updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
Hitachi USB/NAS adapter
Hitachi has released a compact adapter under its SimpleTech label that allows any USB hard drive, memory stick or SD card to become a network attached storage device. The SimpleNET USB/NAS adapter includes two USB ports and a 100Mbps Ethernet jack to bring external disks online. The device is Linux-based and does not require reformatting of USB drives. Any USB-based storage device will work with the adapter, but printers are not supported. Hitachi says the adapter works with most networkable backup clients, including Apple's Time Machine.
The SimpleNET ships with client software for PCs and Macs to setup accounts and hard drives, monitor drive status and set protocol controls. Advanced users can configure the device to create FTP access drives, iTunes servers, FTP access drives, DLNA media servers or SSH servers for command line access; Bonjour zero-config networks are always supported. FAT32, NTFS, HFS+ and EXT3 file systems are supported.
Hitachi's SimpleNET USB/NAS adapter is now shipping for $80. The device works with Linux, Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4 and above.