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Old Oct 12, 2003, 10:08 AM   #1
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Default Apacer Disc Steno

:-) I just returned from a 12 day trip to Italy. Before I left I knew I wanted to take a lot of pictures. In searching for a solution to storage during the trip I discovered the review of the Apacer Disc Steno Portable CD Burner on this site. It was the perfect solution. Trusting Steve's review I bought one and tested it with only 1 memory card full of pictures before I left. It worked perfectly in that test. I filled up two 700MB CDs full of pictures and part of another while I was gone. I used the record/w check button instead of the record only button. In my test at home before the trip I used the record only button and it worked fine. All my pictures were there. I have 1 128 Meg Smart Media card and 4, 64 meg cards for my Olympus C-4040. I shot away all day and then downloaded at night in my hotel room and deleted pictures off the camera memory so I could start fresh each day. Each card I downloaded was put in a new folder on the CD. The Disc Steno advertises it will work for 2 hours on the Lithuim Ion battery between charges or directly off the AC wall converter/charger. I found it did not last that long on battery. Perhaps over time with more discharges and charges the battery will become more long lasting. The AC to DC charger unit that comes with it is good for 110V to 240V. So all that is needed anywhere in the world is an adaptor plug to allow one to plug into any wall AC outlet.

The advantages I see are that each time you download you are basically creating what amounts to a permanent record of all your pictures. When you get home all you need to do is slip in the CDs that you have burned and then work with the pictures oln your computer and then to save them to your hard drive. The Apacer also hooks up to your copmputer via USB port to in fact become an external CD burner able to be used with any computer for any CD reading or burning needs.

I highly recommend it. I am looking forward to more trips without having to buy and carrying a lap top. It will work with all the major types of memory cards. So carry several different cameras if you want or even share it with a friend who has different memory cards like I did. Just keep it charged up occationally, carry plenty of blank CD-Rs or RWs and rest assured it will faithfully record your images. I must admit I was worried if it was recording OK since without a computer I could not view the photos on the CD. I finally found an Internet cafe and was able to look at one of the folder and found all the pictures were there.
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Old Oct 31, 2003, 11:21 AM   #2
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I've been thinking about this unit for some time, as my wife and I are planning a 7-week-long trip around the US next year. Both of us will be taking a lot of pictures, and there won't be a chance to offload them from the flash cards until we get home. (We don't own a laptop and don't have any other reason to buy one.)

What makes me hesitate is the difficulty of checking whether or not all the images on a card get burned to CD. I hate the thought of erasing the card without being certain of this. We expect to spend a lot of time in areas where internet cafes are uncommon. (They seem to be much less common anywhere than they were a few years ago.) As for plugging into a TV, I don't think we can rely on most motels having TVs with inputs (though I recently found one in a Motel 6, so maybe I'm fretting too much about that).

Anyway, I've been waiting for the Nixvue Vizor, which in addition to doing the same job as the Disc Steno has an LCD screen that can display a directory of the CD after you burn it. This would provide a lot of reassurance.

On the other hand, the Vizor was announced last March and still hasn't appeared in the marketplace. A person in Nixvue's USA sales dept. told me that it would be (re-)announced 'during the last week of October,' but that's just about over and there has been nothing so far.

So it's good to hear that your experience with the Disc Steno has been good, because if Nixvue doesn't come through pretty soon, that's what I'm going to have to get.

Charlie Bowen
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Old Oct 31, 2003, 11:42 AM   #3
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I suggest you get the Apacer early before you go. Test it several times by shooting a few pictures on one or more cards and see if it works. A blank CD-R is pretty cheap. I think your fears will go away. I guess they could add an LCD screen, but then the price would go way up. Most hotels have computers so they might be willing to let you slide in a CD to look. I don't think you need to worry though. If you get one be sure to carry the booklet with you in the carrying case to interpret the various green and red lights. I got a red light one day when I tried to record and all it meant was the CD was full and I needed to get a fresh one out.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 11:05 PM   #4
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Apacer recently announced a new model of the Disc Steno, the CP-200, with a small LCD screen.

http://www.apacer.com/apacer_english...html/index.asp

Unfortunately, the only information they offer about the screen is that it "shows the current working situation," which isn't specific enough for me. I would be happy enough if it could just tell me how many files are on the CD when the transfer is complete, even though I'd *really* like to be able to scroll thru the contents to make sure.

Your suggestion that I get a Disc Steno early and try it out is based on the assumption that, if it works a few times, I can feel sure that it will go on working indefinitely. I admit that I'd feel a subjective increase in confidence, but I really want more than that if I can get it -- I don't think it will be possible to repeat this trip if all doesn't happen to go well.

Fortunately there are still a few months left, so maybe a product with the features I'm looking for will show up in time for pre-departure testing (which I absolutely intend to do).

Charlie
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