SimpleDrives have FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces for fast data transfer and
capacities from 120GB up to the 400GB model, making them perfect for backing
up or storing lots of digital images or DV clips. They are small, measuring
just 5.51x8.86x1.35", and are heat dissipating, providing cool, ultra-quiet
operation. A SimpleDrive is small enough to stuff into your digital backpack
or camera bag while traveling so you'll never run out of storage space.
The latest SimpleDrives have only one FireWire jack, so daisy chaining them
together with my scanner and printer won't work. Here comes Belkin (www.belkin.com)
to the rescue. While not a traditional photographic supplier, Belkin provides
interconnectivity solutions that are indispensable for digital imagers. Their
website showed just what I needed:
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire PCI Card (Part #: F5U508) provides three USB 2.0
and two FireWire ports and is a simple plug-in installation in my Apple Power
Mac G4. Just open the computer's side door, insert the card in a spare
PCI slot, close the door, and plug in peripherals. USB 2.0 and FireWire has
a bandwidth up to 40 times greater than USB 1.1, making it ideal for transferring
large image (read raw) files at ultra-fast speeds. This is not just a Mac-only
product and works with any recent 300MHz (or faster) Windows system and is a
great way to add FireWire compatibility to those computers lacking it. For $89.99,
the package includes Photo Manager, Video Editing, and Network software plus
Belkin's Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire PCI Card provides
three USB 2.0 and two FireWire ports and is a simple plug-in installation
in any computer.
Who's Your Caddy?
Back in Neanderthal days, all CD-ROM drives used cartridges or caddies to hold
discs to provide greater safety and data accuracy. In the quest for cheaper
peripherals caddies were replaced with the ubiquitous drop-in tray. DVD-RAM
(see sidebar) drives from Fostex, Hitachi, IZ Technology, Iomega, JVC, LG, Panasonic,
and NEC use cartridges for those same reasons and Digital Pursuits (www.bkaphoto.com)
offers a Universal Cartridge for these and similar drives. The Universal Cartridge
protects DVD discs from dust, fingerprints, and scratches during recording,
playback, and storage. You might think of them as DVDs you don't have
to take out of the case to use. (Have you ever cracked a DVD getting it out
of a case? I have.) The Digital Pursuits Universal Cartridge is compatible with
single and double-sided discs, is available with or without media, and works
with any DVD-RAM or multi-format drive (or video recorder) that uses cartridges.
Heck, they only cost $7.95 each with media!
The Digital Pursuits Universal Cartridge is compatible with single
and double-sided discs, is available with or without media, and
works with "any" DVD-RAM or multi-format drive (or
video recorder) that uses cartridges.
I Pod, You Pod, We Pod
You just finished a shoot and the clients asked for digital files only. What
are you going to do? Hand him a CD that looks like the same disc his kid buys
at Wal-Mart to store illegally downloaded MP3 files? Nope, you're a pro;
you deliver discs with a cool label, tenderly tucked inside a custom case. Lost
Orbit 242 disc holder has a frosted clear acrylic cover and a circular aluminum
base. It screws together so the CD/DVD won't pop out and get scratched,
crushed, or eaten by your Dalmatian. The Orbit 242 costs $25 and your client
will think your photographs have some weight and are worth the big bucks they
PODZ are available in lots of colors and keep out dust, dirt,
grit, grime, and even water from your valuable CDs and DVDs.
Client drives a Passat instead of a Phaeton? You need PODZ! Greywolf Marketing's
are sealed disc storage cases that are half the width of standard jewel cases,
and thinner than Slimlines. They're made of lightweight, flexible, and
shatterproof polypropylene, and are perfect for storage, mailing, travel, or
business use. The PODZ Surround Seal design seals the entire perimeter of the
cases with a 360Þ protective ring. They're available in lots of
colors, including Barbie's favorite hot pink, and by keeping out dust,
dirt, grit, grime, and even water are well worth the extra cost. At $11 for
25 PODZ or 44 cents each, it's time to think outside the box.