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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
It looks like a character from Star Wars, but the Colorado T3000 is actually the latest addition to Hewlett-Packard's line of mass-market internal tape drives. It writes to Travan TR-3, QIC-3020 and 3020Wide cartridges-with compression you can cram 3.2GB onto a single tape-and it can read everything from TR-1 and TR-2 to QIC-80 and QIC-3010 tapes.
Installing the T3000 wasn't difficult. With its preinstalled mounting brackets, the unit fits into an existing half-height bay; without brackets, an existing one-third-height external bay accommodates it. I plugged the middle connector of the floppy controller into the back of the tape drive and attached a power cable, and the drive was ready to roll. If using the floppy controller is inconvenient, an optional FC-20 controller card boosts the data rate 16-fold to 2MB per second.
A copy of Colorado Backup for Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and DOS is bundled with the T3000. Clicking on the Backup button from the Tools page of a drive's Properties sheet launches Colorado Backup, and a backup-scheduling program is placed in the system tray when you install the program. If you're running Windows NT 4.0, the built-in backup program can detect and use the T3000 automatically.
I backed up approximately 1.3GB of data-programs, data files and hard-to-compress image files-on one TR-3 cartridge in 3 hours and 12 minutes, with compression turned on. The drive ran smoothly and quietly, although it did make a slight grinding sound when first powered up. A single 3.2GB cartridge comes with the T3000, so you can start backing up right away.
Hewlett-Packard stands behind the drive with a two-year warranty. At $227, the T3000 is an inexpensive alternative to the $400 to $500 devices from Iomega and other manufacturers.
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.