Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thanks but no thanks for the memory

Regular readers know I'm a gadget freak. If it's small and it takes batteries, I like it. I'm talking about cell phones, digital cameras, tiny computers, MP3 players and so on, so stop giggling.

But gadget freakdom has its perils. Gadgets are easy to lose and easy to forget. From a distance they all look more or less the same. And although it's easy to carry any single gadget, they start to get bulky en masse: As a reporter I sometimes indeed walk around with a phone, a camera, a digital recorder and a computer, which is cumbersome, as you can imagine. But somehow I manage.

What's hard to manage, though, is the fact that each of these devices takes a different kind of memory. Computer memory has gotten wonderfully cheap in recent years, and generally it's easy to increase the capacity of a device simply by sticking in a new card.

But the cards come in all different shapes and sizes and prices, and there is no predicting which device takes which kind of memory. Some cards come with adapters that fit otherwise incompatible gadgets, which is nice. But an adapter is really just another tiny, valuable thing that is easy to lose.

Pictured here is a random sampling of cards belonging to yours truly: SD, Mini SD, Mini SD adapater, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick adapter, CompactFlash and, for good measure, a thumb drive. Not pictured: an XD card. I learned about that kind the other day when I tried to put an SD card into a colleague's camera. The camera took XD memory. The SD card wouldn't fit.

Is all this clear to you? Maybe you can explain it to me.

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