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The Rapport/Drive 2.4 combination isn't perfect. For one thing, many people have a SWIM chip-equipped Mac these days and it would be nice if Kennect could finish the driver so that the Drive 2.4 can do its stuff without requiring the $200 Rapport.

Something about the combination tends to upset the Mac's sound driver, so when you insert a disk, SoundMaster's Insert Disk sound usually gets garbled. Similarly, if you launch a file from a disk in the Drive 2.4, Finder Sounds can't maintain a smooth swoosh sound for opening. I'd far rather that Kennect spent their time getting the Drive 2.4 working with the SWIM chip, but if someone's sitting around bored, it would be nice if the Drive 2.4 didn't interfere with sounds.

One thing to watch out for is that some programs can auto-format a floppy disk and HD disks inserted into HD drives like the SuperDrive and the Drive 2.4 are always formatted to 1.4 MB, which isn't necessarily desirable in the Drive 2.4. Kennect could solve this problem and make the package a little more desirable if they included a small utility program that could bulk format disks at whatever size you wished, including all of the strange sizes made possible by Rapport and the Drive 2.4. That way, when I ordered 100 HD disks, I could sit and feed them in, one after another, making sure that they were all formatted at 2.4 MB. Just a suggestion, but one which would add a nice touch. Heck, as long as we're talking about nice touches, I'd like it if they included a bunch of little stickers in the package so you could label which disks were MS-DOS disks and which ones were formatted 1200K and which ones were ProDOS 1.4M disks, etc.

It's certainly not impossible for INIT conflicts to appear with the Rapport INIT, and although I didn't find any, you should be aware that you should test any unexplained problems on a clean system before calling Kennect. The current version of the software supposedly works on all flavors of System 6.0.x, but System 7.0 will require a new version of the INIT, so if you want to use System 7.0 with your Drive 2.4, hang on for while.

Brion Feinberg, who responded to our request for comments, did point out a problem that might affect some people, although it doesn't seem to be Kennect's fault. "Apparently, on early Mac II models, the SCSI port receives power from an external hard drive and that power doesn't go away, even if the Mac II is shut down. I always left my external drive turned on, even when I shut down the Mac. The Drive 2.4 detects the loss of power on a Mac as a signal to reinitialize itself upon start-up. However, with the SCSI drive connected and left on, the Drive 2.4 never realizes that the Mac has been turned off. Consequently, it does not reinitialize when the machine is turned back on and for some reason, the Mac fails to recognize the drive (note that if the Mac is restarted instead of being shut down, the drive doesn't need to be reinitialized.) The work around is to always turn off your external hard drive whenever you shut down. Or never shut down :-). Kennect claims that this is Apple's problem with the design of their SCSI circuitry and that Apple has fixed it in later models."

Finally, depending on your sensibilities, you may not like the sounds that the Drive 2.4 makes. It is louder than the internal drive certainly, and I think a tad louder than the external Apple drives as well. I personally like disk drive sounds because almost every computer I've worked on has different disk drive sounds. They give each computer a personality, and the Drive 2.4 has done that a bit more so for my Mac these last few weeks. The flashing light (gee, do you notice that it bothers me?) has to go, though. Now where's the masking tape?


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