Archive for November, 2010

FireWire Compact Flash Reader

November 26th, 2010 Comments off

*****UPDATE****** Since I got some pushback about my snarking regards FireWire vs USB and notes pointing me to  the stated performance of USB 2.0, I thought I’d offer a link: Now, that’s the all-official-like benchmarking analysis. Here’s the Jonalysis – “USB 1.0 is like ADB and a serial port had a bastard child that barely made it to little league from T-Ball. but got safer hotswap and more bus power. USB 2.0 is like that child worked out  every day, juiced up a lot for the Major Leagues but, in the end, barely made it to the minors.

FireWire is like SCSI suddenly started to work without terminators, ID numbers and the waving of rubber chickens and geek incantations. Use FireWire for anything involving moving significant data. Use eSATA when you’re a cutting HD to local storage. When you have money to burn, Fibre Channel but that’s not for mortals. Seriously, USB for mass storage is feh. ****end update ****

I went looking for a second FireWire 800 Compact Flash Card reader and after they seemed absurdly expensive and oddly uncommon I learned from a source I can’t name that they are apparently in short supply due to a critical component not being available.

This component shortage is apparently affecting both Lexar and SanDisk. Maybe it’s #$%^ but I like my source and it does look like they’re not as ubiquitous to lay hands on as one might think they should be.

Wanted a SanDisk, paid twenty bucks less for the Lexar in stock at E.P. Levine.

If you’ve been stalling buying one, know that USB sucks for mass storage and use Compact Flash mayhaps now’s the time to buy one. I’m just sayin’.

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Gifts for Geeks # 2 – As good as Classic Trek!

November 24th, 2010 No comments

One of the best television series’ in history was probably unknown to many of you. The show was called Farscape and was, and I don’t say this lightly, as good as Classic Star Trek. I could rhapsodize for hours on the quality of the ensemble cast, the live-action puppetry (this ain’t no Thunderbirds) the ‘look and feel’ of the show, the humor, the kink, the real sense of ongoing character arc and the incredible warmth and passion for the project from cast and crew that flowed like Niagra Falls from the screen.

That this show was ‘saved from a cliffhanger cancellation’ by fan activism on the intertubes was another aspect of this show that makes it Geek-Cool.

More info at

There is not, remotely, enough good to say about this show. If you know a geek, buy him or her this for the holidays. If you’re a geek and don’t have it yet, get yourself a copy….now.

Frell me dead, this show was great and I miss it!

When you buy anything at Amazon following the little advert above, Amazon kicks me back a little money and you don’t spend a dime extra. Everybody wins.

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Gifts for Geeks # 1 – Fisher Space Pen

November 21st, 2010 No comments

Post number one in a series of pre-holiday posts about great gifts for geeks.

The Fisher Space pen comes in a variety of styles, most of which are elegantly minimalist in design. The most common elongated capsule shaped models include a snap on pocket clip and, when the cap is reversed onto the tail end of the pen, become longer and more comfortable to write with.
What makes these killer affordable geek gifts isn’t actually the apparently true history of the pens as tested for and used in manned space flight but why they would pass those tests.

They write upside down and underwater and function at temperature extremes. They are simply, the perfect glovebox, bike saddle, or camping pen. The perfect ‘always have a pen in the ditty bag’ pen. The ideal ‘tool pen’. No leaking, no failing when needed most.

A word of warning, the snap-on pocket clip can come off so best clipped inside something rather than onto something.

When you buy anything at Amazon following the little advert above, Amazon kicks me back a little money and you don’t spend a dime extra. Everybody wins.

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