Did you know that SD (Secure Digital) memory cards should use a specific type of formatting software? I didn’t. I’ve been using the typical Windows formatting utility for years now – never seen a problem. However, I found out today that Panasonic has such a software utility. A utility that complies with the SD Memory Card Specification.
The SD formatting software is specifically design for this media type and should not be used with other media types such as Compact Flash, USB or Memory Stick.
However, the SD formatting software is ideal for SD, SDHC and all the sub sizes including miniSD and microSD.
It is difficult to determine exactly what the difference is from the Panasonic website but from our investigation it appears you get two benefits. 1) the card size is formatted correctly to maximize size. The Windows version will make your card slightly smaller and 2) with optimized format the flash memory will perform slightly better.
Of the two benefits, it’s difficult to determine how much of a difference a user would really see. Marginal at best. However, if you are anything like me, grab the utility package and give her a try.
Panasonic’s webpage for SD Memory Card Formatting Utility.
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Ya, that’s right…sometimes you need to crack your own flash memory.Â In this case, what if you have a password protected SD card?Â Well, the crafty fellows at USBFever have a solution which requires a USB port and a card reader adapter.
The USB Fever memory card unlocker is designed to crack your code and get back that flash memory you’ve been locked out from.Â The draw back, which I believe is appropriate punishment on forgetting your password, is the unlocker wipes your card clean of any data.Â If the data is that important you can send the flash card out to be serviced – but are pictures of your mother-in-law that important?Â Doubt it.
USB Fever memory card unlocker product page.
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GetFlashMemory posted an article the other day about the world’s first wireless memory card. I was very excited to hear about this technology and recently found a review of the Eye-Fi product.
This is what folks had to say:
Crunch Gear said:
All-in-all, this is a solid device. It is comparable to any 2GB SD card on the market but it gives you the ability to upload your pictures in a much cooler fashion. And if you canâ€™t wait, if you plug a loaded card into the USB reader, it will automatically upload your pictures to your photo service via USB. Yay, all-around convenience – Blake Robinson
So basically Eye-Fi takes a step forward by cutting out the middleman (in this case, a USB cable to your camera, or a media reader for your vanilla SD card), but two steps back in making the assumption that you want all of the tens (or hundreds) of megs of photos on the card uploaded in full res using your cameraâ€™s batteries, and yet donâ€™t need said photos in your photo app, not just some folder – Ryan Block
wireless networks are set up using the Eye-Fi website, not through any sort of interface on your camera itself, and youâ€™re limited to secured WiFi hook-ups rather than being able to take advantage of any open cloud you might pass through. Even with 802.11g, transfers of large resolution images could – and do – take a long time, and given that thereâ€™s no ability to select which to keep and which to throw (unless you delete them prior to connecting) it could be a frustrating experience – Chris Davies
Putting it all together I am glad to see this technology come to market and appears to be an appreciated process for downloading those oh-so-valuable photos.
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As things unfold for the miCard today we find a picture of the first [actual] product.
Here we see the Pretec S-Diamond miCard which is the new memory card standard from the MMC Association. The new format is expected to house anywhere from 128MB to 2TBs!
Measuring only 21mmX12mmX1.95mm, miCard is the smallest USB flash drive in the world, with an area 40% smaller than miniSD (volume is about 18% smaller than miniSD).
miCard can also be an SD/MMC card with an inexpensive adapter. The specification of miCard should be able to be released to MMCA members later this year.
S-Diamond is the 2nd generation of Pretec i-Disk Diamond series, which has been the smallest USB flash drive for years, which can now also serve as an SD/MMC card, saving not only consumers cost, but also saving hassles by getting rid of card readers and carrying multiple flash cards in different form factors.