Over the past couple of years, just about every gadget I have bought, needs some kind of memory card, or rather a differnt type of memory card to the one I already own! This means that I have a draw full of different card readers, docking stations, cables and adapters to allow me to hook these various gadgets up to my PC.
I have an MP3 player that takes a Compact Flash Memory Card, a Camera that takes an XD Memory Card, a Palm Top Computer that takes an SD |Memory Card and my Mobile Phone takes a Mini SD card! That's four separate USB Memory Card readers/docking stations I need in order to make the most of each of these gadgets. Up until recently I had been plugging and unplugging these devices into my trusty 4 port USB hub, after much swapping of USB leads I became concerned when some of the sockets on my USB devices were becoming loose, and not plugging in as tightly as they once did.
It suddenly occurred to me that most of my USB devices have removable memory cards, so I thought it might be a good idea to protect my gadgets’ USB connectors from constant plugging and unplugging by using the memory cards themselves to copy over photos, music, video and other files, rather than plugging the devices directly into my computer's USB port.
So, instead of plugging in my Digital Camera directly into my computer, I will eject the memory card from the Camera and plug it in to it's card reader, and copy my photo's over to my computer directly from the memory card. A good idea, except for the fact that I have several different types of Memory Card as well as a multitude of different card readers, so in effect I'm no better off - instead of plugging in lots of different devices to my USB hub, I'm now hooking up lots of different card readers to my USB hub. Still, at least this way I'm protecting the USB sockets on the USB devices themselves.
I had settled on this method of transferring data from my devices to my PC, until I discovered the perfect tool to solve this plugging / unplugging problem. The Integral 17 in 1 Multi-Card Reader does exactly whet it says on the tin. This card reader / writer will actually read 17 different types of memory card all in one compact little unit, measuring 97mm in width, 57mm in depth and 15mm in height.
Simply plugging in this Multi-Card Reader / Writer to any available USB port on your computer, opens up your computer to be able to accept any one of the most popular Memory Cards currently on the market. Looking at the 17 in 1 card reader, it's hard to believe that it would take 17 different types of memory card, but between the four cleverly engineered slots on the front of this device, almost any type of Memory card currently on the market can be read or written to. (Correct at time of publish).
If your computer is running Windows 98 or 98SE then the supplied drivers will need to be installed before using the card reader. Windows ME, 2000, XP and MAC OS 9.0 and above requires no installation at all, other than connecting the card reader up to a USB port on your computer. Once the Memory Card Reader / Writer is plugged in and a Memory Card is inserted, a new icon appears in My Computer and a simple double click on this new icon will allow you to view the contents of the card. Once here you can drag and drop files to and fro between the memory card and your computer.
This simple device has helped save me wear and tear on my USB devices, stopped the constant swapping of USB devices and different USB card readers and also helps preserve the battery life of my Mobile devices. One thing to be aware of though, always double check your Camera, MP3 player, PDA (whatever your mobile device) to make sure the memory card is present before you go out, as it's easy to leave the all important memory card behind - in the card reader!!
Article by Iggy Quazi director of Ecommerce business Mouse2House based in Essex, England stocking a wide range of digital imaging devices. For more info see http://www.mouse2house.co.uk for the latest digital media products.