, etc. -- you plug the Migo in again and enter your password. In seconds, this "guest" machine is transformed into a partial clone of your original PC. Your own desktop icons and wallpaper replace the ones that were there before. Your own e-mail shows up in Outlook instead of the e-mail that was there before. Your own Internet favorites show up in the second machine's Web browser instead of the favorites that were there before. And your own key files show up in a desktop folder and can be opened in Microsoft Office or other applications. When you're done working on the second PC, you just log out of the Migo and remove it. The machine you were using reverts to its original state. And when you return to your original PC, the Migo updates its files to reflect any changes you made. I have been testing the Migo for a week or so, using six different Windows PCs, and I really like it. There are a few small downsides, but in general it works as advertised. The Migo, made by Forward Solutions of San Ramon, Calif., is based on a popular new type of computer storage called a keychain drive. These are pocket-size devices stuffed with memory chips that can hold computer files. Many people already use keychain drives that cost much less than the Migo to move key files between different PCs. But Migo vastly improves this process, because it comes

with synchronization software that's embedded right in its hardware, along with an embedded security system that protects your files. With a cheap, plain-vanilla keychain, it would take a lot of work to replicate as much of the original PC experience, including e-mail, bookmarks and wallpaper, as the Migo does. With the Migo, all this happens with a few mouse clicks. By default, the Migo copies the past 30 days of e-mail in your Outlook inbox, any items on your desktop that have changed in the past 30 days, your wallpaper and your Internet Explorer browser favorites. A simple interface will let you customize this. You can choose to copy more or fewer days of e-mail, or e-mail from Outlook folders other than the inbox. You can select specific files or folders to copy, or certain types of files and not others. The software monitors the total size of the material you want to copy and warns you if it will exceed the capacity of the Migo. Currently there are two models: a 128 megabyte model that sells for $150 and a 256 MB model for $200. The company plans a 512 MB model by the end of the year, and models with more than a gigabyte of storage in 2004. In my tests with a 256 MB model, I found I could pack in plenty of e-mail and lots of key files. Migo stores all of your stuff in a secure portion of the device that can be accessed only with a password, if you opt for password protection. When you log into the Migo on a second PC, a small tab appears at the top of the screen with a thumbnail picture of the desktop of your original PC. You just click on the picture and the second PC is transformed. You can even save the key contents of multiple PCs on the Migo and install any of them on a guest PC. Migo can be purchased from the company's Web site, at, or from various retailers listed on that site. However, there are some restrictions and drawbacks to the Migo. Any guest machine you want to use must have Outlook installed, plus any programs, like Microsoft Office, whose files you want to use. In addition, Migo leaves some traces of your work and files behind on the guest machine, even though the actual files are stored only on the Migo. For instance, a copy of Word on the guest machine may list your file names as recently used, though the files themselves can no longer be accessed. Migo's maker promises a new version soon that will totally wipe out these vestiges. Also, I ran into a nasty crash twice when trying to remove my Migo. The company says it is working on a fix. But, all in all, Migo is a terrific little product that makes life simpler.

Putting the P in PC
By Tim Bajarin November 2003 A simple USB key enables road warriors to personalize any computer. Articleid=997&Zoneid=38 While working on a mobile computing project for a major PC vendor in 1989, I started thinking about creating what I called a “mobile brick,” a small plug-in module with a CPU, hard drive and I/O ports that could become a sort of modular PC. My vision was to have a PC shell on a desk in a hotel where I would be able to plug in my brick (which stored my data, files, personal desktop and UI on it) and make that shell my own personal computer. I envisioned a day when my local library (and even the back of every airplane seat) would have a similar PC shell available and all I needed to do was plug in my brick and they, too, would instantly become my very own PC. Back then, however, the technology wasn’t available to deliver anything like this. While the technology is accessible today, convincing hotels, libraries and airlines to support a PC shell is highly unlikely given the low costs of PCs and the fact that if you really need a PC on the road, you can just go to a hotel’s business center or an Internet café and use a public PC. You can also use products like Laplink Everywhere or GoToMyPC to access your files from the road, but these assume you have left your PC powered up and connected while away. The one thing that is missing from this scenario is the ability to carry with you all of your files, personal UI, desktop and preferences—all of the things that make your PC extremely personal. Well, the folks from Forward Solutions have come up with a product called the MIGO. It’s based on a USB Key Flash Drive, which I can use to carry my personal digital stuff with me for use on any PC. This unique device comes with customized software that basically allows a person to automatically download her own desktop UI, personal settings, preferences and Web browser favorites, as well as designated files, including e-mail files and folders for Microsoft’s Outlook or Outlook Express—which all become available when plugged into any desktop PC or laptop. It literally turns any PC into one that is exactly like one’s own back at home. The entry level version uses a 128MB key ($149); the next step is the 256MB model ($199). Both of these include all of the software on the key itself to synchronize files between any desktop or laptop that has Windows 98 SE/ME/2000/XP. The first release will only support Office 2000 and 2002, but by the end of the year MIGO hopes to have

full support for Office 2003. A 512MB and 1GB key will be available after the first of the year. The company also hopes to offer support for Lotus Notes by early 2004. I recently tested MIGO on a trip to Europe and was able to turn a plain vanilla PC in an Internet café into my own just by plugging in the MIGO USB Flash Drive. This is a very innovative approach to synchronizing files between personal computers and truly personalizing the PC. Although it is not exactly like my original mobile brick concept, it virtually does the same thing by enabling me to take all of my personal digital stuff with me and use it on any PC I happen to come across in my daily travels. • Tim Bajarin is president of Creative Strategies (, a technology consulting and research company based in Campbell, Calif.


Consumers: Thanks for the Memory
Alex Salkever October 28, 2003 Ever-higher-capacity devices at ever-lower costs are sparking a revolution in consumer electronics that's only just beginning When thieves broke into Ramesh Goonetilleke's Honda Civic in 2002 and stole his stereo for the fourth time in as many years, the project manager for a San Francisco software company decided that was enough. Rather than replace his stereo again, Goonetilleke bought a $400 digital music player made by Creative Nomad, which includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive that easily holds his collection of hundreds of music CDs. He had audio technicians install a plug-in jack between the front seats and wired it to an amp and speakers in the trunk. For $70 he purchased a remote control that lets him select songs without taking his eyes off the road. "It works pretty well, and for me it has made the CD obsolete," says Goonetilleke. "It's all on my Nomad." While he misses live radio a bit, his new setup has the advantage of avoiding radio's repetitive -- and boring -playlists. Goonetilleke is on the front line of a revolution in the consumer-electronics and PC businesses made possible by rapid advances in memory technology. The plunging price and soaring capacity of data storage have begun to radically alter electronic devices and the way people interact with them. PRELOADED MUSIC? Hundreds of thousands of consumers are snapping up diskdrive-based music players from Creative Nomad and Apple (AAPL ). Digital cameras that easily transfer images to CDs increasingly endanger the consumer film businesses of Kodak (EK ) and Fujitsu. The latest home PCs can store tens of thousands of songs, which lessens the need to buy CDs, considering how advanced and simple downloading music has become. Some industry wags forsee a future when music downloads will disappear and PCs will come with huge music libraries already burned onto the hard drive, ready to be activated song-by-song with a one-click credit-card transaction from the user. Video-game consoles will use faster memory-access technology to make possible increasingly lifelike and intricate games. And personal video recorders will replace VCRs and record hundreds of hours of TV programming -- minus ads. "Every new TV set made within the next five years is going to have a rotating magnetic device in it, on it, or near it," says John Monroe, a vice-president for research at tech consultancy Gartner.

That's a bold prediction, but considering the memory sector's recent track record, it could come true. The dozens of companies that vy for dollars in the flash memory and harddrive storage industry have driven cutthroat competition that plays into the low-price strategies of increasingly dominant electronics sellers such as Dell (DELL ) in PCs and Nokia (NOK ) in cell phones. That has pushed many suppliers out of the field: In the 1980s, dozens of companies made disk drives. Today only seven major players remain, including Seagate (STX ), Hitachi (HIT ), Toshiba, Maxtor, and Western Digital (WDC ). "TONS OF CAPACITY." A positive byproduct, however, has been eye-popping innovation. Dell, never an early adopter in tech trends, just started shipping a hard-drivebased music player that uses 1.8-inch Hitachi hard-drives holding either 15 gb or 20 gb. A few years ago, flash-memory cards used in digital cameras and music players held 8 megabytes or 16 mb of data and cost $50 to $100. Today, 128-mb flash cards cost less than $50. A 2-gb hard drive used in desktop computers cost $120 in 1997, according to tech consultancy TrendFOCUS. In 2002, a 40-gb drive cost $67 -- a decline of 97%. "What you pay today buys tons of capacity relative to what you could have gotten even a year or two ago," says Bill Healy, general manger of mobile storage for Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in Silicon Valley. Just wait: Flash memory cards that hold 4 gb of data will hit the market within a year, effectively doubling the maximum capacity of existing digital cameras. Two-inch hard drives from Toshiba and others are just starting to reach high enough production levels to realize economies of scale, fueled largely by the craze of Apple's iPod and other types of handheld players. And Healy says before long, hard drives as small as a half-inch in diameter will spin inside personal digital assistants, cell phones, and even watches. RED-HOT REVENUES. "The hard-disk-drive industry has accomplished things in the last five years that are astounding by any standard and maybe unique in the history of technology," he gushes. "We've basically increased capacity by more than 20 times and dropped the cost [per unit of memory] by half between the fall of 1998 and today," says Gartner's Monroe. Sales of these devices have blossomed as a result. According to Gartner, revenues from removable solid-state storage devices -- mainly flash cards for music players and digital cameras -- rose more than 70% from 2000 to 2001, from $1.2 billion to $2.1 billion. That has happened even though "the price is being driven down by increasing number of applications," says Brian Matas, vice-president for research at tech consultancy IC Insights in Scottsdale, Ariz. "You can switch [flash memory] from your digital camera to your PC then put it in your MP3 player. It's convenient and easy to use." In fact, sales of flash memory to the nascent consumer market are rising much faster than those to traditional customers such as cell-phone handset makers. That mirrors what's happening in the hard-drive market, where PC makers still dominate the scene but new consumer products are coming on strong. Of 200 million mobile devices sold in 2002 that included hard drives, only about 7% were something other than laptops, says Gartner's Monroe. Within three years, he predicts, that percentage will rise to several times that figure. SEAMLESS TRANSFERS. Huge increases in memory capacity alone aren't sufficient

to fuel behavioral changes and demand. Other key factors include the spread of broadband connectivity, consumers' increasing comfort with digital products, and, perhaps most important, consumer electronics that are much easier to use. Gil Rutkowski, the CEO of Chicago technology services firm Inova Consulting, recently tried out a new 128-mb memory device called Migo from Forward Solutions. Unlike most other keychain devices that come with only rudimentary software to allow for uploads and downloads, Migo came packaged with software that automatically captures key files and settings from e-mail, word processing, Web browser, and presentation programs on Rutkowski's home computer. The software stores these preferences and then seamlessly transfers them to another computer. All Rutkowski has to do is plug the Migo into a USB port on a machine at another office or in an Internet café, and he can work as if he's at his own PC. When he unplugs his Migo, the software wipes all traces of Rutkowski's files and settings off that other PC. And when he plugs the Migo back into his own PC at home it automatically synchronizes all data and moves all changes to Rutkowski's desktop or laptop, all the while encrypting the process to keep it secure. "For anybody who doesn't want to lug a laptop around, it's essentially instant access to everything they would use daily," he says. I hardly take my laptop home anymore. When I had to give the Migo up for a week I was lost." NO LONGER IMPOSSIBLE. There seems no end in sight for consumer-electronics innovations that will require more storage. For instance, recording high-definition TV signals at home requires up to 10 times the disk space as current digital-TV signals. With HDTV rolling out in most parts of the country, it will be only a matter of time before consumers need 200-gb to 300-gb disk drives in their set-top boxes to hold enough TV programs for later viewing and storage. Sales of digital cameras, which are projected to double in 2004, to nearly 50 million units, will likewise boost demand for memory and fuel more innovation. And Nelson Chan, a senior vice-president at flash-memory maker SanDisk, envisions other products that would have seemed impossible a few years ago. Those include solid-state video recorders with no moving parts. And weather-resistant dog tags with a soldier's medical information loaded in flash memory (Chan says flash cards and their data have survived airline crashes). Cheap, compact storage "has enabled new markets we never imagined 12 to 18 months ago," Chan adds. "Now we see a huge opportunity and big changes." So does Hitachi's Healy, who predicts the gradual evolution of the laptop into a hybrid portable entertainment center, equipped with a high-capacity hard drive. With memory companies delivering plenty of advances and consumer demand for new gadgets and better laptops seemingly insatiable, the smartest memory makers may face a busy and prosperous future.

Forward Solutions’ Migo Fills a Much Needed Void for Mobile Computing: The Mobile Windows Desktop
October 2003 So what if you are a user that does not have a notebook PC of your own, but you telecommute, travel for work, or simply need to be able to do work from home at times… What if you are a student and need to be able to take the information from your home/dorm PC with you as you roam about campus… What are your options? Many organizations offer Outlook Web Access (OWA), but if you’ve ever used it you begin to realize that even on a broadband connection it is cumbersome, addressing from your Outlook contacts is painful, and you certainly don’t have access to your documents from your work PC. Connected mobile devices like Blackberries and Treos help, but you are not going to want to compose lengthy emails on their reduced keyboards. Along comes Forward Solutions in San Ramon, California and their Migo to fill the gap. Leveraging the relatively cheap USB flash storage devices that we’re seeing on more and more key chains these days, Forward Solutions has created a way to take your Windows Desktop with you wherever you go. Migo essentially syncs your favorites, user selected folders, Outlook account settings, email, contacts and calendar, and even your desktop wallpaper onto a flash storage device that fits in the palm of your hand. The end result is a tiny package that you can walk up to any Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000, or XP machine, plug in, and see your desktop materialize before you. You remove the Migo and all of the data on the loaner PC reverts to its pre-Migo state. When you return back to your main PC you simply plug the Migo in and synchronize all of your updated content back. This clearly represents a great way for cash strapped IT organizations to offer mobility to their users that are only occasionally mobile. Loaner notebooks have been part of the IT inventory forever, but they generally are time-intensive to set up and users tend to be disoriented and often can’t leverage them very well while on the road. The Migo represents a very easy way to make a non-mobile user mobile for the occasional trip, and does not even require that the user be on a company PC since the Migo has password protection built in. There is only one downside to the Migo in the corporate environment and it is an understandable one… If you are an Outlook user that connects to an Exchange server via LAN or VPN, then the loaner PC you use the Migo on needs to be in the same

network environment to function. This is logical (although limiting) since accessing an Exchange server from the outside often requires passing through a firewall, something an internal PC would not be configured to do. However, in this situation the email you generate will cue up in your Outlook outbox and will send once you sync up to your main PC. So the only wildcard on the horizon for Forward Solutions are rumored plans by Microsoft for their next version of Windows codenamed Longhorn. Reportedly Microsoft is readying a web-hosted service that would allow you to have access to your desktop wherever you go. However, even if the rumors are true, Microsoft’s service is likely to be subscription-based and less-than-ideal for occasional travelers. And, let’s face it, the Migo is here today. You can get Migo in two sizes, 128MB for $150, and 256MB for $200. For more information see:

XChange Panelists Debate the State of Innovation
By Luc Hatlestad, VARBusiness Oct. 27, 2003 Innovation isn't dead, but it looks a bit different than it once did. That was the takeaway message from Monday's panel on the state of innovation in the technology industry. The discussion kicked off the TechInnovator XChange event, a conference hosted by CMP Media, publisher of VARBusiness. VARBusiness editorial director Robert DeMarzo spoke with eight panelists about their views on where innovation lies these days. Conventional wisdom says it has suffered considerably since the Internet bubble burst, but the panelists agreed that there still are plenty of creative ways to do business in this industry. What's changed, though, is where the breakthroughs are coming from. Gary Bixler, manager of North American regional marketing for AMD, says the days of companies developing cool new technologies and then seeking out a market for them are long gone. "Proprietary innovation may be what's dead," he says. "It just doesn't work in this market." He says AMD has seen more "customer-centric" innovation, in which customers tell their vendors and VARs what technology they have and let the experts come up with new ways to integrate and upgrade it. "It's happening this way because we don't have the power to tell them to throw away what they have," he says. Other panelists were reluctant to say innovation is finished, but they acknowledged it's a more pragmatic pursuit than in the chaotic days of the Internet boom. "Innovation still is what differentiates companies from each other, but it's no longer engineers building stuff for other engineers," says Brian Ahearn, Sun's executive director for systems software product marketing. "They're building it for customers who want to leverage the technology for their own competitive advantage." The perception among customers that the suffering market makes it too risky to take on too much new technology makes it tougher on smaller vendors that are trying to get their message out to customers. Vendors such as Forward Solutions, a mobile solutions developer in San Ramon, Calif., are finding that their greatest ally in this endeavor is VARs.

"People are skeptical at first about what we have to offer, but the only way to deliver an innovative product like this is through the channel because resellers can help them understand its value," says company president and COO Joshua Feller. Getting this message across to enterprise customers can be especially tough for a smaller vendor. "It takes a leap of faith to get larger companies to commit to you," says Wendy Petty, vice president of sales for network storage infrastructure vendor FalconStor. "For the past three years, we've built our enterprise customer base, and now we hope to get into the mass market by leveraging the channel the whole way through." No matter how groundbreaking a product might be, these days the only thing most customers want to hear about is what it will cost them. "Part of the challenge is getting people to understand where things are going and what they'll be able to do with the new technology," says Larry Lang, vice president and general manager of mobile wireless at Cisco. "It has been easy for people to just say no to any kind of new spending, but if you're good at explaining what the benefit will be, you can drive new business." But Novell's Kirk Klasson, the company's vice president of strategy, isn't so sure. He says most customers want a solution that's up and running right out of the box, and they're trying to reduce complexity by repositioning their existing technology assets. "We're struggling with how to use innovation to drive new revenue," he says. The upshot? When it comes to the way customers buy and VARs sell innovation, the bottom line, as always, is the bottom line. "I think all the stars align around ROI," says Cliff Young, CEO of ClearPath Networks, a managed security services provider in El Segundo, Calif. "The SMB market will be underserved until the technology becomes more affordable."

David Morgenstern: The Storage Beat More on Flash-based Applications In the previous eWEEK Storage Report, I looked at Forward Solutions' Migo USB memory key. Migo stores various settings of your user profile on a remote machine. I pointed out that the system works because of two factors: the ubiquity of the USB interface and the ubiquity of Microsoft's Windows platform, since the device doesn't store or serve applications. Reader Tom Voltz offered a number of interesting observations. First, he said end users can't necessarily count on USB as being the norm. "Many large corporate environments still have many desktops still running [Windows NT, which does not support USB," Voltz said. "This situation is changing, now rapidly, but there are surprising numbers of hold outs. It's a byproduct of the down economy—it's slowed-down technology adoption in general (darn it)." He also pointed to Poco Systems Inc.'s EmailVoyager product. Like the Migo, it's a USB flash key. However, it comes with its own built-in e-mail client software. The devices support the Windows platform and range in price from $69.95 to $169.95 for 32MB and 256MB models, respectively. PC Magazine reviewed it a while ago. Read the story

David Morgenstern: The Storage Beat Much Ado About a USB Dongle? This week's eWEEK Storage Report features a review of Forward Solutions' Migo USB memory key. While the dongle looks much like its competitors, it has a secret sauce: Migo can grab various settings of your machine's user profile, letting you bring up your desktop environment, Office settings, email and browser favorites on a remote machine; and then sync them back on your return home. To my colleague Rob Enderle, Mobile Center analyst, this little fob has the "potential (in concept at least) to affect the technology landscape more profoundly than most products from large vendors." However, I would add several caveats: Migo works because of the ubiquity of the USB interface and the ubiquity of Microsoft's Windows platform. Migo doesn't store or serve applications so every program you need must be on the machine you connect to. Now, it's almost impossible to avoid USB nowadays, so that base is covered. But applications are much different, even between versions of Windows, the standard. Check out both the review and Enderle's column and see what you think.

Migo Keeps Data in Sync; Lets users take office with them.
Henry Baltazar October 20, 2003 Forward Solutions Inc.'s Migo portable USB storage device will get a lot of attention from mobile users, and for good reason. Although the Migo device looks like almost any other portable Universal Serial Bus offering, its unique ability to intelligently grab data profile information and synchronize it with files makes it compelling. Using the Migo, clients can take not only data on the road, but also their complete work environment. In eWEEK Labs' tests, the Migo, which shipped last month, easily stored key client data such as Microsoft Corp. Outlook settings (including a selectable number of messages), Internet Explorer Web browser bookmarks and recently used files, in addition to work environment items, such as desktop backgrounds. The Migo's target market includes mobile workers who share machines with others or access data in public places. The device is also aimed at users who don't have their own dedicated machines (such as support personnel working in shifts). The Migo is priced accordingly, at $150 for a 128MB model and $200 for a 256MB unit. The Migo was easy to use and configure in tests. Using the device's PocketLogin software, we easily synchronized data between our workstation and the Migo. When we transferred the Migo to a secondary workstation, it was fairly easy to access data and recreate a desktop configuration on the new workstation. It is important to note that the Migo does not replicate applications, so if a primary computer has Adobe Systems Inc.'s Photoshop (or some other application), that application will not be available to the secondary workstation if it is not installed on that computer. Service plans such as Expertcity Inc.'s GoToMyPC (whose one-year plan costs about $180) can be a viable alternative for some mobile workers because they enable users to access their desktop from a Web browser. Of course, these services assume that the worker owns a computer and that the computer is always on and connected to the Internet. Because the Migo stores data locally, it is more convenient for traveling users who need to access or modify files but might not have Internet access. Forward Solutions also plans to release a USB 2.0 version in the near future, which should make data transfers quicker. The Migo has embedded, password-protected security and software tools that prevent unauthorized users from reading data if the unit is stolen.

Currently, the Migo is geared for Microsoft-only shops (those with Outlook, IE and Windows desktops). Support for other operating systems, e-mail systems and browsers is planned in future releases, officials said. Executive Summary Migo Forward Solutions' new Migo portable personal storage device lets users take not only their data but also their work environment on the road. Priced from $150, the Migo is a good solution for mobile users who can't take a laptop with them. The device would also work well for offices where multiple users share computers. More information is available at Easy to use; synchronizes files easily; good amount of built-in security. Limited application support; currently a Windows-only product. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS USABILITY GOOD CAPABILITY GOOD PERFORMANCE GOOD INTEROPERABILITY FAIR MANAGEABILITY GOOD SCALABILITY FAIR SECURITY GOOD EVALUATION SHORT LIST * Expertcity's GoToMyPC

World's Smallest PC
The Migo looks like an ordinary USB memory stick, but it's really a clone of your PC. Fewer people seem to be carrying laptops these days. Even some of the geekiest, most connected execs I know don't travel with a PC anymore. But they haven't dropped offline completely. Instead, they commandeer a computer when they get to a desk. Or they get by with a connected PDA, like a Treo or Blackberry. Frankly, I can't imagine taking a trip without a PC (honeymoons excepted). A long flight with only the airline's meager entertainment selection is a waste of time instead of an opportunity to write; a hotel room when I can't sleep is four walls of frustration if I can't catch up on emails. And to work, I need a real keyboard and I need it attached to a real computer. But many people have decided that the pains of traveling with a PC -- the extra weight, the expense, the configuration hassles at every port -- are greater than the benefits, and they are leaving their laptops behind. These people must admit that a Blackberry can't do everything a PC can. Commandeered or rented computers have limits -- for example, while remote control solutions can make a network-connected machine a nice homeaway-from-home, these solutions rely on a live network link. But what if your commandeered computer is using dialup, or is disconnected entirely? Migo, a new product from Forward Solutions, answers that somewhat narrow, but interesting, question. Packaged on a USB memory stick, the Migo application takes your current email, calendar, and contact data (from Outlook), as well as your recently-used files, your desktop preferences and Internet favorites, and compresses and then copies them all on to the same stick. You take the stick with you, insert it into an alien computer, and that machine becomes a clone-away-from-home of your PC. Any changes made to the files are written directly to the USB stick, and when you get back home, it synchronizes the changes with the originating computer. For corporations with tight computing budgets, this is a very clever idea. Using Migo, a company's telecommuting employees can more easily do their office work at home -- the Migo lets them take the 'soul' of their computer home with them, without actually having to lug it. And, instead of providing everybody who might occasionally travel with a laptop, the company can give them cheap desktops and Migos ($150 each), and then loan

employees laptops from a pool when they go on trips -- the laptops become theirs as long as the Migo is inserted, but revert to personality-free loaners when the stick is removed. Furthermore, a Migo is more secure than the laptop it plugs in to. If stored separately (on a keyring, for example), it is less likely to get boosted at a crowded airport than a laptop satchel, and the Migo has encrypted memory, so that even if it is stolen, the data on it can't be recovered. Forward Solutions is also working on a USB stick with a built-in fingerprint scan! ner, for even more security. But the snag is that Migo can't duplicate network connectivity. An Outlook user who relies on corporate LAN or VPN access to an Exchange server won't be able to get or transmit new mail if the temporary computer doesn't have the same access (messages written while offline are queued for sending until the Migo docks at its primary machine again). And I am sorry to report that my prototype Migo didn't work correctly -- a replacement unit didn't arrive in time to test. Forward Solutions president Joshua Feller realizes that the Migo pitch is too complicated for the consumer market. He plans on selling Migos to corporations and schools, which often have more users than computers. I like the Migo business because this could be a USB memory stick that actually makes money. There's very little margin in just packaging memory. But Migo's success depends on there being a critical mass of free-floating PCs, just as the phonecard business assumed the presence of telephones. It's somewhat odd, because these days, most PCs are personal, not anonymous terminals like payphones. But perhaps there are enough kiosks, cafe PCs, and loaner laptops for Forward Solutions to make good money selling 'clone-home' products.

Fast Facts: Forward Solutions
URL President HQ Joshua Feller San Ramon, CA

Employees 8 Founded Market Funding May 2003 Data synchronization Holding company, Powerhouse Technologies Group, has raised $6M in angel and public (OTC) funds

Profitable? Forward Solutions projects profitability by end of 2003

Semi-Annual Tech Report October 9, 2003

The USB Dongle That May Change the World
October 8, 2003 By Rob Enderle,4149,1325629,00.asp A number of unfortunate surprises can happen to you when you travel with a notebook computer but use a desktop computer for everyday work. Often, your stuff is where you aren't. You can use sync products such as Laplink, but they require you to actually remember to synchronize your system before you leave. A special annoyance: When it happens to me, I find it nearly impossible to find someone else to blame. Enter Forward Solutions Inc. with a unique solution to this problem: the Migo, a USB dongle with software that lets you carry your stuff with you even if you leave your laptop behind. The Migo lets you specify the things you want moved; your desktop look and feel, your files, and your browser favorites are all naturals. Then, you use the USB key fob, which is the core of the device, like a key to your PC. Whatever machine you plug the fob into has your stuff. As it stands, the device has limitations. It only works with Windows; it doesn't move the applications (and doesn't yet work with Office 2003); it requires Office 2000 or XP for full functionality (so that it will automatically set up your e-mail client); and it doesn't yet move your browser cookies or history. However, if you are near a compliant piece of hardware, the experience is close to seamless. When you plug in the device, it takes over the PC you are visiting, turning it into something that looks almost identical to your own machine. And since it doesn't actually put any of your personal information on that machine, when you pull out the fob, all your information goes with you. It's password-protected and backed up on your primary PC so that, if you lose it, you are at substantially less risk than if you lose your laptop. This got me thinking. One of the biggest problems the PC industry has right now is the time-and-effort cost of moving from an old PC to a new one. In surveys I've conducted, this hurdle turned up as one of the primary reasons why people didn't buy new PCs. With the capacity of flash memory growing and prices dropping, you can quickly draw a line to a future when all of your personalized information could be put on a device like this. (Actually, if you leave the files out, you can put virtually all of the data that

personalizes a PC on a device like this now. Those files aren't particularly large, and my Migo holds 256MB). But it is the potential future of a device like this that fascinates me. If the device had a unique key, perhaps Microsoft and other software application providers would allow this key to confirm legitimate use. You could use the Internet to provide all of your applications (or simply enable dormant applications that are already on the overcapacity drive) at some future date. With enough bandwidth, capacity and vendor support, a future PC user could move from PC to PC as easily as he now moves from car to car. More easily, actually: In a new or borrowed car, you still have to move the mirrors and seats to the positions you want. In fact, two automobile companies are looking at using a dongle like this instead of a key for similar reasons, so a "what if" could be a single device that would be your key to everything: house, car, PC … Take away the password and put in a biometric function, and you have a level of security several times greater than today's options for both virtual and physical access. The Migo has the potential (in concept at least) to affect the technology landscape more profoundly than most products from large vendors. In its ultimate form, it could bring opportunity, and security, to a needy world. Rob Enderle is the principal analyst for the Enderle Group, a company specializing in emerging personal technology.

Forward Solutions develops Migo Desktop Replication for mobile computing experts
Submitted by: Dave Conabree September 24, 2003 9:37 AM EDT Forward Solutions, Inc., has released a revolutionary new device for mobile computing experts today with the introduction of Migo, the most advanced portable personal computing system in a sleek, key-sized USB-based flash memory device. Migo plugs into a PC USB port, captures a user's entire PC environment and replicates that personal desktop on any other compatible Windows-based computer anywhere in the world. Unlike other flash memory devices that store only limited files, Migo transfers a user's customized desktop — including the desktop background image with personal settings, Internet favorites, e-mail accounts, video clips, presentations, MP3 files, documents and more. With Migo, users can take their personal computing environment with them to work, home, school or on the go. "Mobile computing users now can increase their productivity by essentially taking a snapshot of their computers and carrying it on a keychain wherever they go, limiting the need for hauling heavy laptops, external CD-ROM drives or other less convenient devices," said Joshua Feller, president and chief operating officer of Forward Solutions. Migo offers functionality beyond basic portable USB storage devices, combining state-ofthe-art hardware and software with automatic file and e-mail synchronization and multilevel security at a price comparable to other flash memory devices in the market. "The USB Flash Drive market is expected to continue its strong growth as it distinguishes itself from ordinary removable storage," said Joseph Unsworth, an industry analyst with Gartner Research. "Software enhancements have the potential to enable increased functionality for the user because they have the ability to provide 'smart' storage." Security features embedded both in Migo's hardware and Migo's PocketLogin software safeguard critical data, a key concern especially for businesses and government agencies. PocketLogin automatically synchronizes Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts, including contacts and calendars — allowing users to send and receive e-mail while away from their desktops. Outlook is the dominant e-mail system commanding 65 percent of the enterprise e-mail client market, according to The Radicati Group in Palo

Alto, Calif. PocketLogin's synchronization and management software also automatically checks for software and firmware upgrades each time the user plugs Migo into the USB port of an Internet-connected PC. This also simplifies the support process, making it easier for solution providers to sell and offer value-added support for the product. Pricing and Availability First in a family of mobile computing solutions products, Migo is currently available at an estimated suggested retail price of $149.95 for the 128MB version and $199.95 for the 256MB version. Migo is available through computer resellers nationally. More information on resellers for Migo can be found at Migo currently supports USB 1.1 with plans to support USB 2.0 in fall 2003. Later versions of the software also will feature larger storage capacities, higher levels of security and support for other popular operating systems and e-mail applications. Specifications Storage Capacity: 128 MB/256 MB Data Transfer Rate: Read 1MB/sec, Write 900KB/sec Supported Operating Systems: Windows '98 SE*, ME, 2000, XP Data Retention: 10 Years Supported Outlook Versions: Outlook 2000 thru 2002 Power Requirements: USB bus-powered (4.5 - 5V) Host Interface: Universal Serial Bus, USB 1.1 Hardware Warranty: 1 Year

Hot Gadgets

USB device takes your computer with you
NEWS from Forward Solutions, a mobile computing company, released what appears to be its first product yesterday. Migo, a specialized USB storage device, allows a computer user to save files and settings and load them onto any computer. Migo saves Desktop settings (including the background), Internet favorites, e-mail and Outlook contacts, documents, presentations, MP3s, and other files. After saving the information to Migo a computer user can plug it into the USB drive of other Windows PCs, access the information, then plug Migo back into the original computer to sync the changes. Migo comes in 128 MB and 256 MB capacities (US$149.95 and $199.95 respectively). It supports USB 1.1 and can run on Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP. It will sync e-mail for Outlook 2000 through Outlook 2002, and it can read at 1MB/sec and write at 900KB/sec. Forward Solutions offers a one-year hardware warranty. Security for the drive is controlled by Forward Solutions' PocketLogin software and the Migo hardware; PocketLogic also handles the syncing. Check out the press release and CNET's article Sep 23, 2003, 08:45

September 23, 2003 Forward Solutions, a mobile computing company, released what appears to be its first product yesterday. Migo, a specialized USB storage device, allows a computer user to save files and settings and load them onto any computer. Migo saves Desktop settings (including the background), Internet favorites, e-mail and Outlook contacts, documents, presentations, MP3s, and other files. After saving the information to Migo a computer user can plug it into the USB drive of other Windows PCs, access the information, then plug Migo back into the original computer to sync the changes. Migo comes in 128 MB and 256 MB capacities (US$149.95 and $199.95 respectively). It supports USB 1.1 and can run on Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP. It will sync e-mail for Outlook 2000 through Outlook 2002, and it can read at 1MB/sec and write at 900KB/sec. Forward Solutions offers a one-year hardware warranty. Security for the drive is controlled by Forward Solutions' PocketLogin software and the Migo hardware; PocketLogic also handles the syncing. Check out the press release and CNET's article.

Forward Solutions Unveils Portable Personal Computing System Forward Solutions Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of PowerHouse Technologies Group Inc, revolutionized the mobile computing experience with the introduction of Migo, the most advanced portable personal computing system in a sleek, key-sized USB-based flash memory device. Migo plugs into a PC USB port, captures a user's entire PC environment and replicates that personal desktop on any other compatible Windows-based computer anywhere in the world. Unlike other flash memory devices that store only limited files, Migo transfers a user's customized desktop -- including the desktop background image with personal settings, Internet favorites, e-mail accounts, video clips, presentations, MP3 files, documents and more. With Migo, users can take their personal computing environment with them to work, home, school or on the go. "Mobile computing users now can increase their productivity by essentially taking a snapshot of their computers and carrying it on a keychain wherever they go, limiting the need for hauling heavy laptops, external CD-ROM drives or other less convenient devices," said Joshua Feller, president and chief operating officer of Forward Solutions. Migo offers functionality beyond basic portable USB storage devices, combining state-ofthe-art hardware and software with automatic file and e-mail synchronization and multilevel security at a price comparable to other flash memory devices in the market. "The USB Flash Drive market is expected to continue its strong growth as it distinguishes itself from ordinary removable storage," said Joseph Unsworth, an industry analyst with Gartner Research. "Software enhancements have the potential to enable increased functionality for the user because they have the ability to provide 'smart' storage." Security features embedded both in Migo's hardware and Migo's PocketLogin software safeguard critical data, a key concern especially for businesses and government agencies. PocketLogin automatically synchronizes Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts, including contacts and calendars -- allowing users to send and receive e-mail while away from their desktops. Outlook is the dominant e-mail system commanding 65 percent of the enterprise e-mail client market, according to The Radicati Group in Palo Alto, Calif. PocketLogin's synchronization and management software also automatically checks for software and firmware upgrades each time the user plugs Migo into the USB port of an

Internet-connected PC. This also simplifies the support process, making it easier for solution providers to sell and offer value-added support for the product.

Forward Solutions' Migo - absolutely a must have!
Ramon Ray, 23 Sep 2003 For those of you who followed my PC EXPO coverage you had a tip off already about Forward's the full story. Forward Solutions has launched a product, Migo. It is a revolutionary (I do not say this lightly) software / USB hard disk combination that enables a user to carry their data with them. Many of you are familiar with moving data to a "regular" USB key storage device, or for that matter putting that information on a floppy disk. But there's a few problems with these methods: a - you've got to manage file versions b - if you use Outlook, it's impossible to easily work with your email (including your outbox) c - you can't conveniently move your personal settings, favorites, and other documents all retaining their respective folder locations Migo, has the perfect solution. Let's pretend you are working in Outlook, have some files in "My documents" or anywhere else, and maybe some excel files in a folder c:\client. Basically your entire working environment. With Migo you can go to ANY windows computer, insert the USB key, login and voila you are looking at YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN AND FILES but on another, "remote", computer. Gotomypc and other remote solutions can let you access your computer remotely but then there's the question of speed, what if you don't have Internet access and most importantly a remote connection is NOT as easy to use. With Migo, click on "My documents" on the remote computer you are at - you'll see all your files there. With send 50 Outlook messages on the "borrowed computer" (when you get back to your office, those 50 messages are in the send folder) and the messages you send are from YOU, not from the person's computer you are using.

With Migo go to Internet explorer and click on "favorites". Guess what - Migo will show YOUR favorites and not the local computer favorites. Do you get it? Maybe you work on network files. No problem, Migo can handle those too. So you've worked all day on a remote computer, and you get back to your "home" or "office pc". Guess what? All that work you did is now seamlessly synchronized and stored on your main computer! Migo is absolutely revolutionary and a must have tool for EVERY business user that does ANY work out of their office. Cost: $149 for the 128MB version and $199 for the $256MB version.

Systems Building

Keeping Track Of Memory Cards
Get smart about storage accessories By David Strom Sept. 23, 2003 Anyone seen The Recruit? It seems we've reached a new threshold in popular culture when the plot line of a major motion picture revolves around a USB hard drive used by one of the main characters in the movie. Memory devices are smaller, more numerous, more capable and more useful for systems builders these days. They can contain much-needed drivers, so when hard disks crash, the systems can be rebuilt and the requisite video and networking drivers can be easily installed. Memory devices can contain the numerous patches and security updates from Microsoft, so systems builders don't have to hunt them down on the Internet. And for cases such as the MS Blaster and Sobig worms, they can contain the fixes and cleansing tools that are used to rid infected systems of these persistent pests. What's more, memory-card readers are becoming a standard feature on equipment, as is the case with Acer's new line of laptops as well as some of the newer monitors. Suffice to say, the choices for memory containers have exploded during the past several years, thanks to all the various noncomputing equipment that requires digital memory. Cameras, camcorders, PDAs, cell phones and combinations of all four require something on which to store files. Today, nearly a dozen different types are available. The good news is that the popularity of digital cameras and PDAs has driven the cost of memory down substantially. The bad news is that picking the right form factor can be a challenge. It's best to hedge a bet and concentrate on using multiple formats so that you're able to switch when your customers' needs change. Following are the formats we think you should know about. USB Hard Drive The most popular format for computing needs--not to mention the most expensive per megabyte--is the USB hard drive. It is a solid-state device that can connect to any USB port on both Macs and Windows PCs, and can even be carried around on a key chain. It comes in models up to 1-GB, which is more than can be carried around on a CD-ROM. Some of the earlier models worked only on certain versions of Windows or required

special drivers to operate at all, but now most vendors have come out with models that don't require additional drivers and are automatically detected when inserted in the USB slots of both Windows and Mac computers. And new products, such as Migo from San Ramon, Calif.-based Forward Solutions, can store a user's entire desktop settings. Compact Flash Also popular are Compact Flash cards, which can be found on many Pocket PC PDAs and many cameras. These devices can support up to 1 GB of storage. The downside, however, is that the memory transfer rates are slower than on some of the other models. An Ultra Compact Flash model performs better than the standard model, but at a premium price, of course. Secure Digital Next in popularity are Secure Digital cards. (The music industry loves the idea that files can be prevented from being copied, though the rest of the world doesn't really care about this security feature.) With Secure Digital cards, up to 256 MB can be had for less than $100. These cards are found on many PDAs and cameras. Also, fitting in the same slots as Secure Digital cards are Multimedia Cards. They offer lower capacity, but for lower prices, too. Smart Media The cheapest devices are Smart Media cards, which come in models up to 128 MB for about $50. The trouble with these products is that some cameras can't accept these higher-density memory products, so it is important to check the compatibility guide and to become familiar with your customers' needs if they want more storage. Memory Stick Sony has tried to force its own version of memory cards with what it calls the Memory Stick, but so far it hasn't been picked up by any significant vendor group, unlike some of the other models. The Memory Stick comes in two different versions; the more advanced of the two--the Pro model--has higher-capacity storage of up to 1 GB, but can be as expensive as the USB hard-drive models. However, the Pro model also has more security and better data-transfer rates. PC Card Finally, the granddaddy of all these devices is the PC Card, originally called PCMCIA, which got its start as a way to harmonize the various memory attachments for laptops back in the late 1980s. These are the largest of the bunch, yet are no longer as necessary because of the built-in modems, network adapters and other peripherals now found on most notebooks. Still, the PC Card is a good way to store lots of data--some models offer up to 2 GB--and they still can be found on most of today's laptops. To be sure, sorting through the collection of shapes, sizes and prices will take some effort. Chances are you will have to stock more than one kind to keep up with your customers' demands for more memory and storage.

My Migo
New USB drive adds ability to clone and transport full desktop environment. September 22, 2003 - Forward Solutions today introduced Migo, a "portable personal computing system" in a USB-based flash memory device. Migo plugs into a PC USB port, captures a user's entire PC environment, and replicates it on any other compatible Windows-based computer. Migo transfers a user's customized desktop, including the desktop background image with personal settings, internet favorites, e-mail accounts, video clips, presentations, MP3 files, documents and more. "Mobile computing users now can increase their productivity by essentially taking a snapshot of their computers and carrying it on a keychain wherever they go, limiting the need for hauling heavy laptops, external CD-ROM drives or other less convenient devices," said Joshua Feller, president and chief operating officer of Forward Solutions. "The USB Flash Drive market is expected to continue its strong growth as it distinguishes itself from ordinary removable storage," said Joseph Unsworth, an industry analyst with Gartner Research. "Software enhancements have the potential to enable increased functionality for the user because they have the ability to provide 'smart' storage." Security features embedded both in Migo's hardware and Migo's PocketLogin software safeguard data. PocketLogin automatically synchronizes Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts, including contacts, and calendars. PocketLogin also automatically checks for software and firmware upgrades each time the user plugs Migo into the USB port. Migo is currently available for $149.95 for the 128MB version and $199.95 for the 256MB version. Migo currently supports USB 1.1 with plans to support USB 2.0 in fall 2003. -- M. Wiley

Desktop to go where Migo goes
Posted by etplanet on Monday, September 22 2003 at 6:29 PM EDT A new USB-based flash memory device promises to capture a broad range of data from a computer user's PC and replicate that "personal desktop" on any other compatible Windows-based computer. The product, dubbed Migo and made by Forward Solutions, transfers a user's customized desktop--including the desktop background image with personal settings, Internet favorites, e-mail accounts, MP3 files and documents--onto a device the size of a key, according to Forward Solutions. Read more:

Forward Solutions' Migo Has Storage On The Run
Terry Sweeney September 22, 2003 The computer on a key chain just got smarter, faster and more synchronous. At least that's how Forward Solutions is packaging the 128- and 256-Mbyte versions of Migo, a USB flash storage unit. Migo plugs into a PC's USB port, captures a user's entire PC environment and replicates that personal desktop on any other compatible Windowsbased computer in the world. The units contain synchronization software that permits users to carry and manage data and applications like e-mail, browser favorites and desktop background, for example. Security features in Migo's hardware and PocketLogin software protect critical data, according to the vendor. Forward Solutions also said that PocketLogin automatically synchronizes Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts, including contacts and calendars, and allows users to send and receive e-mail while away from their desktops. PocketLogin's synchronization and management software also automatically checks for software and firmware upgrades each time the user plugs Migo into the USB port. Migo currently supports USB 1.1 with plans to support USB 2.0 in fall 2003, according to Forward Solutions, San Ramon, Calif. Later versions will feature larger storage capacities, higher levels of security and support for other popular operating systems and e-mail applications. Migo is available now; the 128-Mbyte unit is $150; the 256-Mbyte Migo is $200.

Desktop to go where Migo goes
By Ed Frauenheim Staff Writer, CNET A new USB-based flash memory device promises to capture a broad range of data from a computer user's PC and replicate that "personal desktop" on any other compatible Windows-based computer. The product, dubbed Migo and made by Forward Solutions, transfers a user's customized desktop--including the desktop background image with personal settings, Internet favorites, e-mail accounts, MP3 files and documents--onto a device the size of a key, according to Forward Solutions. "Mobile computing users now can increase their productivity by essentially taking a snapshot of their computers and carrying it on a keychain wherever they go, limiting the need for hauling heavy laptops, external CD-ROM drives or other less convenient devices," said Joshua Feller, president and chief operating officer of Forward Solutions. Forward Solutions announced the Migo product Monday. Migo is one of a number of flash memory devices that connect to Universal Serial Bus ports. Small, portable and relatively cheap, the devices have become an increasingly popular replacement for floppy diskettes for transferring files between PCs. Last year, market research firm Semico Research predicted the market for the devices would grow from 10 million units and $100 million in revenue in 2002 to 50 million units and $3.8 billion in revenue by 2006. Migo stands out because of its software, according to Forward Solutions. The product's PocketLogin software automatically synchronizes Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts, including contacts and calendars--allowing users to send and receive e-mail while away from their main computer and logged on elsewhere, Forward Solutions said. Security features embedded both in Migo's hardware and the PocketLogin software safeguard critical data, the company said. Migo is available through computer resellers nationally for $149.95 for a 128MB version and $199.95 for a 256MB version, Forward Solutions said. The product currently supports the USB 1.1 standard.

On Monday, Forward Solutions.... is going to launch a revolutionary product. It's HOT, unlike any product you have seen before. This is not hype. I've seen a LIVE version of the product, not just some Power Point demo. If you work on various computers, need access to data on your main computer when you are not at it, tried some remote control programs but want something more...Forward Solutions is the product you need. About half way through my short briefing I was sold and will buy the product for my own use. (full coverage on Monday)

Migo: More Than Just A USB Drive
By Doug Olenick TWICE 9/19/2003 9:55:00 AM New York - Forward Solutions is looking to take the simple USB flash memory drive to the next level with the introduction of the Migo. Migo is a small 1.5MB software application that is placed onto a standard USB drive that can capture an end users desktop environment, said Joshua Feller, Forward Solutions president and COO. By following a set of parameters set up by the user the Migo basically downloads chunks of the person’s data so it can be transported and downloaded onto any USB-equipped computer. Not only is the data transported, but also the look and feel of the user’s home or office PC is taken along for the ride, Feller said. Once the data is downloaded into the new PC its desktop icons are rearranged to resemble what is on the user’s PC. The Migo also accesses the person’s Outlook email applications and takes along as much or as little of the email as wanted. The entire contact list is also ported onto the USB drive. When downloaded onto another PC Migo will go out onto the Web access the person’s POP3 email account and synchronize Outlook with the home computer, he said. The primary selling point behind the Migo will be that it allows you to leave your notebook computer at home when travelling. Instead people will simply take their Migo with them and use a local PC. The real challenge for Forward Solutions is to get consumers to see the device as something more than a USB storage device. Forward Solutions will sell 128MB and 256MB Migos starting this week on its web site and through VARS and resellers with suggested retail prices of $149 and $199. After the devices have caught on with the commercial market a consumer focused launch will take place, Feller said. The Migo is Forward Solutions first product. The year-old company is owned by PowerHouse Technologies Group.

Secured Computing
By Michael Vizard Sept. 19, 2003 Two competing visions for the next wave of secure computing are now being put forward, and both of them depend heavily on taking the notion of "personal" out of the computing lexicon. Sun Microsystems, as part of a general plea for mass industry change centered on its integrated Project Orion architecture, took every opportunity to highlight its Java card technology during its Sun Network conference last week. A Java card is essentially a smart card, a credit card with a chip on it, that you insert into a networked workstation. The card then authenticates you to a server, and your entire desktop environment is then downloaded to that desktop. It sounds pretty neat, but the technology assumes that there is a Java card reader everywhere and that wireless networks are prevalent enough to let anyone securely and efficiently download his or her desktop environment anywhere in the world. That's a big assumption. For the moment, the Java card is handy for specific applications, such as giving consumers an intelligent credit card or patients an identity card to make sure they get the right medications in a hospital. A more practical approach to the problem may debut this week from a startup company called Forward Solutions, a unit of PowerHouse Technologies Group. The company's approach is to give users a key-sized flash memory device that plugs into the ubiquitous USB port. Called Migo, the device is available in 128-Mbyte and 256-Mbyte versions and essentially stores a subset of a user's desktop. When Migo is plugged into a system, it authenticates the user and loads that desktop subset so the user can work on those files on any Windows machine with a USB port. When the user returns to his or her machine, Migo synchronizes any file changes with the original system. Because it hangs on a key chain, Migo is only mildly intrusive and doesn't require a complete overhaul of a system infrastructure. As we make computing resources more widely available across networks, authentication of users is going to be a huge requirement. But whatever the ultimate solution proves to be, the winning approach will most likely be the one that builds on what came before. Are you listening? Do you agree? I can be reached at (516) 562-7477 or via e-mail at

Computer Times, The Straights Times
This Gets the Thumbs-Up!
With a Migo-enabled USB thumb drive, it's like taking your computer with you. Chua Hian Hou July 30, 2003,5104,1121,00.html The humble flash memory drive, about the size of your thumb, is going places, literally. Companies are now developing new applications with the device, such as access control, network logins and portable personalised desktops. PowerHouse Technologies' chief executive officer Ray Elliot said: 'The USB (universal serial bus) interface is common, plug-and-play, fast and getting even faster with USB 2.0. 'Flash memory is affordable, durable and non-volatile. Plus, the data inside can be protected by biometric security so only authorised users can access it.' These are the reasons his company chose to build its Migo system on the USB flash memory drive, which is now mainly used as a portable storage gizmo. Available next month, Migo will allow users to carry their desktop settings and files with them in a USB flash drive.

Mr Elliot with a Migo-enabled USB thumb drive at the side of the laptop. The Migo system allows you to work on another computer as if you were using your own computer.

A user selects the files and applications he wants to bring along. The Migo software collects the necessary information from his computer, including personalised settings and data, and stores it in the flash drive. When the drive is plugged into another computer, Migo uses the information to configure it, allowing the user to work on it as if he were working on his own computer in the office. This includes contact lists, POP3 (or Post Office 3, a standard Internet mail server on the Internet) and SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) servers for Microsoft Outlook e-mail so that he can get his messages; and cookies, digital certificates and favourites lists for Web browsing.

When the user leaves, Migo erases all traces of his presence on the machine, including registry entries, cookies and history folders. 'Migo is designed for people who share computers, travellers who use public terminals, or students who switch between libraries, labs and home PCs,' Mr Elliot said. PowerHouse is selling a 256MB device with its software for 'about US$200' (S$351). Currently, Migo only works with Windows systems, but the company expects to have Macintosh and Linux versions as well as support for additional applications such as Lotus Notes by this October. It is also developing an anti-virus shield to stop viruses from entering the device.