Portable, Stand-alone Digital Photographic Storage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Richard Alexander, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. I like to take a lot of pictures with my digital camera on road trips,
    so I need a way to store my photos until I return to my desktop at
    home. Last year, I bought a MindStor PSS-1810, which did what I needed
    when I needed it. Unfortunately, it began malfunctioning lately
    (slightly moving the power cord while charging causes the whole unit
    to shut down; the unit once insisted on powering up with the display
    text upside-down and could not access memory cards or the hard drive).
    I've ordered another AC adapter and battery pack, but if that doesn't
    work, I probably will have to buy a replacement unit. I need to be
    ready to hit the road in 12 days.

    I happened to run across a nice Website, B&H Photo, which has several
    stand-alone storage units. They sell the Apacer Disc Steno CP100 and
    CP200, Image Tank G2, Nixvue Digital Album Lite, Teraoptix MINE,
    Delkin Devices e-Film PicturePad and SmartDisk FlashTrax. I am
    unfamiliar with any of these devices. I am wondering if anyone knows
    of reliability issues with any of them?

    One thing I like about my MindStor is that it fits neatly into a small
    digital camera bag, so I can wear it over my shoulder along with my
    camera. It is also nice that it can completely download my SmartMedia
    128 Meg cards in just a few seconds (about the time it takes me to put
    another card in my camera). I don't really need to burn my photos to
    CD, particularly as I am saving up for an 8x8 DVD burner.

    Thank you for your advice.
     
    Richard Alexander, Feb 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. I've been using a 40 GB "Tripper" since this past Christmas. I can't
    speak to the subject of long-term reliability obviously, but it
    certainly has performed very well to this point. It is everything I
    expected it to be. I purchased it from www.mydigitaldiscount.com.
    They sell other brands such as Xs-Drive and Image Tank. My purchasing
    experience with them has been excellent, FWIW.
     
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Feb 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Richard Alexander

    Robertwgross Guest

    I think you will find the old X-drive version 1 is pretty reliable, but basic.
    The version 2 is pretty well received in the marketplace. The version 3 is out
    now, and it is a bit pricier.

    ---Bob Gross---
     
    Robertwgross, Feb 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Though the x-drive version 1 is supposed to not work so well if you deleted any
    pictures in the camera due to fragmentation issues (but this may be fixed by a
    firmware upgrade). I have the x-drive II, and I was able to copy 14
    128-megabyte smartmedia cards to the disk before the low battery indicator was
    flashing.

    I bought my x-drive from http://www.insidecomputer.com. You can also get it
    from http://www.compgeeks.com. One nice thing about the x-drive and Image Tank
    units is you can replace the disk drive either to upgrade to a larger size, or
    in case you drop the unit and the disk drive stopped working like happened to
    me.
     
    Michael Meissner, Feb 4, 2004
    #4
  5. Richard Alexander

    Robertwgross Guest

    I had gotten mine from the second source along with a disk. I never had any
    problem with mine reading CF cards.

    I mentioned this once before, but mine was doing a CF copy when a wind gust
    blew it off the roof of my car and onto the gravel parking lot. It wrote the
    entire session and never missed a byte.

    ---Bob Gross---
     
    Robertwgross, Feb 4, 2004
    #5
  6. Richard Alexander

    DJ Guest

    An electronics technician with sharp eyes will probably be able to spot a bad
    solder joint or cracked PCB trace and fix it. Try a TV, VCR or monitor repair
    shop.
     
    DJ, Feb 4, 2004
    #6
  7. Richard Alexander

    Dave Head Guest

    Big magnifier for broken trace. Sometimes works. For bad solder joint, just
    resolder all the joints on the PC board. Of course, with surface mount
    technology, that's a lot trickier than it used to be.

    Dave Head
     
    Dave Head, Feb 4, 2004
    #7
  8. It sound like you have the September firmware installed which made the unit
    much more robust. After I installed that firmware, and installed the Linux
    2.4.22 kernel (which meant I didn't have to reboot into Windows to use the
    device), I was a much happier camper with my x-drive.
     
    Michael Meissner, Feb 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Richard Alexander

    Robertwgross Guest

    I have no way of knowing what September is. September 1950? This thing is about
    one year old.

    ---Bob Gross---
     
    Robertwgross, Feb 4, 2004
    #9
  10. I took the unit apart (photographing each step, BTW), and found
    nothing wrong. I had expected to find the power connector was loose,
    because moving the power cord slightly shuts off the unit. But, my
    visual inspection found nothing wrong. All solder joints looked good,
    all components were firmly mounted in place.

    After I re-assembled my unit and plugged it back to the power cord, it
    quickly reached full charge. It seems to be working normally, now,
    though I haven't tested it very much. Maybe all it needed was to have
    the battery disconnected for several minutes? This would lead me to
    think that the OS is stored on a chip, instead of on the hard drive.
    If so, I might be able to upgrade my unit by swapping out the hard
    drive?

    The one weakness my unit has always had since I bought it is that it
    locks-up. I have always had to make frequent use of the red reset
    button. I figured that was normal, and the unit would work fine after
    a few resets, so I never worried about it.
     
    Richard Alexander, Feb 4, 2004
    #10
  11. One other thing I did that might have made a difference. When I opened
    up my unit, I found it had a lot of small plastic fragments and was
    fairly dusty. I used a can of compressed air to blow away the
    fragments.

    I tested out my Mindstor today. So far, no sign of any trouble. The
    problem with the unit shutting down when I wriggle the AC cord is also
    gone. The unit appears to be rock-stable, now.
     
    Richard Alexander, Feb 5, 2004
    #11
  12. Richard Alexander

    Henry Casson Guest

    Having a puzzling problem clear up after an exploratory operation is not
    uncommon in surgical practice. We call it 'letting the air in '.
     
    Henry Casson, Feb 5, 2004
    #12
  13. The firmware (revision 1.07) that was released in September 2003 on the
    www.vosonic.com.tw web site. I bought my unit in the February/March 2003 time
    frame. Since it is only about a year since the initial release, I thought the
    year was implied.
     
    Michael Meissner, Feb 5, 2004
    #13
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