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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #1
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Importing p2 media into a powerbook 12''???? help

I have a PBook 15'', installed the pany drives and I read and import media from p2 cards with no problem at all, works great!

Now, my question is, if I buy a USB PCMCIA card reader for my wifes 12'', wich does not have a pcmcia slot, and install the drivers, will I be able to import media from the p2? anybody tried this??

if so, any card reader you would recomend?
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Old March 27th, 2006, 04:16 AM   #2
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No third-party USB reader will work. All the USB readers are all 16-bit devices and cannot work with 32-bit PC CardBus cards, which is what P2 cards are.

The only USB readers that will work are the five-slot Panasonic reader, and the P2 Store.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #3
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Barry, I have to wonder how hard it is to manufacture a 32-bit firewire card reader at $200.00?
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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:56 PM   #4
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Apparently darn near impossible. That's why the Panasonic one is so expensive. It's not just a card reader, it's a small computer in and of itself which has to translate the PCI bus into a USB2 signal.

Remember a PC Card/Cardbus card is, well, basically, the full-fledged 32-bit 132mB/sec PCI bus. So when you see cheap readers, they're based on the old/slow 16-bit bus. When you find a reader that actually works with 32-bit cards, it's always a desktop system that uses a very-short cable to extend the PCI bus to the back of the computer.

I asked a hardware manufacturer if he could make a PCI reader->USB2 OTG device, basically a budget "P2 Store" type of thing. They did the research and came back and said "yep, we can do that; if we can sell 100/mo at $2,000 it's worth our doing." And I thought "surely it can't be that expensive!" and he laid out some of the reasons why. I didn't bother to remember them all, but basically it amounts to translating that PCI bus, and needing the equivalent of a laptop computer (bus plus processor plus LSI's etc) in the box.

If someone else can do it, I'd love to see it, I think it'd be a very popular device, but after talking to that company I abandoned the hope of seeing any $100 USB reader.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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The thing that is confounding to me is that the CardBus slot on PC laptops is an insignificant cost to the overall laptop.

You can get a cheap PC laptop with cardbus slot for under $600.00.

Why $2k to create a firewire or USB2 reader?

Also, the expresscard/34 are six times faster that cardbus.

Why not an adapter there?
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Old March 28th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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Because the PCI bus is already present in the chipset of the PC. Most Laptop PC's still use a pci bus to tie harddrive controllers, wifi boards, USB, bluetooth and network together although no PCI slots are present. As the Cardbus standard is based on PCI bus it's pretty easy to implement this connector.

The new MacBook Pro uses PCI express internally, so Apple adopted the expresscard standard, which is a fullblown pci express bus. If they wanted to implement cardbus instead they would have to make a PCIexpress-PCI bridge which would be expensive.
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