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Coverage For Migo


02/2004 PC World Desktop in a Key Chain Carla Thornton 1,250,000

02/2004 Mobile PC Forward Solutions Migo Dylan Tweney 200,000

12/31/03 EWEEK Best (and Worst) of the 2003 Rob Enderle 400,100
Desktop and Mobile PC Market

12/29/03 South Florida Sun- Drive Goes Wherever You Go Jeff Zbar 234,254
12/2003 Maximum PC Reviews: Forward Solutions Migo Dwight Looi 300,000

12/22/03 Network World Power These Up Keith Shaw 170,000

12/21/03 The Sunday Times (UK) Doors Awards for 2003 Nigel Powell

12/18/03 New York Times PC Data and Bookmarks Dangle J.D. Biersdorfer 1,130,740
From Your Key Chain

12/2003 MyBusiness Magazine My Gadget Lena Basha 556,308

12/8/03 Globe and Mail Migo Ian Johnson 317,411

12/7/03 Honolulu Advertiser Words From Well-Traveled Chris Oliver 147,714

12/3/03 NBC Channel 4 – D.C. Taking your computer profile with I.J. Hudson N/A

12/1/03 Datamation Who's Walking Around With Your Brian Livingston N/A

12/2003 ComputerUser Migo Thumbdrive Elizabeth Millard 900,000

12/2003 Business 2.0 Silicon Santa Soshana Berger 550,000

12/2003 PC World Little Drives, Big Promises 1,250,000

11/25/03 Network Computing Leave Your Laptop At Home Lori MacVittie 220,000

11/20/03 CNBC Power Lunch Walt Mossberg N/A

11/20/03 The Wall Street Journal You Can Lug Home Your Office Walt Mossberg 1,820,600
Computer Inside Your Pocket

11/15/03 KNTV TechNow! Scott McGrew 79,000

11/6/03 CNN Headline News CNN Headline News N/A

11/2003 Mobile Enterprise Putting the P in PC Tim Bajarin 40,000

10/31/03 Bloomberg Radio: Taking Your PC Along...on a Key Fred Fishkin N/A
Bootcamp Chain

10/30/03 CJAD AM 800 Holder Overnight Evan Berle and N/A

Peter Anthony

10/28/03 BusinessWeek Online Consumers: Thanks for the Alex Salkever 1,065,090
Memory registered

10/2003 MobileTrax Forward Solutions’ Migo Fills a N/A

Much Needed Void for Mobile
Computing: The Mobile Windows

10/27/03 VARBusiness XChange Panelists Debate the Luc Hatlestad 107,500

State of Innovation

10/27/03 EWEEK More on Flash-based David 400,100

Applications Morgenstern
10/26/03 WMAQ NBC 5 Chicago Weekend Web N/A

10/24/03 EWEEK Much Ado About A USB Dongle? David 400,100

10/20/03 EWEEK Migo Keeps Data in Sync; Lets Henry Baltazar 400,100
users take office with them.

10/17/03 KNTV Gadget of the Week Scott McGrew 79,000

10/16/03 Rafe’s Radar World’s Smallest PC Rafe Needleman 30,000

10/9/02 Edmonton Journal USB Key Makes Backups Easy Andy Walker 127,507

10/8/03 EWEEK The USB Dongle That May Rob Enderle 400,100
Change the World

10/2/03 ABC World News Now The Latest Tech Gadgets Dick DeBartolo N/A

9/28/03 KICU TV Silicon Business Today Interview N/A

9/24/03 MobileMag Forward Solutions develops Migo Dave Conabree

Desktop Replication for mobile
computing experts

9/23/03 TechnoNuts USB device takes your computer Staff N/A

with you

9/23/03 Geek.com News Staff 370,000

9/23/03 DSStar Forward Solutions Unveils Staff 25,000
Portable Personal Computing

9/23/03 SmallBizTechnology.co Forward Solutions' Migo - Ramon Ray N/A

m absolutely a must have!

9/23/03 VARBusiness Keeping Track Of Memory Cards David Strom 107,500

9/22/03 IGN.com My Migo M. Wiley 10.5 million

9/22/03 ET Planet Desktop to go where Migo goes Staff N/A

9/22/03 Storage Pipeline Forward Solutions' Migo Has Terry Sweney N/A
Storage On The Run

9/22/03 CNET News.com Desktop to go where Migo goes Ed Frauenheim 63 million

9/19/03 SmallBizTechnology.co On Monday, Forward Ramon Ray N/A
m Solutions....
9/19//03 TWICE Migo: More Than Just A USB Doug Olenick 20,666
9/19/03 CRN Secured Computing Michael Vizard 117,500

7/30/03 Computer Times This gets the thumbs-up! 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 (find.pcworld.com/38648) 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 (find.pcworld.com/36032) 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


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

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

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

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 jeff@jeffzbar.com.


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 www.4migo.com

Power these up!
Cool Tools editor Keith Shaw picks five devices that can make you more powerful on the

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:


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).


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.


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
www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos300d_samples 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 ...


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. freeserve.co.uk, 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.


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 (www.laks.com).


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.


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.


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?".


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.


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.


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 re-
creations 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.


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.



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.

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
tesco.com/pricecheck 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 uk.pricerunner.com 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.


Ashley Highfeild.

The BBC has assumed new confidence in blazing a trail for 21st-century technology, its
web portal, www.bbc.co.uk, 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 (www.paidcontent.org/stories/ashleyrts.shtml). 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.



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.



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.


Salam Pax.

Salam Pax, the Baghdad blogger, provided a rare note of humanity from the Iraqi front
line. Pax's ramblings at dearraed.blogspot.com -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.


Johnny Broadband.

For two years, one of the few helpful guides through the burgeoning jungle of high-speed
websites was the much-lauded www.johnnybroadband.co.uk -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, www.siteforsites.com, for which www.hostme.co.uk 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.


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
www.asda.co.uk). Memo to manufacturers: it's about price, people.
PC Data and Bookmarks Dangle From Your Key Chain
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
www.4migo.com. 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.


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: http://www.4migo.com
By Ian Johnson
December 8, 2003


• 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

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

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,

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 e-
mail 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 re-
mounts 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 e-
mail 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

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

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

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

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.

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
OptimalAccess.com and 4Migo.com.

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

By Shoshana Berger, December 2003 Issue



[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; www.ibm.com.

[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; www.bang-olufsen.com.

[3] Shanling CD-T100 CD player: The retro looks are more than skin-deep. The CD-
T100 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; www.polyvision.com.

[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; www.vertu.com.

[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; www.sonystyle.com.

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; www.antec-inc.com.
[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; www.dremel.com.

[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; www.koss.com.

[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 next-
generation Itanium2 64-bit chip. From $5,623; www.hp.com.

[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; www.sonyericsson.com.

[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; www.kidrobot.com.

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; www.4migo.com.

[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 jet-
set nomads. $500; store.apple.com.

[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; www.travelpro.com.

[5] Sony Vaio TR2: Meet the perfect cross-country companion. Powered by a wireless-
ready, 1-GHz Pentium M processor and a long-life battery, the 3.1-pound TR2 also
includes a CD-RW/DVD drive. $2,200; www.sonystyle.com.

[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; www.handspring.com.
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; store.dieseltimeframes.com.

[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 CD-
RW/DVD drive and enough multimedia software to terrorize the recording industry.
$1,300; store.apple.com.

[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; www.t-mobile.com.

[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; www.currietech.com.

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; www.minimotoringgear.com.

[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; www.dimage.minolta.com/xt.
[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; www.mitel.com.

[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; www.toshiba.com.
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

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

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.

• Flexible
• Zero-footprint
except on
Windows 98
(requires driver
• Attractive

• 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

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

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 lmacvittie@nwc.com.
You Can Lug Home Your Office Computer Inside Your Pocket

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

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

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 www.4migo.com, 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.


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 (www.creativestrategies.com), 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

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 --

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 disk-

drive-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 hard-
drive 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-drive-
based 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

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

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

"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
"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, e-
mail and browser favorites on a remote machine; and then sync them back on your
return home. To my colleague Rob Enderle, eWEEK.com 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 re-
create 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

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

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

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 www.4migo.com.

Easy to use; synchronizes files easily; good amount of built-in security. Limited
application support; currently a Windows-only product.










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

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 home-
away-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 www.4migo.com

President Joshua Feller

HQ San Ramon, CA

Employees 8

Founded May 2003

Market Data synchronization

Funding 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


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

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

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-of-
the-art hardware and software with automatic file and e-mail synchronization and multi-
level 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'

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 www.4migo.com.

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.

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 geek.com


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

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

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-of-
the-art hardware and software with automatic file and e-mail synchronization and multi-
level 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'

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, Smallbiztechnology.com
23 Sep 2003


For those of you who followed my PC EXPO coverage you had a tip off already about
Forward Solutions...here'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

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
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",

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'

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

-- 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 Windows-
based 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 News.com


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
Migo: More Than Just A USB Drive
By Doug Olenick
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


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 Mr Elliot with a Migo-enabled
now mainly used as a portable storage gizmo. USB thumb drive at the side of
the laptop. The Migo system
allows you to work on another
Available next month, Migo will allow users to carry their
computer as if you were using
desktop settings and files with them in a USB flash 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.