Converters for IDE to USB aren't new, but in light of the latest and upcoming motherboards, they're turning into extremly useful techie tools.
The average geek has at least one spare hard drive (I have three or four, for example), often bunging it in a chassis as backup storage or for another OS, or some other random use. Most of the time it's a more mature drive - not elderly; we tend to upgrade drives regularly, us techies - which means the majority of the techie world's spare drives are IDE.
External drive enclosures are, of course, one way to use these drives as portable solutions, but sometimes all we want is to hook one particular PC up to the drive. The control circuitry that takes IDE signalling and converts it for sending over USB has been available "enclosureless" for some time now, and a number of such devices exist, but with AM2 here and Core 2 approaching, we might see a few more being snapped up.
Indeed, one of the HEXUS.community admins recently moved over to AM2, only to discover that there are changes taking place in southbridge-attached components on new motherboards.
I've been upgrading my internals and am a proud owner of an AM2 board, which is great apart from a low number of IDE channels (i.e. 1)
Gone are the days of four channels of IDE goodness; good news for making space on motherboards, but bad news for the techies with a dozen spare IDE drives. Still, the intrepid forum admin fixed the problem by spending a whole ten pounds on an IDE-USB converter.
An external power brick keeps the hard drive spinning, while the "Easy IDE"'s circuitry deals with the IDE-USB conversion. While USB2.0 isn't quite ATA133, it's still got enough bandwidth to sustain a good transfer rate, so unless you're after getting maximum performance, these things are a treat.
So, before you start worrying about new boards and their lack of IDE channels, remember that there's an easy solution! Thanks to 'Moby-Dick' for providing the pic of his Easy IDE in action.
SCAN :: Easy IDE converter.