How Do You Know it’s Time To Get A New Chip Reader

The Floppy is dead, the “Stiffy” is long gone, the CD is dying, the DVD is annoying to use.   Apple moved away from “optical media” for distributing their software years ago at this point. 

So just how do you move data around today?

For a while, it was Compact Flash cards that were almost indestructible.  They’re still around, but not terribly well supported any longer.  There were stories of these larger than a postage stamp sized square getting lost in the trash or dropped into the bottom of the pool and surviving.   I still have a few of these things from that era.

It went to USB “thumb drives” and the SD Chip or SD Card.  Most likely we all have a few of those thumb drives around.   They’re typically much smaller than your thumb, but when they came out, that is what they were shaped like. 

As for the SD Chips, I’ve got quite a few of those.  My camera uses them, my Android phone uses them, one lives in my laptop for professional data, and there is one that lives in my Nook tablet.  There are at least two sizes of them, but they’re all the same hardware so they can be used in many places fairly easily.

Today I had a few pictures to get off of the camera, and I couldn’t tell you where the cable for the thing was so I had to pop the chip out and put it in the reader.  I’m still waiting for it to read.   I’ve got a blue spinning donut on the Windows Explorer window telling me that it just doesn’t know what to do with all this electronic chaff.   I imagine the little person who lives inside of the LCD screen sitting there, scratching his virtual head, twiddling his virtual thumbs waiting to do something with this but it isn’t quite right.  He’s about the size of an ant and looks like one too because I see him walking around on the outside of the computer once in a while.

You see, the chip reader is “flaky” and it’s time for a new one. 

I guess that means that the pictures of the Penta, Bougainvillea, and Hibiscus from the back yard will have to wait for another day. 

SD Cards are fairly “robust” and put up with a lot of mistreatment.  There is one of them sitting bare on the “mulch” that is on top of my table between the two big green chairs in the living room.  It really should be in a device like a computer but there isn’t any real pressure for me to do so since I trust it to survive being placed between a copy of Information Week and last month’s check register from the Bank. 

On the other hand, the $.59 reader that I had shipped from a web site a while back isn’t doing too well.  I’m afraid the patient isn’t going to survive Mr. Moose.

I’m sitting staring at a translucent box plugged into the USB port in the side of my laptop in what mom would have called “Bilious Green”.  It’s got my 8GB chip sticking toward me like a computerized electronic tongue saying “Neener Neener Neener, I’m not going to give you those pictures! Bwahahah, go find something else to do!”.

I guess the Gods of the Devices aren’t in my favor and I’ll just have to wait a week for that new $.59 reader to get here from my friendly UPS Driver or my friendly USPS Postman.  Both nice folks.  We’re lucky that way.

Class 10 SDHC Chip to the Rescue

What’s this technobabble and why the clouds?

I blew up my memory chip for the camera a while back and had to get a new one.  Had because I simply did not have one to use for the camera, the other one was in use for documents and was way too small for the task.

As in 128 MB.  I can blow through that in a good session of picture taking.

As prices are dropping, there simply is no reason to compromise on speed.   Before I have mentioned the slower memory sticks and how to tell what you need for your camera.  Class 2 should be avoided, Class 6 is good for Photos, Class 10 is the best.   When I priced it all out, I was able to get an 8GB Class 10 chip for my camera for $10. 

I could have gone larger but this is for the camera and I’d be tempted to use it as a drive in the little laptop.

Why this need for speed? 

Plug in a slow chip and take a picture.  Immediately try to take another.

Go ahead I’ll wait.

And wait… and wait.

That happened at Stonewall.  I tried to take a picture of a friend on a balcony.  The first picture was fouled up, so I focused and waited.  It took a full 30 seconds for the camera to write out the picture to the slow class 2 chip. 

I ordered this Class 10 chip and waited for it to get here.  Eagerly I took the chip out and put it in my camera and went out for a dog walk.  I was taking pictures for no particular purpose, enjoying the act of trying to capture something without trying hard.  Out of those pictures, there were actually a few that are worth sharing, so I’ll have them out here.   The nice thing was that my “refresh” rate – the time between pictures, is drastically better.  The time now is well less than five seconds.   Seeing that I may refocus and reposition the shot between taking pictures, that five seconds is more reasonable.

So remember, research your purchase – Speed kills in a car but:

In a Camera, Speed is your best friend!