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Express Card arriving faster

PCMCIA and PC Card are showing their age; since WiFi started to come as standard I haven't used the PC Card socket for anything except a 3G data card and I can't wait for built-in data radios because the power management will be so much better. But if your new notebook has an Express Card slot instead, 3G, HSDPA, EVDO and other high speed data cards are starting to come through - or at least the radio modules that can be built-in or used as Express Cards are getting certified. Apple's a bit ahead of the curve on Express Card - as it was with USB and dropping the floppy - but it's at the inconvenient rather than impossible to live with stage. 


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
14th Feb, 2006 13:57 (UTC)
Any sign of a firewire 800 card?
14th Feb, 2006 15:45 (UTC)
The issue for MacBooks is being ExpressCard/34 rather than /54 and I think the existing ExpressCard 1394 adapters like http://www.xterasys.com/e94b.htm are /54 - but I'm sure I saw some /34 FireWire 800 prototypes at IDF last autumn; I'll keep an eye out at IDF Spring next month. Slimming the modules down shouldn't be too tricky but it will take some work (otherwise they'd presumably have gone with the dual-purpose 34mm size in the first place).
19th Feb, 2006 10:22 (UTC)
We have an ExpressCard/34 FW400 card now, which means multitrack high-def recording on a MacBook (and similar) is possible now (the usual strategy being one FW bus for the audio interface(s) and another for the HD).
15th Feb, 2006 11:56 (UTC)
Actually right now, the Mac Book Pro not having a PC Card slot and there being no 3G Express Cards out there is an absolute showstopper for professional press photographers who rely on such things to wire pictures, especially the freelancers.

Whilst a large number of them currently use powerbooks they are already having to consider alternatives.

So whilst I understand Apple's intentions, I really do think they've shot themselves in the foot this time.

- Neil.
8th Jun, 2006 22:23 (UTC)
"the Mac Book Pro not having a PC Card slot and there being no 3G Express Cards out there is an absolute showstopper for professional press photographers who rely on such things to wire pictures"

Understandable. However there are cards on the way this year (http://www.engadget.com/2006/04/17/novatel-x620-ev-do-expresscard-gets-real/) and some quite practical workarounds (http://www.evdoinfo.com/EVDO_Products/EVDO_Routers/Kyocera_KR1_EVDO_Router_with_WiFi_20050427264/). The KR1 would work fine with a DC power inverter that could plug into a vehicle cigarette lighter if necessary for true "on the road" connectivity.

But I'm optimistic that the expresscard solutions will be out fairly soon.

15th Feb, 2006 13:00 (UTC)
The form-factor of ExpressCard poses big problems for the prosumer photo market where CompactFlash and CF-microdrives are the storage of choice. OK you can carry an external plugin USB-to-CF adapter, but it's just another thing to get forgotten/lost/damaged. (The CF-to-PCMCIA adapter in my laptop is of course essentially 'internal' so doesn't get forgotten).
15th Feb, 2006 13:07 (UTC)
Compact Flash is a cut-down of PCMCIA and ExpressCard keeps essentially the same connection interface of PCMCIA to simplify development, so if there's demand an ExpressCard I presume a CF adaptor would be physically possible. I certainly find the SD socket on my Toshiba very handy for travelling even though I have an adaptor that turns my SD card into a flash thumb drive.
24th Mar, 2006 13:07 (UTC)
Express Card CF adapter
Those of us who made the mistake of expecting our new notebook PCs to have a PCMCIA socket to take CF card adapters are a bit irritated. eg Dell 9400 and 6400 have the Express Card socket, no PCMCIA. There is one solution at present (that I've been able to find) See: http://www.hsc-us.com/consumer/card_adapter/EXPCF.html but it costs $60 which is a tad more expensive than the generic Chinese PCMCIA adapters. Grrrrr.

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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