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Storage - Memory All devices that are used to store image data.

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  #1  
Old July 26th, 2006, 01:02 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Firewire 800 reader at 20MB/sec

Rob Galbraith has witten a very useful update on CF and SD card readers.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-8462

A highlight for me is the Sandisk Firewire 800 card reader which gets up to 20MB/sec with various cards. That is my next purchase!

I have the Lexar Firewire 400 reader which is pretty fast too, getting up to 10-14 MB/sec with various cards.

My experience with many readers is that they are fragile and perhaps should be kept in a case for travel!

Asher
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  #2  
Old August 7th, 2006, 08:06 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Did you overlook the performance with the new Sandisc Extreme 4 cards, an increbible 38/MB sec! I haven't found the new cards or reader available anywhere however. But, 38MB is about 3x faster than what I get with a Sandisc III and and a Lexar pro reader.

Randy
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  #3  
Old August 10th, 2006, 12:42 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Hi Randy,

No I haven't overlooked them. The firewire 400 is so fast that for 2GB it is fast enough.

The greatest issue I have is that the readers seem to be fragile!

I've had a Lexar Firewire and Sandisk USB reader (new !! ) fail this summer.

Asher
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  #4  
Old August 10th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Asher,

20 MB/sec is fine if you're only downloading a single 2GB card. However, my fall season starts in a few weeks, and my jobs run 8-12 2Gb cards, along with 4 4GB cards, so nothing is really fast enough. I've ordered the new Extreme IV cards, and am still looking for the reader. 40MB/sec will save me several hours per job downloading.

I actually have 2 of the Lexar FW pro readers daisy chained, and they work great for certain things, I can download 2 cards at once, and I could attach 2 more and download 4 at once. But my jobs which are going into my lab's software can't take advantage of this; the software is set up to only download from a single drive, and we haven't been able to get around it. So the new Sandisk FW800 reader, if it works as advertised, will be a godsend.

Randy
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  #5  
Old August 10th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Randy,

How fast are the latest PC slot cards for laptops?

Asher
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  #6  
Old August 13th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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I honestly don't know, other than they're much faster than they used to be. I have a Lexar 32bit card bus reader that is extremely fast, but I've never timed a download or read any data sheets. I rarely download to my laptop, I have a dedicated workstation where I download all of my jobs.

BTW, I recieved word from B&H this morning that the Sandisk FW800 readers are now in stock, so mine is ordered and on the way.

Randy
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  #7  
Old August 14th, 2006, 10:02 AM
Brian Hamfeldt Brian Hamfeldt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Brister
I actually have 2 of the Lexar FW pro readers daisy chained, and they work great for certain things, I can download 2 cards at once, and I could attach 2 more and download 4 at once. But my jobs which are going into my lab's software can't take advantage of this; the software is set up to only download from a single drive, and we haven't been able to get around it.
Randy

Randy,

Is it possible to utilize multiple card readers, simultaneously, to download images into a temporary holding place on the hard drive - then have your lab's software pick up each folder individually from there?

If you're getting inundated with multiple cards at one time: 10-16 cards at 2-4Gb capacity, and your priority is to get them dumped as soon as possible to free them up - or to just not have to wait for the serial downloading of them all - then you should look at downloading them all in parallel.

As you know, I do this all the time - 3-9 readers at time (usually 3 per FW card) and we download 100 images per card every 2-3 minutes. Our custom software pulls all images from all cards down to one common folder as all the images are of one team, but we can also pull images down per card, or per folder, or per card and per folder to unique directories as well as append information to file names in the process.

In your case, I could see one to several simple batch files (assuming Windows/DOS/PC world) that could get all your images downloaded at the same time, so you can get your lab software working for you more efficiently.
Assuming removeable drives G: and data drive D:
Code:
xcopy G:\DCIM\. D:\download\Drive_G_temp /s /v /q /i
Have batch files like this for every drive letter you need and fire them all off at the same time to maximize throughput. As long as you aren't using a hubbed USB array of readers, the FW readers should keep up.

Hope this helps... or let me know what kind of scenario would fit your workflow.

Brian.
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  #8  
Old August 14th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Great for an Intel Powerbook Pro running XP in Parallels.

But for the OS X environment, what Mac software can direct multiple downloads on several Cards at once?

Asher
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  #9  
Old August 14th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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Well, not including Aperture with its glacially slow download, the supplied & free ImageCapture application is one example that can do what you want.

Just for Pete's sake remember to go under Options for every download window and turn off all checkboxes. I don't want to go into much detail here, but take my word for it. Once you make these changes they'll be remembered.
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  #10  
Old August 14th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Brian,

As you know, your knowledge base is so much fuller than mine when it comes to these things. My T&I jobs are downloaded into SnapSync. I first download my PDA's, I then download my CF cards. The program prompts me, first to scan the barcode on each card, then to download the card. The cards are placed into the images folder of the program, in a main folder which has the date, then into individual folders named with the barcode number of each CF card.

I'm not trying to free up the cards to reuse them, I'm simply trying to get the images into the job as quickly as I can in order to start working on the job. If my math is correct, 40MBs/sec is 25 secs per GB, which will give me a download speed of under 1 min on a 2GB card, and under 2 mins on a 4GB card. At that speed, I can download 16-2GB and 4-4GB cards in under a half hour. If so, I'll be ecstatic.

My new FW800 Sandisk reader will be here Wed, I'll keep you posted.

Randy
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  #11  
Old August 15th, 2006, 07:44 AM
Brian Hamfeldt Brian Hamfeldt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Brister
At 40MBs/sec is 25 secs per GB, which will give me a download speed of under 1 min on a 2GB card, and under 2 mins on a 4GB card. At that speed, I can download 16-2GB and 4-4GB cards in under a half hour. If so, I'll be ecstatic.
Randy

Randy,

You and I both know that time is money - I won't dispute that. And its worth spending extra money to save time.

What I was suggesting was to work in parallel with all your cards - that way, you are not tied to the process of load one card, click, wait... remove card, load card, click, wait... etc... The added benefit is that you wouldn't have to spend $3600 on new Extreme4 cards when it sounds like you have plenty of storage with the 3s.

Again, my main assumption is that you can point Snapsync to a local hard drive directory instead of a removeable drive. If that is the case, you can use your existing bank of FW readers - and even add more of the inexpensive RW019 readers from Lexar and get half the cards loading simultaneously.

At 1/3 the speed, 2Gb cards would take 3 mins and 4Gb cards would take 6 mins. But with say just 6 readers going at once, you would have 6 cards done in 3 minutes (twice that of the Ext4 combo). Then, as your running your second batch of 6 card downloads, you can then be working in Snapsync on the temp directories. Snapsync should work alot quicker off the hard drive than off a CF card and you can be done with the first set of temp directories by the time the second set is downloaded (6 minutes total time so far)
Repeat the process with the remaining cards (4 x 2Gb and 4 x 4Gb) and you can be done downloading in 15-18 minutes. Then run your final Snapsync routine and you'd be caught up in less time as well as saved $3500 in new cards (-$100 spent on additional readers)


I'm just thinking outloud here - and assumptions abound. I'm all about saving time - but if I can save money along with time, then I gain favor with my accounts payable dept (wife).

Brian.
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  #12  
Old August 15th, 2006, 09:13 AM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Brian,

Well, no arguing with your logic. However, I needed to replace a bunch of Lexar 40x and 80X cards. I went ahead and bought the Extreme IV's, along with the FW800 reader. So, the investment has been made. My FW800 slot will accept 3 FW800 devices, so I'll wait for my lab to get back to me regarding the parallel readers, and if they can make it work, I'll buy another 1 or 2 of the FW800 readers and I'll be screaming through my downloads.

Thanks for the input, where were you two weeks ago!!??

Randy
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  #13  
Old August 15th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Brian Hamfeldt Brian Hamfeldt is offline
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LOL

No doubt, the investment will be easily paid for by the time savings!

Let me know about the FW connections on the Sandisk reader - I cannot get any feedback from their site as to the back of the reader (but they have 4-5 pictures of the same front).

I am curious to know if they have repeatability like the Lexar Pro readers - or do they have FW400 and FW800 ports only? That way, you might be able to wire them in series to get more readers inline. I tried the Lexar Pro readers back when they first came out - and got duds possibly, as I think I was their first shipment and they were quite slow and seemingly corrupting some cards.

Not that I have any love affair with Sandisk - after dealing with several (as in many) bad readers and cards going bad. I also just can't stand the fact that they have 3 versions of cards: retail (cheap), Ultra (better) and then Extreme (the ones tested to work) and that I have to pay 3-4 times the price for the same speed and reliability that I get out of my Ridata cards for the past 4 years.

Then again, with Sandisk being the inventor of CF technology, it makes sense that they'll have an edge up on other competition and they have finally tuned the controllers of their new card/reader to blow away the rest of the field. So either the rest will catch up, or I may be eventually be eating crow as I succumb to their obvious technological lead.

Two weeks ago ... I was just finishing up my month long baseball gig in Memphis - having covered 4 World Series (youth). Now I've got another couple months off before my main season. I'll potentially be back in your neck of the woods next March - earlier than normal - let me know if your around and available.

Brian.
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  #14  
Old August 15th, 2006, 04:04 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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The reader will be here tomorrow, so I'll keep you posted.

I've always bought Lexar, and have 35-40 of their cards in various sizes and speeds. (I remember buying 16x 1GB cards for $599ea, ouch!) Knocking on wood as I type this, I've never had a single issue with a single one of their cards. I bought 4 2GB Sandisk EX III cards, really only because I couldn't find the Lexar 133's in stock anywhere. I like them enough to make the investment in the EX IV's. (I've got to call it an investment when I spend that much money!!). So, we'll see.

I did buy a couple of the Lexar pro readers, and haven't had any issues using them in parallel. As a matter of fact they work great. I used them for all of my action jobs, downloading 25-30 cards a day. You must have had a bad batch.

You know in March we're up to our eyeballs in baseball T&I, but get me the dates, maybe I can schedule around them.

Randy
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  #15  
Old August 15th, 2006, 05:46 PM
Nikolai Sklobovsky Nikolai Sklobovsky is offline
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Default Not only that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hamfeldt
.....
Assuming removeable drives G: and data drive D:
Code:
xcopy G:\DCIM\. D:\download\Drive_G_temp /s /v /q /i
.....
Brian.
With the shell scripts (aka batch files) like this you can also tweak their process priority in your Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc, Processes tab) from Normal to AboveNormal or High (I would NOT, repeat NOT recommend RealTime). This trick, if applied in moderation, can improve your copying speed 10%..20% - for free :-)

HTH
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  #16  
Old August 15th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Brian Hamfeldt Brian Hamfeldt is offline
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Nik,
True - you can also utilize the <<start>> command in DOS to set the priority at runtime:

Code:
start "Downloading card in G: drive..." /HIGH xcopy G:\DCIM\. D:\download\Drive_G_temp /s /v /q /i
with the info in quotes being the title of the window and the process set to /HIGH priority.


Randy,
You and your T&I - like that makes any money ;)
March 23-25 is when I have shows in Palm Springs and DC - not sure which one I'll be at?

Brian.
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  #17  
Old August 16th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hamfeldt

Randy,
You and your T&I - like that makes any money ;)

Brian.
Over the next 10 weekends I have 18,000 soccer players, 3000 football players, and about 2200 cheerleaders. That is only my youth leagues, doesn't count my HS jobs. I don't make much money, but it does, at least, keep me busy. ;)

Randy
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  #18  
Old August 18th, 2006, 10:20 AM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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The biggest bummer with this new SanDisk reader is that it has only one FW port. What were they thinking... the Lexar Pro has two ports and thus can be daisy chained. There are only a few products that can take full advantage of downloading from multiple sources at the same time, but how many people have a FW800 hub, especially in the field? Not good design.
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  #19  
Old August 18th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Well there's that, plus the fact that they ship it with a 3ft FW800 cable. So after spending $80 for the reader, I'm out looking for a 6ft cable. It's the little things in life that really iritate me.

Randy
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  #20  
Old August 18th, 2006, 06:26 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I'll take the FW800 reader as crippled as it is and use a powered hub.

Asher
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  #21  
Old August 18th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Randy Brister Randy Brister is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
I'll take the FW800 reader as crippled as it is and use a powered hub.

Asher
I'm not calling it crippled, I just think for $80 they could include a cable that reached the front of the computer. Fact is, on my first test, with new Extreme IV cards, I'm getting speeds approaching that magic 40MB/sec, so I'm pretty happy with it.

Randy
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  #22  
Old August 18th, 2006, 09:22 PM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Brister
Well there's that, plus the fact that they ship it with a 3ft FW800 cable. So after spending $80 for the reader, I'm out looking for a 6ft cable. It's the little things in life that really iritate me.
For me it's less about the length than about the stiffness of the cable; it's ... well, stiff, and it will have a mind of its own in the field. At home I have my card readers velcro'd to my MacPro, but that's harder to do out in the wilderness :)
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Old August 18th, 2006, 09:22 PM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
I'll take the FW800 reader as crippled as it is and use a powered hub.
Out in the Serengeti?
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