Apr 27 2009
While I wait for the USPS to deliver the supplies I ordered to complete my
iBook mod, I thought I would share with you all a few of the USB gadgets
I’ve found that you might consider packing with you as you port your portable.
This is a topic I am bound to revisit, so don’t worry if I missed your favorite
missed mine too. Just
drop me a note and let me know for the next installment. For now, he’s what
Drive – These things are so handyÃ³no pun intended. Almost every
company that makes digital media makes some kind of USB flash disk or
“Thumb Drive.” GMx gave high praise to the Fuji
USB Key Drive but others are available. Look for durability in the
case designÃ³the more ruggedized and rubberized the better. Pay attention
to the clip and the ring where the lanyard attaches. Some drives have
both, some have neither. Make sure your’s has what you need. And of course,
look to get the best drive capacity for your money. Give eBay
a search for these from time to time.
– I realize, of course, that you don’t really need a mouse if you learn
to master your ‘Book’s trackpad. But some occasions call for dragging
and clicking maneuvers that call out for a good mouse. There are quite
a few “mini mice” on the market that take up minimal space in
your case (I’ve reviewed a Macally
and a Swann)
and there are also full-size mice with retractable cables fit for the
road (the Kensington
Pocket Mouse Pro comes to mind).
Light – If you are not one of the chosen few who can afford a 17″
G4 PowerBook with the fancy-schmancy illuminated keyboard, you will one
day more than likely find yourself in a situation where the ambient light
is so low that you can’t see the keys of your keyboard. In these circumstances
it’s nice to be able to reach into you backpack and pull out a USB powered
keyboard light. There are several makes and models to choose from. Try
to stay away from those that clip to your screenÃ³pressure on the
LCD just ain’t healthy. Kensington’s FlyLight is pretty nice.
Reader – If you’ve got a digital camera a 6-in-card reader can be
a lifesaver when your camera’s battery has been drained and you need to
access those pics. Also, while you wait for high capacity thumb drives
to come down in price, you can improvise using much cheaper Compact Flash
cardsÃ³a 128Mb CF card goes for under US$20 these days on eBay.
It doesn’t look nearly as cool clipped to your jeans, but when you’re
on a budget, you do what you have to.
With all of these USB gizmos at your disposal and only a finite number of USB
ports on your ‘Book, you will soon be sacrificing the use of one gadget for
another unless you get yourself a…
hub – I use these things all the time and I have yet to find one that
I really like and can proclaim to be the one USB hub to rule them all (the ones pictured to the left are quite good, though).
They all seem to sneak their way out of your USB port mid-transfer or
or have the USB plug bust off inside your ‘Book under the strain of the
multitude of attachments. But if you are a gadget addict like I am, they
are a necessary evil.