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Old Aug 5, 2003, 2:06 PM   #1
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Default PCMCIA Cards

I have just learned about these, and I am not sure what they are. I understand that they take up a PCI slot, but do you insert the flash card through the back slot in the back of the computer where all the other plugs are, or do you have to remove the card inside the computer each time you want to put in a card?

I am asking because I don't have a flash reader yet, and am trying to decide on the best kind for me.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 2:12 PM   #2
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PCMCIA cards are a kind of adapter for your memory card. It can be used to download your photo into your LAPTOP and normally NOT you stationary PC. However I will recommend a cardreader using USB (if possible USB 2.0) - its much faster than a PCMCIA slot.

For download to a PC get a cardreader too. The cardreader works though a USB cable - nothing more!

Forget the PCMCIA.

None of these takes up a PCI slot (which is reside inside a PC).

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Old Aug 5, 2003, 4:47 PM   #3
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Thank you for the info., Klaus DK. I'll stick with buying a reader.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 9:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
I understand that they take up a PCI slot, but do you insert the flash card through the back slot in the back of the computer where all the other plugs are, or do you have to remove the card inside the computer each time you want to put in a card?
PCI to PCMCIA card adapters do exist for PC and they offer the fastest transfer (either through the back or the front of PC like a floppy) since It's a parallel PCI's speed DMA instead of a serial USB. However, they are not for the non-technically inclined since it involves opening up the PC:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/q.../11569_na.HTML

Speed is not a factor here since the flash cards are usually the weakest link and a USB reader is probably the safest bet!
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 10:48 PM   #5
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I am technically inclined, I built the computer I am writing this on.
Although I know it's an option, I'll just get a reader. I am even thinking of spending some extra $ and getting a firewire reader. Speed is Good.

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Old Aug 6, 2003, 3:32 AM   #6
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Be careful, what NHL says about speed is correct, but there are also compatibility issues between some PCI to PCMCIA cards linked to motherboard/bridge/interrupt variations. Buy with the option to return if you're serious. From what I read, there's more chance of compatibility with Pentium boards, than the Athlon VIA I have.

There are a few built in card readers about for PC's, but from what I've seen, these still connect to the motherboard's USB connector - so you're not gaining much.

NHL can confirm this, but I think a genuine laptop pcmcia interface should be quite quick, and you can get the SM/CF/MD adapter cards cheap
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 7:30 AM   #7
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FYI

Quote:
Unlike other PCI adapters for PC Cards, the Elan adapters do not use an extra "ISA paddle board" to support I/O cards and they do not use polling methods in-place of hardware IRQs. That's why our adapters work in Windows 95(osr2+), 98, 98SE, Millennium Edition, NT4, 2000, XP, MacOS9 and Linux (and DOS too if required)!

We can also supply Systemsoft CardWizard software bundled with any model to offer extra facilities for NT4 users.
http://www.elandigitalsystems.com/adapter/index.php

... In another word, it'll behave just like a laptop's PCMCIA slot with with full Cardbus support!
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 8:01 AM   #8
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voxmagna, No, in my last post I meant I would get a regular flash card reader, not a PCMCIA card. Some readers connect to firewire, not USB, and I just meant I was considering one of them. A regular reader that is on the outside of the PC, but connects to a firewire port instead of a USB 1.1 or 2.0 port.
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 8:39 AM   #9
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FireWire readers can be faster than USB2 (althought that is quite fast already.)

There was a test done on this web site (I think) which compared readers:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/

Unfortunately, I can't find it any more. Pity, I wanted to keep it around. If anyone knows where that article went, that would be great. It compared about 8 readers (1-USB1, the rest a mix of usb2 & firewire) and about a dozen CF cards and microdrives. It gave a good idea of how different readers should perform. As I recall, a FireWire card was the all-around fastest reader. I just don't recall which!!! (which is why I'm mad, I have firewire on my home-built Athlon!)

Eric
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 9:06 AM   #10
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Here is a link to Rob Galbraith's card reader shootout:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...id=7-6191-6217

It also compares different combinations of compactflashes and readers. Good info
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