USB Gadgets

xane

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I got a couple of nice USB gadgets from eBuyer the other day, which are working quite well and I'd like to share the experience, you lucky people.

First up, a USB-IDE/ATAPI Converter (~£26), basically an IDE plug that goes into the back of a normal IDE Disk Drive, complete with power supply brick, and converts it into a USB Mass Storage Device. Works like a charm, the drivers are built into Windows XP but they supply them for 98/Me/2K. Useful for transferring stuff between old and new PCs when you dont want to open up the new PC or haven't got a network, shows up as a normal disk and you use Explorer to access it.

Secondly, a USB to USB File Transfer Cable (~£4.60), essentially the modern version of LapLink working through the USB ports between two machines, supplied is a tasty little piece of software that allows you to drag and drop files across, at 5MB/sec too !

Both handy for moving stuff around.
 

wyrd_fish

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i have USB infa red, bluetooth, mouse, joystick and a ps2-to-USB* convertor

*hasn't been used in ages...
 

Tom

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Now if somebody did a bluetooth hard disc connection, that would enable us all to hide our HDs somewhere where they didn't fill the environment with horrid whirring noises. Like bricked up in the chimney breast for instance :D
 

WPKenny

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I just got one of these...

http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=120280&cks=PRL

a few days ago and it's a very nifty memory stick. Nice and small and uses the memory for my camera which is just about on of the only formats the multi-readers tend not to support. Put it's nice and small, about as big as my thumb and I'm sure it will prove it's worth in the future, if only in saving battery power when downloading pics from my camera!
 

Panda On Smack

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USB-IDE/ATAPI Converter:

I presume you still have to power down the PC before you plug in the HDD or can you just plug it in at anypoint?
 

xane

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Panda On Smack said:
USB-IDE/ATAPI Converter:

I presume you still have to power down the PC before you plug in the HDD or can you just plug it in at anypoint?

No, it is USB and hot pluggable.
 

Panda On Smack

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oooh, i think i shall purchase one

im always powering down to have to plug another hdd or cd-rom in to check if its working of format it

cheers xane
 

xane

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I can't recommend the USB-ATAPI/IDE converter enough, you see the new disk exactly like all the others, even the make and model come up in Device Manager, and there will be a "USB Mass Storage Device" under the USB section.

I haven't tried advanced operations like reformatting or partitioning yet, I'll check it comes up on Disk Management later for you. I also haven't tried a CD-ROM either, I may give that a go, even with a spare CD-RW !

Its a bit spooky having the disk fire up in your hands, before you plug in the USB, and of course you have to take extra care moving it around when its spinning, the USB lead is a bit short so I'd also recommend a USB (A/male - A/female) extension lead as well.

The power adapter brick attaches to both the HDD (4-pin Molex) and the USB/IDE connector plug (small jack plug), then has a regular "kettle" 3-pin cable for the mains, it's about the same size as a Thinkpad adapter if thats any help.

It is ideal for quick and easy disk attachment without having to open up any cases, those days of balancing my HDDs on a few books so they were up beside the mounted drives are over.
 

Scooba da Bass

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Panda On Smack said:
oooh, i think i shall purchase one

im always powering down to have to plug another hdd or cd-rom in to check if its working of format it

cheers xane

If you're working on a newer PC exclusively why not just pick up a firewire/ide converter? Way more speed and also hot swappable, the only downside being you can't boot off them.
 

xane

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Not all PCs have Firewire, whereas it would be a very, very old PC that did not have USB (the device will work with USB 1.1 too), even Macs have USB, even Playstations have it.

If the idea is to prevent opening the case then having to install a Firewire card defeats the object.

Saying all that you can get "Firebox" cases that convert a regular IDE (or even more than one) into an external Firewire drive, and they are nice too.
 

xane

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I bought a new PC for my Dad last month, it does not have Firewire.
 

Shovel

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Apple are pretty good for pushing new stuff like Firewire. I believe that they were running Firewire 800 before they put USB2 in there - though witht the greater use of external high speed devices on Mac than average-Joe PC user, that's understandable.

To the best of my knowledge, Firewire is still pretty much a deluxe option on most motherboards.
 

xane

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Scooba da Bass said:
Macs come with them as standard now.

This is a use of the word "standard" I was unaware of, they've certainly cornered the vital 5% of the PC market with that one then.
 

Xavier

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Aye, and their mention at all in a thread on USB gadgets totally befalls me.

We're all aware scooba likes to try and play the whole 'mac elite' thing - and I amongst others do like their kit, but this is hardly the thread for it. :rolleyes:
 

Scooba da Bass

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xane said:
This is a use of the word "standard" I was unaware of, they've certainly cornered the vital 5% of the PC market with that one then.

You've never heard standard used in that respect...wow.

Xavier, get off my case, repeated attacks against a single person are against the coc, I'd hate to have to make a complaint against such a high quality moderator as yourself.
 

Xavier

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Scooba - I'm not aware of any attacks made against you, as far as I can see in the last 2 days it's you who seem determined to rock the boat with allegations of piracy and whatnot...

Troll all you like, but your efforts don't go without notice.

Xav
 

babs

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Unfortunately enough the posts from the game consoles forums where he tells people to stop posting seem to have vanished.
 

xane

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Can you two stop bickering, I was looking forward to this turning into yet another Mac vs PC debate :rolleyes:
 

Tom

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Can we just agree that no computer is perfect.
 

Xavier

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Actually, I was going to mention my current #1 USB device - which is a swissbit 1Gb USB2 key. Currently furnished with a heavily bodged version of WinXP SP1a :)

If only USB2 was a little quicker, and didn't eat as much CPU, it would make the ideal solution for running benchmark systems....
 

babs

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The only USB thing I really use (other than my mouse) is a 6 in 1 card reader that's super dinky and fits in my camera case really easily. It's a lot more convenient than the proprietary cable and software cd that came with the camera, and 9 times out of 10 I can plug it in anywhere to download them.
 

Xavier

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How about most useless implementations of USB on devices? My nomination has to go to the Creative DAB jukebox - 4Gb of storage strapped to a USB1.1 (11mbit) port - bottlenecked further by a onboard serial interface. Anyone dumb enough to buy one (me included sadly) had to leave it overnight if you wanted to queue a full collection...

Thank god for the iPod, set a new standard and the competition STILL haven't caught up, imho :)
 

RandomBastard

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idk the new nomad zens are cheaper, have more capacity run pretty darn quick thanks to usb 2 and are only marginally bigger in size, plus there made out of aluminium not perspex
 

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