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Fool me twice...

Rant

October 26, 2005 12:52 AM PST

Well my second hitachi microdrive just died today. This one made it less than 6 months. As George pointed out after the death of my last microdrive (read comments), the actual usage specs on these things are pitiful.

In my opinion these things are not actually good for anything but taking occasional photos in a digicam (despite Hitachi's hip claims to the contrary). Unfortunately I didnít discover the usage rating fine print until after I had purchased my second drive. I changed most of my usage habits though in an attempt to extend its life. I only used players that used large buffers so the drive could spin down. I didnít use it for any of my high volume content like audio books. In fact my total music use was way down over this period. The one thing that was constant was that I never removed it from my Ipaq. So that means it set in the dock at work with power applied for 8 hours a day. I mean the whole point of adding a ton of storage is that I always have it with me. Why would I remove it, only to have it get lost. These things are supposed to power down on inactivity after all.

The drive had become more and more erratic over the last month Ė sometimes hanging up my pocket pc for 30 seconds at a time, even though I wasnít trying to access the drive. The final kiss of death came today when I decided to watch a full length mp4 movie on it. I wanted to try out the new mp4 video codec that comes with Nero 7.0 ultra so I encoded up a flick thatís been kicking around my place for months waiting to be watched. By the way the new betaplayer replacement: ĎThe core pocket media playerí works very sweet. It plays nearly everything including quicktime style .mp4 files with aac audio (if you know where to get the aac plug-in that is ;) ). I watched the movie over 4 sessions, the longest being about 45 minutes. The drive stuttered and stalled a few times but made it to the end. But later when I popped the drive in my flash reader to delete the movie it was game over - hello click of death.

For kicks checkout Hitachiís hard drive hip hop; The hard drive is the new bling. Maybe itís not a click of death after all, maybe itís just pumping out a cool groove track and Iím just to square get it.


Comments (3)
John, October 31, 2005 12:56 PM:

Anyone seen any good deals on 4G CF flash cards?

Paul, October 31, 2005 05:32 PM:

You could always buy an iPod nano and rip the flash out.

John, November 19, 2005 02:19 AM:

Ok well the 3rd time is the charm. I just got my replacement drive back from Hitachi. To their credit they didn't give me any hassle, just swapped it for another one. I'd like to get more than 6 months of life out of this one however. I'm going to try a new trick. Since I wasn't actually using the last one that much and it died anyway, I suspect it is because it was sitting with power on it all the time. This time around I'm going to keep my CF slot powered down when I'm not using the drive. How can you do that you might ask? Ahh, registry trickery:

1. Search for the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\PCMCIA\.

2. Change the value of NoBatteryCheck to 0.

If you do that the PPC will prompt you if you want to power up the pcmcia slot when you insert a CF card. Choose 'no' and it will remember it until you pull the card out and re-insert it again. Its a bit of a hassle but I always want to carry the card with me. I currently have 3 Ghost in the Shell SAC episodes on it, 'just in case' I have some time to kill somewhere.






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