er, sorry just a minor Red Dawn reference – it’s not my fault, I grew up in the 80s.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, a note on a new toy.  As I mentioned before, I’m going to go (mostly) digital on my trip to Yellowstone.  I bought 8 GB of memory cards which is only 800 or so pictures in raw format.  For the past several years, I’ve shot around 800 pictures in film.  On the one hand, I suspect I’ll take more pictures in digital since the marginal cost is basically zero.  On the other hand, I’ll have the ability to prune out any bad shots.  Still, I suspect that I’ll wind up wanting more memory cards.

wolverine.jpgRather than trying to guess how many, I decided to buy the “Wolverine FlashPac 7060” (hey – I was getting there).  The Wolverine is a pretty neat device.  When I first started looking for a hard drive on which to temporarily store pictures, everything I found was a basic USB hard drive that required a computer to control.  The FlashPac doesn’t.  It’s a multi-type card reader and hard drive that has enough smarts in the firmware to know how to mount a memory card and copy all of the pictures from a card onto the internal drive.  It preserves the contents of the card and you can manually erase the card in your camera. It comes in a variety of sizes, I bought the 60 GB version – enough for 6,000 pictures.

I got the device in today from B&H (they seemed to have the best prices).  Unfortunately, it had outdated firmware installed on it which wouldn’t read my SDHC cards.  Fortunately, I was expecting that and I had downloaded the next release of the firmware which does support SDHC (although at the fairly slow, standard SD speeds).  Of course, getting the firmware on a device while using a linux computer is always challenging.  After screwing around with it for an hour or so, I punted and used the old Windows 2000 partition I have on the desktop.  I felt dirty afterward, but at least the device works with my memory cards now :).

Overall, it’s a very cool piece of hardware.  It does what it says it does and seems to do it well.  It’s not for archiving – that’s a whole different problem to tackle, but for short term storage, it’ll work.

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