These days many desktop computers come with built in slots to accept all the major memory card formats whilst laptops and netbooks seem to stick to offering only SD card readers. This is certainly the case with all the computers I use - the two desktops I have both offer all the slots I need whilst my netbooks and my work laptop have only the more common SD slot. This would be fine if everything I owned used SD cards but of course that’s not the case. My DSLR camera uses SD cards, my husband’s diddy little video camera uses micro SD and his compact uses old long MS sticks and the compact camera that lives at the bottom of my handbag and is used for most of my work travel, uses the smaller MS cards. For the times when I’m not at home (which is most of the time) it’s handy if I have a way to transfer photographs onto my portable computers and for that I use a couple of Signalex Multislot USB card readers.
You may ask why I have a couple and the answer is simple; firstly I’m prone to leaving them around the place so having two makes it twice as likely I can find one and secondly I buy them for the grand sum of just one pound and it seems almost rude not to have more than one. Yes, I know, it sounds absurd that you can buy much for a quid but these card readers are sold in Poundland in the town where my parents live. I bought the first one back at Christmas and the second last weekend. I’ve found them to be really useful and an absolute bargain. My first digital camera was a Sony and so I’ve been tied in to the MS card system –which sometimes feels a bit like buying into betamax and losing out to VHS but I’m not bitter.
Not always Necessary
Now obviously not everyone needs such a thing. If you have near constant access to your home PC and it has all the slots you need, then save the pound and buy an ice-cream instead. I use mine in several ways. When I’m away on holiday, I download my photographs (I take a LOT of photographs) every couple of days so that if my camera were to be stolen or my memory card broken or corrupted, I have a back up. When I’m travelling for work, I often take a few photos in a restaurant or hotel, write the review whilst I’m still on the road, and can load the photos and publish the review without waiting until I get home. For work I visit factories, take lots of pictures with my compact camera and then can share them with colleagues without any of us having to track down a suitable card reader.
So what do you get for 100 pennies? Well firstly you don’t get broken fingernails because Signalex package the card reader in a cardboard sleeve with a transparent ‘pod’ in which the card sits. You don’t need to rip anything, you don’t need to get the scissors out and you won’t have to swear as you fight through impenetrable moulded and fused together plastic to get at it – just slip your hand inside the cardboard and slide out the card reader. It’s 7.5 cm long, 2.6 cm wide and 1.7 cm thick so it won’t take up much space.