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March 11, 2004
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Mike Angelo's Digital Darkroom

The SanDisk 512-MB SD Card and Ultra II Card Reader for Linux, Mac, and Windows

Mike Angelo -- 11 March 2004 (C) -- Page 2


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About the Napping-Cat Photo

The napping cat photograph in Figure 1, below, was shot with a Microtek, Take-It S1 Digital Camera ($99) at f/2.8, 1/1208 second, and white balance set to daylight. The original image size is 2048 pixels x 1536 pixels (interpolated), about 3.1-MP (MegaPixels).

The Gimp was used to crop the picture down to 1238 pixels x 1243 pixels and to scale the cropped image down to the 540-pixel x 542-pixel size shown in Figure 1.

The Microtek S1 is a very nice 2.1 MegaPixel camera that is compatible with the GNU-Linux operating system, although Microtek lists it as only an Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows compatible camera. More about that in our upcoming review of the Microtek S1.

Test Systems

The SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer (SDDR-93) and Microtek, Take-It S1 Digital Camera were tested using a SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional box and a MS Windows 98 SE box.

The SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional box is a desktop machine with a 300-MHz AMD K6 CPU on an Amptron motherboard with 128-MB RAM and a 40-GB Maxtor Ultra DMA 66 hard drive. This box is connected to the LAN via an integrated SiS 900 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter.

The Microsoft Windows 98 SE machine is a desktop box with 750-MHz AMD Duron CPU, Iwill KV200-R motherboard (VIA KT133 chipset) with integrated audio, 384-MB of PC-133 RAM, 100-GB Maxtor D536X hard drive, and 3D-Labs Oxygen XV1 video card in an Antec ATX case.

Both desktop machines feed display output to a Gateway EV910 19" monitor via a Belkin 4-port KVM switch. This KVM switch takes PS/2 mouse and keyboard input and sends that input to the computers via the USB.

Article author, Mike Angelo, built both machines.

Figure 1. Cat Under Pines. Out of the Microtek S1 digital camera with a SanDisk 512-MB SD memory card, this photo was 2048-pixels by 1536-pixels (interpolated). The Gimp was used to crop the photograph down to a 1238-pixels by 1243-pixels photo. Then, the scale tool was used to re-size the photo to 540-pixels by 542-pixels.

Please note that even with all that cropping and scaling, the detail quality remains very good. For example, the pine needles are reaonably well-defined and the color variations and highlights are well preserved.

In part that is because the Microtek S1 did a good job of snapping the shot and the SD card provided ample memory to save the shot at the S1's highest quality settings. Please see text for an explanation. (Cat Under Pines photo by Mike Angelo)

Recap and Conclusions

Removable memory cards such as the SanDisk Ultra II SD card ($280) let you get more and better use out of digital cameras that support them. They let you take more photographs at the highest quality level that your digital camera supports.

MozillaQuest Magazine tested the 512-MB SanDisk Ultra II SD memory card with a Microtek Take-It S1 Digital Camera and the SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional and Microsoft Windows 98 SE operating systems. The Ultra II SD card worked well with the Microtek S1 camera and with both the Linux and Windows OSs.

Removable memory card readers such as the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 Reader/Writer ($20) make using removable memory cards more convenient and extend the usability and range of applications in which you can use removable memory cards.

Moreover, the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 Reader/Writer can be used to access SD cards with all three major consumer/desktop operating systems, Linux, Apple Mac, and MS Windows. This is particularly important for people with Linux-based computers who have digital cameras that do not support the Linux operating system.

In such circumstances, if the not-Linux-compatible digital camera can use removable SD cards, the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer can be used to access the photo and video clip files shot with the digital camera.

MozillaQuest Magazine also tested the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer ($20). A Microtek Take-It S1 Digital Camera was used with the SanDisk Ultra II SD card to shoot photos and video clips. Then the SanDisk card reader with the SanDisk SD card in it was plugged into boxes running the SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional and Microsoft Windows 98 SE operating systems. The SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer worked well both the Linux and Windows OSs.

Because the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer works well and works well with Linux, it provides a particularly notable bang for the buck. Thus, the SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 SD Reader/Writer gets a MozillaQuest Magazine Editor's Choice Award!

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