PC Solutions Briefs: CD-RW Blaster, Apple, IBM, Iomega

Creative ships CD-RW Blaster to retailersCreative Labs will begin shipping its CD-RW Blaster 12-10-32 at the end of this month.

The device, which will carry a retail price of $699, features a maximum CD-R writing speed of 12x, CD-RW writing speed of 10x and a 32x CD-ROM. It can store up to 650MB of data on a disc and features Creative's new burn-proof technology which helps stop unsuccessful data transfer. The Blaster is packaged with Ahead Software's Nero burning software, Prassi's packet writing software and Creative's Lava Player.

Apple sales exec quits

Apple has announced its senior vice president of worldwide sales, Mitch Mandich, will leave the company at the end of the year.

The company is now looking for Mandich's replacement, but in the meantime, his role will be assumed by vice president of operations, Tim Cook.

According to Apple, Mandich will retire from the company to spend more time with his family.

Apple has just released QuickTime 5 and QuickTime Streaming Server 3 public previews for creating, streaming and playing audio and video files over the Internet.

The industry standard technologies feature Web skip protection and updated user interfaces.

IBM puts its chips on the table in New YorkTaking its biggest step ever into the chip-making business, IBM has announced that it will build a $US2.5 billion chip plant in New York, part of a $5 billion world-wide investment in its semiconductor business.

The facility, which is expected to be operational by the second half of 2002, will focus on copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and low-k dielectric insulation on 300 millimetre (12-inch) wafers, the company said in a statement. IBM also plans to be the first chipmaker to mass-produce semiconductors at line widths below .10 microns, more than 1000 times thinner than a human hair.

IBM said it would expand the chip-making capacity of its existing plants in Vermont and Japan.

Iomega gets MS support

Iomega has announced support for its drive and adaptors included in Microsoft's new home-user operating system, Windows ME. The company also announced its iomegaware 2.5 and Quik Sync 2 version 2.02 software are both fully compatible with the new operating system and is shipping now.

Windows ME supports iomega in a number of interfaces including USB, ATAPI, FireWire, PCMCIA and SCSI.