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Portables Data Storage Hardware

How Do You Manage Your SD Card Library? 485

Posted by kdawson
from the sticky-notes dept.
txmadman writes "Like a lot of my colleagues and all of my three children, I have several SD , mini-SD, and micro-SD cards for various purposes: cameras, cell phones, my laptop, etc. These things are handy to have around, offer easy and significant storage, but are very easily lost. We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose SD card was whose, and have also started to see a need for a storage mechanism. I have seen SD card 'wallets' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one. So: How do you manage and keep track of your SD cards?"
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How Do You Manage Your SD Card Library?

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  • Labels (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FluffyWithTeeth (890188) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:48AM (#26354903)

    Put labels on them and keep them in a credit card pocket of your wallet.

    This is seriously not a difficult enough problem to warrant a /. story..

    • Get big ones (Score:5, Informative)

      by yog (19073) * on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:28AM (#26355169) Homepage Journal

      4 gig cards are not that expensive and they hold an amazing amount of stuff. Probably 8 gig cards will be pretty standard in a year or two. So just get the largest cards you can afford and you won't need to have lots of extra ones lying around.

      My camera case has about 5 SD cards ranging from 512 megs to 2 gigs, and I really could replace them all with one or two 4GB cards. That's a lot of pictures (but we take a lot of video clips too).

      Why someone needs extra SD cards for a phone is beyond me. My 512 meg micro sd is larger than I would ever want in my flip phone. I guess a smart phone with a 3 megapixel camera would warrant something more capacious. So a 4 gig card should do it.

      This is really not rocket science. It's like those people who used to ask, how large a hard disk should I get with my new PC? Well, the answer was, and still is, as large as you can afford.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thegnu (557446)

        Why someone needs extra SD cards for a phone is beyond me.

        I bittorrent on my phone's internet, just to make back the money I spend on text messages the phone carrier doesn't have to pay for.

        No, but really, I put music on my phone. And if you've got a phone with a good camera in it, you can take loads of pictures and video. But still, I suppose, that's all manageable with a single microSD card.

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        The 8 gig cards are already better bang for the bucks than the 4 gig.

        But my strategy is to see the cards as temporary storage and nothing else. Dump the pictures to hard disk and a copy as soon as possible.

      • by ConanG (699649)
        I use my phone as an mp3 player with it's integrated fm transmitter to listen to my music in my car. With a 16gb microsd card, it's got a decent amount of storage for that. I also have maps for a large part of the world (several gb of data) on there. I do a lot of world travel and I'm not sure where I might end up. Can't always rely on google maps.

        I'm up in the air at the moment over whether or not to get an N96 now, or wait for the N97 later this year. The big deal for me is the 16gb of internal storage
    • by // (81289)

      Don't label them.

      Archive the content onto your home SANs or equivalent.

      Ta-da! They're now empty, so it matters not a jot to whom each "belongs".

      > This is seriously not a difficult enough problem to warrant a /. story..

      Oh, SO true!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kent Recal (714863)

      Sneak preview, Tomorrow's headlines on slashdot:

      * Ten good reasons to pull down your pants before taking a dump
      * Ask Slashdot: I keep forgetting things, anyone know a good way to not forget things?
      * How to manage your data, ten good recommendations for folder names
      * Ask Slashdot: What size harddrive should I buy?

      zzZz

  • I use a wallet and a silver sharpie. Not the Organizational Dream, but it's manageable for now.

    • Im my case, the one for the GPS maps is in the GPS. The one for the camera is in the camera. The one for the MP3 player is in the MP3 player.

      If I need more space for an extended trip, I just upgrade the size and give the undersize one away. There is no inventory of loose cards.

  • Altoids tin (Score:3, Informative)

    by FranTaylor (164577) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:50AM (#26354937)

    holds a whole bunch of them.

    • Re:Altoids tin (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bazman (4849) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:44AM (#26355253) Journal

      I use a 35mm film canister for the SD cards I use for photography.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by houghi (78078)

        I do almost the same. As I use mainly microSD it is a very small box for pills. In it also an SD adapter and a USB adapter. This is how you can keep your stuff. If things still get mixed up, buy some paint and give each of them a different color. You only need to have three colours for 4 people.

        For example: pink for the daughter, blue for the son, white for the wife and no colour for the husband. That way marking them is a job of each owner and if they forget, the item becomes automagicaly dads. Mark your s

  • by WoTG (610710) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:52AM (#26354943) Homepage Journal
    It's not a new concept... labeling media goes all the way back to cassette tapes. (Eight tracks are before my time, were they writeable?)
  • uh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:52AM (#26354951)

    I leave them in their damn slot.. be it camera, phone, vibrator, etc... no need to keep multiple ones around... save the data, or delete! jeez... lame noobs....

  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:58AM (#26354983) Journal

    I keep the cards with the device I use them most with.

    MicroSD - my phone or GPS
    SD - Point and click camera
    CF - SLR

    Oh and chuck smaller capacity cards as you replace them (like the ones that they ship with cameras and fit 3 images). They're worse than useless - they're a distraction (possibly at a crucial time in photography).

    I find I don't need thousands of SD cards. I probably have 20 SD cards and 10 CF cards.

  • Wipe them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dargaud (518470) <[ten.duagradg] [ta] [2todhsals]> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:00AM (#26355001) Homepage
    Plug them in a PC, move everything over to the PC, reformat the card. Now they are all identical and it doesn't matter who they belong to or if you lose them. Why do you ask ? Incidentaly I use the following Linux/Cygwin script to sort out the files [gdargaud.net].
  • Horde! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lordSaurontheGreat (898628) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:02AM (#26355013) Homepage

    I horde my digital media! People. Do. Not. Touch. My. Stuff.

    Family members taking personal responsibility to know what is theirs and where it is is the only solution. There is no technological substitute for plain-old responsible living.

    Putting labels on cards if they know they'll forget is part of that. Putting their things in their specific corners of the shared domicile are manditory. I infest my bedroom and my computer desk. My dad inhabits his desk of the study and his side of the master bedroom. My brother floats between the sofa, the piano, and his room. My mom Supremely Controls the rest of the house, and of course has jurisidiction as to the aesthetics of everyone else's little corners.

    Do what you (hopefully) learned in kindergarten! Put things back where you found them! Develop habits! My keys always go with my wallet and phone and PDA on the articulating arm base of my computer monitor. I never wonder where they are: they're either on me, where they belong, or stolen.

    Life is very simple when you take responsibility. It's all black and white, easy to differentiate, and on the whole much more pleasant.

  • by nsayer (86181) * <[moc.ufk] [ta] [reyasn]> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:02AM (#26355015) Homepage

    I haven't found a need to have more than one SD card per device - that is, one in the camera, one in the Wii (to back up the WiiWare), etc. You just empty them onto your computer every so often (this doesn't work for the Wii, but that hasn't filled up anyway, and it doesn't look likely to anytime soon).

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:11AM (#26355069) Homepage Journal

    Treat your SD cards as garbage! No kidding!

    You do this by using a hard disk copy as the "master", and copying to and from SD, considering that the SD is always "ephemeral", and may get bent, may pop out of the device and be stepped on and lost, etc. So, it is never the host for any critical data for very long.

    And you make darned sure to back up the disk. These days my short-term backup medium is a couple of 1G or larger SATA disks, which I place in a front-loading holder and put in the fire safe after they're written. Long-term backup media is currently DVD, but will probably go to Blu-Ray when the media gets cheap enough. Some of these are stored in a relative's closet, because having all of your backups in one building is stupid.

    Bruce

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fire safes are generally designed to keep their contents below the combustion point of paper. Hard drives will melt at much, much cooler temperatures.

      • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:34AM (#26355197) Homepage Journal

        Fire safes are generally designed to keep their contents below the combustion point of paper. Hard drives will melt at much, much cooler temperatures.

        Good point. You don't want to be in the sort of situation where it's necessary to call Kroll Ontrak to recover the drive. The fire safe will probably reach an unacceptable temperature in a structure-destroying fire. That's why I have off-site backups.

        Instructions to my wife and child in case of a fire are get out first, do not concern yourself about any disks. This even though some of the forest fires we are subject to give warning before the structure must be evacuated. My critical business data gets backed up out of the state every night, via the net.Bruce

        • They make fire safes that are specially designed to not reach the temperature where digital media will be harmed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Bruce Perens (3872) *

            They make fire safes that are specially designed to not reach the temperature where digital media will be harmed.

            Yes. I see two hours at 1850 degrees F, for a few hundred bucks. I guess this is a combination of insulation and thermal mass. One has a USB pass through on the safe door, but no power wire, and a resistive loss on the USB power line according to one reviewer, so the drive pocket in the safe is sized for 2-1/2 inch drives. It'd have nowhere to send internal heat, so that's just as well.

            This is

          • by jimicus (737525)

            They make fire safes that are specially designed to not reach the temperature where digital media will be harmed.

            This is very true, but such fire safes do not address the issue of the fire brigade not letting you anywhere near the building until it's cooled down and then when you finally do get in having what little remains of the roof falling on your head while you try to get to the safe.

        • My critical business data gets backed up out of the state every night, via the net.Bruce

          That sounds like an excellent idea. Where can I get me a net.Bruce?

    • by Psychotria (953670) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:22AM (#26355137)

      couple of 1G or larger SATA disks, which I place in a front-loading holder and put in the fire, safe after they're written

      Bruce, I have no reason to doubt you; but are you sure it's OK to put SATA drives into the fire? I know it's probably romantic to sit in front of a nice fireplace made from SATA disks, but wouldn't logs be cheaper (NO, NOT the /var/log kind)?

  • My last smartphone case had two SD sleeves built into the cover. I had one card with music on it, and another I used for photos and file transfer. I never had a need for a third card to use both sleeves. My new phone uses microSDHC, so I got an 8 GB card (dirt cheap, even high speed) and never need to swap anything.

    I really have a hard time seeing a need for more than one additional card that doesn't live in the device, unless you're doing something that would justify a filing system anyway.

  • Other people have various solutions, label them, have only one per device (which isn't a solution much of the time anyway), don't share them among the family etc.

    But you have the solution in your very question: Something to hold them all.

    I don't use SD personally (though my next camera will be using SD, as Linux based devices can read them, unlike XD cards). My camera is an Olympus, a few years old now. The camera before that was also an Olympus. One of the best things that came with my camera was a little

  • Like a lot of my colleagues and all of my three children [...] We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose SD card was whose

    You will have to look at each and every photo on each and every SD card to figure that out. It could get nasty... Actually, come to think of it, that could be quite enjoyable as well!

  • No Subject (Score:5, Funny)

    by Orphaze (243436) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:20AM (#26355123) Homepage

    Like a lot of my colleagues and all of my three children, I have several white, black, and blue pairs of socks for various purposes: school, work, dress, etc. These things are handy to have around, offer easy and significant comfort, but are very easily lost. We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose socks were whose, and have also started to see a need for a storage mechanism. I have seen sock 'drawers' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one. So: How do you manage and keep track of your socks?

    • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:52AM (#26355295) Homepage

      Like a lot of my colleagues, I have several white and black, and blue children for various purposes: school, work, social, etc. These things are handy to have around, offer easy and significant entertainment, but are very easily lost. We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose children were whose, and have also started to see a need for a storage mechanism. I have seen child 'drawers' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one. So: How do you manage and keep track of your children?

      • Like a lot of my drawers, I have several white and black, and blue colleagues for various purposes: school, work, social, etc. These things are handy to have around, offer easy and significant entertainment, but are very easily lost. We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose colleagues were whose, and have also started to see a need for a storage mechanism. I have seen colleague 'children' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one. So: How do you manage and keep track
    • by kklein (900361)

      We have a winner!

    • Socks are mysterious - I believe they are subject to similar laws to restaurant bills - and we all know where "bistronmathics" can lead to.

      Each time I run a wash through, I end up with a pile of "lonely" socks. I try to match some with previous lonely socks, and occasionally get [cue cries of glee] a match. But not often. I get mad and chuck the unmatched socks down the back of the cupboard. Occasionally I dig them out and have another go, giving in and throwing them out (which cues the reappearance of the

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
        So where do the socks go - do they hide in the washing machine? The drier? In someone else's sock drawer?

        The dryer does actually eat them. Some years ago, our drier died. I thought..."ok, I'll take it apart and salvage any useful parts. motor, pulleys, etc".
        Upon taking the drum out...there was literally a double handful of singleton socks inside the box, and a coupla dollars in coins.
    • Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tknd (979052) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:58PM (#26363131)
      I had this problem and realized that the amount of time I spent sorting socks was ridiculous. The solution? Flatten your socks down to 1 or 2 types (white and black) and now the sorting problem goes away. Anytime your socks start developing holes or you feel you need to replace them, throw out the entire batch and buy all identical ones. By now you don't even have to pair up the socks when sorting the laundry. Just throw them in the drawer/basket and you're done.
  • Dump to disk (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hpa (7948) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:21AM (#26355129) Homepage

    Dump them to hard disk, RAID array, what not; then threat the physical media as transient and/or a backup.

    That way you can also index electronically and what not.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:28AM (#26355167) Journal

    I have a 6 MP digital camera, with a 4 GB card in it. I also have an old 1GB card, but I almost never use it - 4 GB is enough for me to take hundreds of pics and a few hours of VHS-quality video with no complaints. So I download my pics and stuff to my laptop every month or so, and it takes about 3 minutes - less than it takes to drive to my local Rite-Aid photo booth. (which is about 1.5 miles away!)

    I think a 4 GB card costs about $10 nowadays [pricewatch.com], if even that much. And I say "buy big" but 4 GB is pretty ho-hum nowadays. 4x the space costs just $25.

    Seriously, who cares? How many pictures do you TAKE?

    • by jkerman (74317)

      VHS quality? Shoot 1080 or 720 sometime. a feature found on fairly low end cameras these days. i believe a 4GB card is 9 minutes of 720p.

      thankfully, 16GB sdhc cards are ~$30 at newegg lately

      • by thegnu (557446)

        VHS quality? Shoot 1080 or 720 sometime. a feature found on fairly low end cameras these days. i believe a 4GB card is 9 minutes of 720p.

        thankfully, 16GB sdhc cards are ~$30 at newegg lately

        Boy, that's less than a dollar per minute!

  • Don't flame me but... have you ever thought of actually trying one of those SD card "wallets" you mentioned? o.O

    It seems to me that you posted a possible solution along with your question...
  • by webreaper (1313213) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:36AM (#26355211) Homepage

    I only have one SD card.

    When it's full, I move the files off onto a large data filing and storage system that came with my PC (called a 'hard disk'). That renders the SD card empty again, and I can start filling it with data, photographs, video etc., and then repeat the process.

    The PC's 'hard disk' can be accessed by an 'operating system' which has lots of functionality that allows you to easily organise the data into hierarchical 'folders', making it easy to keep track of the contents.

    There. Solved that problem for you. Next?

  • when looking for a solution for my ds, it turns out its a real problem. there are almost zero microsd storage card solutions out there. not even the crappy wallets!

    So i ordered a pile of surface mount microSD card slots, glued them to the lid of the DS. instant solid storage. i even spent extra (i think $0.50 each total) to get the clicky ones. nice and solid. I plan on gluing a few of these to the top of my camera lens cap once i get around to ordering the SD card sized ones.

  • The easy way out (Score:3, Informative)

    by davmoo (63521) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:37AM (#26355225)

    All of my various memory cards and flash drives, when not actively in use in a device, reside in a giant coffee cup on my desk.

  • by Mike1024 (184871) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:40AM (#26355235)

    I have several SD , mini-SD, and micro-SD cards for various purposes: cameras, cell phones, my laptop, etc. [...] How do you manage and keep track of your SD cards?"

    I have a two-stage plan, which I thought was a fairly common technique:

    1. Make sure my flash cards have sufficient memory that I will not need to switch between cards for the same device. You know, 1000 full quality photos or whatever.

    2. Leave the cards in their devices and keep track of the devices by normal means.

  • Why have multiple SD cards per person? They're huge.

  • I dunno, but I've never had the need to swap out cards.

    I have cards of various sizes in my camera, digital photo frame, and cell phone. But have never had the need to swap cards in and out of devices unless temporarily to load data.

    I buy cards that are large enough to hold all the data I could ever want for that device, and presto, no swapping.

  • I know how (Score:5, Funny)

    by gparent (1242548) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:06AM (#26355359)
    I stored the info in a database on another SD card.

    However I mislabeled it and lost it.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:54AM (#26355543) Homepage

    If a few SD cards leaves you confused...

  • by RichiH (749257)

    Are you serious? Take a pen and write the name of the owner on them.

    Also, do you _really_ _need_ more than one card per device, two per camera? Keeping the old 8 MiB crap around might sound like a great idea to save money, but it's not. If you have many cards for device X, get a bigger card. If you have several of the biggest cards, you will have a case for the device. Stuff the cards into said case.

  • Since you mentioned the SD card wallets, why not buy one and tell us if they help?
  • Start with a label maker, add some small boxes (I use an altoids tin).
    If you feel the need to personalize your altoids tin, try paints, glue and ribbons.
    If you don't like just cramming a pile of SD and uSD cards in an altoids tin, then cut out cardboard compartments to keep them neatly arranged.

    Or you could buy an SD card wallet from a camera store.

  • I just buy the highest capacity card available whenever I purchase a new camera, and I leave the SD card inside the camera. For instance, I recently bought a digital SLR with a 32gb compactflash card. That way I have enough storage for several thousand pictures, and never need to take the memory card out.
  • With the recent raise of locking devices requiring physical keys, I have found myself with bit of a problem. I have several keys, from my toolbox to my house to my yacht. 'i have heard people use some kind of rings to attach these keys to each other. But wouldn't this be bit of a problem when trying to share said keys with your family? And then what? Where do I put the ring then? Some people have something which they call "pockets" to put all kinds of little items to, but not me. I like to wear dresses but

  • I have 3 cards (I use them interchangeably between my MP3 player, digital camera, phone and PDA).

    Why do you need much more than that?

    Why aren't you dumping stuff to your computer's disk?

    What is wrong with you!

  • Slow news Day ?
  • I have seen SD card 'wallets' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one.

    Use the fucking wallet.

    Seriously? You can't be the first? Why does the fact that you've never seen anyone else use a SD wallet mean you can't use it? Be a trend setter.

    Or how about you write your fucking name on the fucking card.

  • by mrthoughtful (466814) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @06:59AM (#26356079) Journal

    Don't use SD cards for long term storage. Use them for capture only.
    Having a wireless Network Attached Storage is a great way for all the family to store, without having to use just one computer for access. We have a 4TB Terastation Pro for the family - and HDV, DV, RAW, and JPG capture is stored there. Getting used to uploading a shoot as soon as arriving (back from holiday, or an event) didn't take so long. When going on holidays that will use more than a couple of 16G SDHC cards, we label them A-G and writelock them once they are finished. We writelock our DV/HDV tapes also. And we use a separate storage for empty cards/tapes than we do for filled cards/tapes.

    If your holidays are not remote, you can always use commercial online storage as a temporary cache. Also secure network connections to your own NAS is not really very hard to set up if you belong to the standard slashdot demographic.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @08:49AM (#26356737)

    Back when a 20MB hard drive was still a big capacity and everyone had zillions of floppy disks to manage I had a teacher give me a piece of advice I still live by:

    If the disk contents aren't important enough to justify the tiny effort of labeling the disk then treat the disk as if it is blank.

    Saves a lot of hand wringing about whether the files on the disk are important. If it wasn't important enough to take the very simple measure of writing a brief description of the contents of then you probably didn't need the contents anyway. If by some chance you did need the contents your organizational skills/system suck and you deserve the consequences.

    The problem should never be organizing SD cards however. The problem should be organizing and backing up the photos once you have downloaded the contents to your PC. Even if a photographer has 30+ SD (or equivalent) cards with him for a shoot, the contents should not remain on those cards for long after the shoot is done.

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