At the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft promoted Belkin’s Easy Transfer Cable, one of a number of cables that can connect two PCs via USB but require the advance installation of software (in this case, LapLink Software’s PCsync). Data Drive Thru, on the other hand, has long been making is own versions of such cables that require no separate software as it is integrated into the cable electronics. Data Drive Thru calls this “No Software To Load” technology and uses the initialism “NSTL” (not that NSTL) to brand it. The company’s earlier product, apparently named in an homage to Hank Williams, was the Move It On Over cable. It was later upgraded to the more meteorologicaly-themed The Tornado. Both featured retractable USB cables.
Data Drive Thru has long promised a cross-platform version of The Tornado and has one featured on its site called iTornado, but it still apparently won’t be ready until the first quarter of next year. So Kensington has stepped in with the more awkwardly structured and named Kensington Media Sharing Cable.
Still, it works quite well, bringing up a two-paned user interface for easily dragging files back and forth across platforms with a two-paned window similar to The Tornado’s user interface. Placing the rectangular bulge near the cable’s middle would provide more flexibility around the port and possibly easier visibility for its LED. It t would also be nice if there were the option to have one computer hard drive mount on the other computer desktop, but that’s why there are crossover Ethernet cables.
Belkin has also recently jumped back into the fray with the “Switch-to-Mac” cable that ships with software that enables a Windows PC to be used with the Mac’s migration assistant. I’m looking into whether it can also be used for more ad hoc data transfers.