Much "To Do" About Nothing

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Nifty MiniDrive – Nifty Idea to turn MacBook SD slot to a flush flash Drive

July 12th, 2012

As an owner of a MBP with a SSD this is one great nifty idea

Source – Kickstarter – Linky

 

Nifty MiniDrive - for the Macbook Air
Nifty MiniDrive – for the Macbook Air

 

Nifty MiniDrive Pro - for the Macbook ProNifty MiniDrive Pro – for the Macbook Pro

WHAT IS THE NIFTY MINIDRIVE?

The Nifty MiniDrive is an easy to use device that allows anyone to quickly and simply increase the available memory in their MacBook computer, as well as providing a set and forget back-up solution.

The Nifty MiniDrive + MicroSD Card
The Nifty MiniDrive + MicroSD Card

THE STORY

It all started with the MacBook Air. We wanted to create an easy way to add memory to the MacBook Air, without having to rip it open with a torx screwdriver.

The easiest way to do that of course is to use an external hard disk drive, but as that is not really integrated with the computer we thought we could do better.

The MiniDrive is designed to be an integrated solution to that problem by using the SD card slot in the 13″ MacBook Air.

While a normal SD card, which sticks out by about 1cm from the body of the computer when fully inserted, the MiniDrive is designed to sit completely flush with the body of the MacBook, becoming a semi permanent part of your computer.

We made our first protoype by 3D printing our design out of plastic before building a smalll batch of working prototypes that we had indiviually precision machined out of aircraft grade aluminium

Prototyping the MiniDrive
Prototyping the MiniDrive

We also developed a simple way of removing the MiniDrive from the computer by hooking a paperclip through our specially designed eyelet at the front of the device.

THE PRODUCTS

We are proud to announce the launch of not one but two products; the MiniDrive and the MiniDrive Pro.

The MiniDrive and the MiniDrive Pro have been designed to fit securely into the SD slot of the MacBook computers.

The MiniDrive in the Macbook Air
The MiniDrive in the Macbook Air
The MiniDrive Pro in the Macbook Pro
The MiniDrive Pro in the Macbook Pro

By utilising standard micro SD cards the MiniDrive can add plug in and forget memory to your computer.

The MiniDrive & MicroSD Card
The MiniDrive & MicroSD Card

This gives you the extra space for the things that are most important to you – holiday snaps, music, movies and any documents you may need with you, wherever you go.

THE MINIDRIVE AS A BACK-UP SOLUTION

One of the cool things about Micro SD cards is that they are practically indestructible – in fact a major manufactuer of them claims their cards can survive under the sea for over 24 hours, withstand 1.6 tons of force, and are impervious to magnets and X-rays.

Therefore, when combined with the Nifty MiniDrive, this makes them perfectly suited as a primary back-up disk.

As the Minidrives are designed to stay in your computer without getting in the way, a daily back-up  of your critical files may be set up and then happen automatically without having to remember to plug anything in.

Then if you happen to spill coffee on your computer or drop it down the stairs, or some other disaster strikes you will not be forced to re-do days, weeks or even months worth of work, or even worse lose memories in the form of photos, or videos that may be irreplaceable.

TECH SPECS – Micro SD cards

All MacBook Air and Pro computers from the mid 2010 refresh onwards have a Secure Digital Extended Copacity, or SD XC card reader in their SD card slot.

This format can support a Micro SD card of up to 2TB – roughly 2000GB in size. The largest capacity Micro SD card available to put in a MiniDrive today is 64GB which would already increase by 50% the capacity of an entry level 13″ MacBook air.

Of course we are excited to see what the memory manufacturers will be doing in this highly active market in the near future.

TECH SPECS – Nifty Minidrive

For us it is critical that the finish and quality of the drives match the computer for which they have been designed for.

This is particularly true for the aluminium front of the MiniDrive, as this must become as much like the computer it sits within in order to truly become part of it.

To achieve this we will be putting the aluminium of the MiniDrives through the same kind of rigorous anodising process that the Macbook Air and MacBook Pro go through themselves.

But of course, it is not just how good it looks that counts, but also how well it works, and to ensure reliability and longevity we have selected components that have been tested to be reliable for over 10,000 insertions and removals of a Micro SD card as well as coating our main connectors with immersion gold to enure the connection to your MacBook does not degrade over time.

THE MANUFACTURING PLAN

The money we raise on Kickstarter will help us pay for the tooling needed to commercially produce the MiniDrive, as well as the cost of materials themselves.

Almost all of our manufacture and assembly is done in the UK, using high quality local expertise in machining and manufacture. The exception to this is the circuit-boards which are printed and assembled in China by a UK based company, as the UK, sadly, does not seem to have facilities to print 0.4mm circuit board.

 

OS X – Love and Hate….

September 27th, 2011

So a few months ago I decided to go out and but a new laptop….
Unfortunatly as I’m not loaded (although that would solve a few issues in my life) I wanted to buy a strong machine that would last me a few good years as my old IBM X41 and Asus G50VT-X6 did so I’m willing to put out a few extra $$$ more on something that would fit my needs.
As my budget was around $1000 not too low not too high I could not afford the machine I truly wanted.
My plan was to get a laptop with the following specs
13.x” screen (I could do with a 12″ but not 14.1″)
Core i5 and up processor
Good battery life
And Backlit keyboard
Let’s say everything I wanted was in the $1,500 range X220, X1, Serieas 9 Samsung, Vaio Z (wasn’t even out yet)
So I stumbled upon a Microcenter deal with SlickDeals.Net (Best and Worst site on earth hands down) for a 13″ MacBook Pro Core i5 with thunderbolt (bla bla)….
Then I thought you know what why not, I’ll simply price match at best buy and get some points + they had some deal on buy a $1000 laptop get $35 for accessories (Magic Mouse, Extra Charger…) but I’m getting off topic here with this….

So I got my MacBook and the Love and Hate started.
Hands down Apple make amazing products, the build quality, the look, the feel, the overall experiance and their service are amazing but here comes the OS part… it’s a love and hate.

OSX is a nice OS but after being a windows user for so many years Mac OS just puts me back to the old days that everything was not so simple and not so easy.
The OS itself looks amazing, it’s quick especially after upgrading to 8gb of RAM,  it’s simple to use and the apple eco system with it’s own software is great.
Things you would find simple on Windows like cup/paste/move for folders simply does not exist on OSX you can make copy’s but not move.
As well OSX does not support Exchange very well but there are work arounds like DavMAIL.
Working with NTFS drives will cost you a few $$$ especially if you can’t afford a nice G-Drive.
And unlike the iPad and iPhone where apple simply lead the way with applications OSX is light years behind Windows Applications making it very hard to switch to a Mac in the business world as Microsoft run the world right now….

But on the other hand what does work works like a charm, fast and quick with a nice touch to everything.
VMWare does solve most issues you might need with running something on Windows but again it will cost you a few $$$

More to come on this topic.

 

Much "To Do" About Nothing

{} Nothing is no thing, denoting the absence of something. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness.

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