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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    Are there any notebook users out there who own, have used, or are familiar with the IBM Travelstar 8.1 GB External PCMCIA Hard Drive <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15>

    On a side note, why do you suppose there isn't a more prevalent use of PCMCIA devices?

    I will never forget PCMCIA as a result of Mark's mnemonic device! <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/######eatinggrin.gif>

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    Haven't used one myself. I'm guessing one issue is speed - the average seek time of that IBM drive is 12ms, while a USB drive like this Buslink drive also on TigerDirect is 9.5ms. I know that seek time isn't the only measure of HD speed, but that might provide a clue. The other I think is format. Most desktops don't have PCMCIA PCI cards installed, so if you want to use the drive on something other than a notebook, you have to buy an additional part that isn't used for much else. The ubiquitous USB and much faster Firewire are the more popular alternatives in large part due to ability to daisy-chain the devices. Also, you have to go through the exercise of stopping a PCMCIA device before removing it from a computer, while USB/FW can be changed in and out on the fly.

    It really depends on what you want to use it for. If it's primary use will be as a backup drive for a notebook when you're on the road and the price is right for you, go for it. Personally, whenever I deal with notebooks I err on the side of going ultra-portable. Since you pay for portability, semi-portable just doesn't make sense. To illustrate, I wouldn't bother with a PCMCIA-connected external hard drive since it's pretty big for me to take on the road, and at home I've got the cheapest form of hard drive sitting in various desktops just waiting to be filled with copious amounts of data. For mobile data-only backup I'd go with a PC-card drive or a keychain-style USB drive for spot back-ups and transferring files between computers. If you're going to pay the premium for a portable device, you might as well go all the way and get a lot of convenience for the money you spend.

    But hey, different strokes for different folks.

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    Keely was a lot nicer than I would have been....because my statement would have simply been "PCMCIA sucks."

    It's also an aging technology - since many new notebook PCs come with USB, IEEE1394 (FireWire) or both, it's not an attractive option to a consumer. Think of it as more or less the ISA of the notebook computer. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    I guess I shouldn't jump on the bandwagon, Bruce, but I have a PCMCIA hard drive package for my laptop and it stinks! I admit I didn't go read what you're considering, but mine was a box, a PCMCIA card adapter and some software. The "box" would hold any standard hard drive you wanted to put in it. The software was terrible, half the time it work and the other half, well..... The thing was REALLY slow. I don't have any nums to give you but my patience ran out waiting for the thing to react. I couldn't boot my computer with the device plugged in or Win98 woudn't recognize it. I had to boot first, then plug in the PCMCIA card. It was just a horrible experiment that sits in my closet to this day and that's been two years ago.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    .........sigh....... I am having a dickens of a time trying to decide on a portable hard drive. Each time I get close to narrowing down to some semblance of a decision, I learn of more products, options, brands, or something new comes along. Trying to avoid buyer remorse......sigh.........

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: IBM PCMCIA Hard Drive

    <hr>Trying to avoid buyer remorse<hr>

    Can't be done. But Ive been very pleased with my USBDrive.

    StuartR

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