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Hardware Hacking

Rio Carbon MP3 Has A 5G CF To Be Cannibalized 256

Posted by timothy
from the one-way-to-price-shop dept.
GlucoPilot writes "This guy bought a Rio Carbon Mp3 player because he figured he could rip the 5GB CF Card out of it. He did, and put it in his prosumer 6MP digital camera. Now he can take 1,500 six-megapixel pics in one sitting. Oy." The card is apparently a 5GB Microdrive, note, not 5GB of Flash memory.
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Rio Carbon MP3 Has A 5G CF To Be Cannibalized

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  • Be nice to Rio (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:33PM (#10221443)
    They've always been nice to us, supporting open standards like Ogg Vorbis and FLAC.
    • by k98sven (324383) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#10221570) Journal
      Ok.. maybe I'm missing something here.. Are these things sold with a mandatory music-download-service subscription or something like that, in order to subsidize the price of the hardware? Or what?

      Because if they make their money off selling the things.. that doesn't make sense. Why should they care what you do with their product once they've sold it? This could leads to them selling more units.

      (Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

      • by EvilFrog (559066) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:07PM (#10221629)
        Well, ignoring the fact that a corporation is legally a person, businesses do not run themselves. Behind every business there are people making the decisions, and a business is as "nice", "ethical", or "trustworthy" as the people who run it.

        The fact of the matter is that there are some companies I prefer supporting over others, because I know what sort of people are behind them.
        • by loyalsonofrutgers (736778) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:38PM (#10222147)
          That's just not true. Bureaucracies are much more than the sum of the people that combine to form them. This is the "I was just following orders" phenomenon. There's a lot of sociological literature about how bureaucracies and corporations are not merely the culmination of the personalities of its constituent parts. Fact of the matter is that fairly good people, when part of such an organizational structure, can do very bad things. And, furthermore, the organization in this case exists to make money, so fairly good people can do very bad things in order to make money. The organization becomes a creature unto itself.
        • Well, ignoring the fact that a corporation is legally a person,...

          A corporation is not a person; legally, figuratively, literally, or in any other fashion. A corporation is a model of ownership, just like "sole proprietorship" or "partnership."

          Two of the most obvious differences between a "corporation" and either of the other two ownership models I mentioned are (1) a corporation uses allocation of stock to shareholders, whether publicly traded or not, and (2) the separate entity clause, which says very
      • by deacon (40533) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:17PM (#10221691) Journal
        (Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

        AOOOGHAAA!

        AOOOGHAAA!

        ATTENTION!

        ATTENTION!

        An Apple Reality Distortion Engineering team has been dispatched to re-educate you in proper company loyalty pavlovian responses.

        Please Stand By!

        In a hurry?

        Shaving your scalp for the electrodes will save time and fuss later.

        That is all.

        Yeah, yeah, I dissed apple, mod me down, whatever...

      • You can't see? (Score:3, Informative)

        by 2nd Post! (213333)
        If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.

        If a company A is more successful than company B because it acts nicer, that will reinforce company A's nice behavior.

        If that is what you value in a company AND it's products, since no product exists in a vacuum, then it SHOULD inspire loyalty from you because that is what you pay for. If you DON'T value niceness, then of course it shouldn't inspire loyal
      • Probably, the parts other than the hard drive are really cheap and counting bulk pricing the whole thing comes out really really cheap, so they can make money selling the whole thing at less than the retail price of the hard drive.
      • Why should they care what you do with their product once they've sold it?
        Because they actually prefer that you walk around listening to music with their player. Why? Because in this way, you advertise their player and their brand, and you will most propably tell all your friends how nice this 5G MP3 player is. But if you just pry it open, remove the microdrive, and then throw it in the trash, all this free advertising goes to, well, the trash.
        • he bought two of 'em, read the damn article.
        • by Oliver Defacszio (550941) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:19PM (#10222044)
          all this free advertising goes to, well, the trash

          What? After having given Rio roughly two hundred and fifty bucks, I'm ALSO supposed to advertise for them at no charge? I don't think so. It's like the dealership sticker on the back of cars. My buddy used to tell them that either they knock off, say, a thousand bucks off the cost of the car in exchange for advertising, or lose the sticker before the deal closed (properly... no razor blades). Stunningly, he never drove cars with dealership stickers.

          Sure, he was being petty, but I completely agree with the point he made. Why would I advertise for Rio or their ilk? It's not as though they've done me any unilateral favours.

        • give me a break - they are interested in selling units and making money. True that there might be a bit of advertising involved in that, but if they were given the equivalent of a buying slashdotting with millions of units being sold (and then ripped apart), they'd take the cash from selling units in that fashion just the same.

      • by mikael (484) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:59PM (#10221910)
        Ok.. maybe I'm missing something here.. Are these things sold with a mandatory music-download-service subscription or something like that, in order to subsidize the price of the hardware? Or what?

        A quick google search reveals that a professional camera shop/mail order company sells a 4 GByte microdrive for $370-$500, while the MP3 player is expected to retail for $250. The difference is due to market pricing, as professional photographers are used to paying thousands for a professional camera, while the average consumer is used to paying hundreds for a portable digital product. The casing of the product hides the fact that both products used the same core component. Eventually the market will realize this and take action- perhaps choosing MP3 players with removable microdrives

        This isn't any different from Amazon's price discrimination [kdnuggets.com] for books.
      • (Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

        This is BS man/woman.

        Any business out there is intended to make money or why the hell are they there? Even farmers are out there to make a buck so should we treat them the same? And being nice to custo
        • by jhoffoss (73895) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:41PM (#10222161) Journal
          Hello, how is paying the set $250 price for merchandise, then canabilizing YOUR property, not nice? I fail to see the point of this entire thread.

          I buy a product from Rio, that's that. If they're selling these at a loss, (which I guarantee you they're not) then they're losing money whether I use it, advertise, etc. or not.

          If this were not the case, and they are selling it at a loss to increase sales, as someone suggested, then wouldn't their losses increase due to additional sales? What fruity business consultant would come up with that idea?

      • by Surur (694693) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:24PM (#10222075) Journal
        Its called recognising the second order effects of one's actions. Sure cannibalising the micro-drives are good for you in the short term, but the Seagate makes a big profit margin selling these at a premium to photographers, and probably sells them to Rio at a steep discount. They dont want to lose that premium to the buyers of the Rio unit. They will therefore either stop selling to Rio (to protect their larger profit from photographers) or change the spec in some way to make that unintended use of the drive impossible.

        Either way it will drive up the costs for Rio, and damage them as a company. They will be forced to become less hacker friendly, and everyone will end up hating them.

        Its called thinking more than one step ahead, and this exact same scenario has already occurred to other HDD music player makers.
      • They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.

        As long as you find nothing wrong with them treating you (the consumer) the same way, then fine. Personally I like to reward companies who see benefit in supporting customers with my business.

        If you teach companies that they won't be rewarded for playing nice, they won't. If you send the message (with your $$$) that actually

      • (Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

        Yeah, but the reason they choose that as a strategy is that they anticipate customers favoring their company for its niceness. If niceness is actually important, then lots of people will gravitate toward
    • Re:Be nice to Rio (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MarkByers (770551)
      He bought there product and now he is helping advertising it by encouraging others to do the same. That's being pretty nice, I would say.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:34PM (#10221452)
    I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

    Also, I'm glad they didn't copy Apple in this respect -- after all, if I were Rio I wouldn't care what my customers did after I bought it, since I would have already been paid.
    • by CdBee (742846) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:37PM (#10221461)
      " I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?"

      Not suitable for continuous r/w operations! Mp3 player/Camera use is a single file being written then the drive is stopped again....
    • by selderrr (523988) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:38PM (#10221471) Journal
      I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

      A full miniDV tape is 30GB worth. Microdrives are still stuck at 6GB. Additionally, an mp3 player has a very low disk access frequency, which reduces the risks of physical damage while reading/writing. A camcorder on the other hand, is CONSTANTLY accessing the disk.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:40PM (#10221484)
        Actually, a MiniDV tape is more in the 13 gig neighborhood. But yeah, other than that, you're spot on.
        • it depends. 13 gigs at normal and about 18-20 on extended.
        • weird : after importing as Full DV with iMovie, i have about 30GB worth of clips.... how come ?
          • Varying DV formats (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Andy Dodd (701) <[atd7] [at] [cornell.edu]> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:37PM (#10221801) Homepage
            Raw DV has the video and audio streams interleaved.

            Some of the DV "container" formats used on PCs (such as one of the two DV-AVI types) duplicate the audio stream, with the "video" stream actually being the original raw DV (which has both video and audio)

            Also, longer tapes might exist now. The typical 60-minute-standard-play tapes are 13 GB. I think that tapes exist that are 75 and even 90 minutes in standard mode now though, although last time I went miniDV shopping they were hard to find and VERY expensive. (Compared to 6-packs of 60s relatively cheap at Costco.)

            See above regarding extended play tapes, which I think are 18-20 GB or so (but with a MUCH higher risk of errors) on a 60 minute tape.
          • That is weird ...

            What do you mean by "importing as full DV with iMovie"? iMovie can only import as full DV - there are no choices. Are you importing it with something else as full DV and THEN importing those clips into iMovie? Because that would double your disk space used - iMovie makes a duplicate of whatever you import.

            If not that, are you using an 80 minute tape in LP mode?

            I use iMovie quite a bit and 1 tape = ~13 GB for me.
      • Who said we had to use MPEG2 (miniDV/DV) to record to the CF disk? Using an MPEG-4 codec that 6GB would allow at least the same capacity as the miniDV tape.

        Yes, the cost would be higher, as a 6GB Microdrive is expensive, and you'd also need an MPEG-4 encoder chip, but the size/weight of the camcorder would be significantly reduced, I'd think.

        Also, Microdrives are often used in such constant-access situations. For example, anybody who owns a PDA and plays video files off a Microdrive (Or any other type of
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

      Why? DV tape is so much cheaper, with much bigger capacity.

      While a microdrive may be faster, with random access, DV tapes are fast enough for almost all camcorder applications, and far more robust than a microdrive.
    • How does Apple figure into this? I have no idea what you meant by being "glad they didn't copy Apple in this respect."
      • I'm glad they didn't copy Apple in the sense of making the hard drive interface proprietary so the cannibalized drive would be useless, like Apple did with the iPod Mini.
      • by GoRK (10018) <johnl@@@blurbco...com> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:31PM (#10221764) Homepage Journal
        Apple ipod drives are 'dumber' than your normal 1" microdrive or 1.6" mini-drive. They lack a lot of the logic IC's and firmware that allows them to be used with standard IDE interfaces. Instead, the ipod controlls the drive electronics directly. This essentially does a few things: 1) it makes the drives cheaper for apple, 2) it makes refurbishing/upgrading/recycling/repairing faulty iPods a lot cheaper since you dont have to replace the drive's control electronics when you replace the drive, and 3) it makes the drives unusable in anything other than an ipod.

        While reason #3 is often cited by conspiracy theorists to be some kind of plot to prevent people from canibalizing drives out of the ipod to prevent potential loss of iTunes revenue, it is really only a side effect of reasona #1 and #2. If running full-fledged drives in the iPod were actually cheaper or the same price as running drives with reduced integrated electronics, rest assured Apple would do it. It's got to be a fairly difficult/expensive/unnecessary engineering process to integrate drive electronics into your design simply to keep people from buying your product to take it apart.
        • by HughsOnFirst (174255) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @04:28PM (#10222387)
          Actually, Hitachi, the makers of the drives in the Apple and Muvo MP3
          players makes two types of drives. One type has both a IDE interface
          and a CF (compact flash) interface. These will work in the MP3 players,
          cameras, and as a hard drive on a computer. The other type only has
          the IDE interface. These will work in the MP3 players and as a hard
          drive on a computer, but will not work on the cameras. The Apple uses
          the IDE only drive. The Muvo used the IDE and CF compatible version
          until Hitachi made them switch to the IDE only version, because it was
          hurting sales of their stand alone product at much higher margins. The
          Rio player uses a Seagate drive so the issues may be different.

          BTW Creative has a new Muvo with the Seagate drive, that is easier to take apart.

          http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=1249&s=1 [vr-zone.com]

          http://www.photo.net/equipment/hitachi/mp3microdri ve/ [photo.net]
  • 1500? (Score:5, Funny)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:37PM (#10221458)
    1,500 pictures in one sitting? I hope he cannibalized the battery too!
    • Re:1500? (Score:5, Funny)

      by arose (644256) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:40PM (#10221486)
      From a car...
    • Re:1500? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:02PM (#10221598)
      I hope he cannibalized the battery too!

      Not really. The Digital Rebel and 10D both get about 500-600 shots out of the battery if you don't use the flash, AF in servo mode(ie continuous refocusing) or use a lens with image stabilization a lot. Canon and Nikon both make vertical grips for their cameras which hold two standard battery packs.

      I've gone to motorsport events and taken 2-3GB of RAW photos on one battery pack, and I use both image stabilization and AI servo focus mode. I have two packs, and I've almost never needed the second one in my year of ownership thus far.

      I have an older 330MB microdrive. It's slow as shit. CF cards used to be slower, now it's completely the opposite. Compared to my Sandisk Extreme and Ultra II cards, the microdrive takes 4x longer to offload photos from the buffer.

      When you've been shooting pictures of every 4th car going by you and then one of them locks up the rear and starts to spin, you want as many shots out of the 9-shot camera buffer as possible. Shoot continuous at 3fps for 3 seconds and sort the good from the bad on the laptop later.

      Most pros don't use anything over 1GB. Why? Because 1GB is almost 120 photos for a 10D- a shitload. So you're not swapping that often. By using 4 1GB cards- if one gets erased, stepped on, lost, or dies on you- you're only out 1/4 of your photos, instead of ALL of them. Furthermore- 1 can be in your 'digital wallet' widget or laptop, while the other is in your camera. Oh, and it's hideously expensive for a 4GB card versus a 1GB card or a bunch of 512's, just like those super-huge memory dimms cost much more per MB than a 512 or 1GB stick.

    • I have the same camera he has, the Nikon D70, and I can say it is a sweet camera. I have a couple of the high capacity cards and a microdrive card and they do hold a lot of pictures but I question this drive people have to get big and fatter cards.

      Sure, you can get 1500 pictures on this card but I ask you is this a wise thing? I know CF card falure is rare but it does happen and the microdrives are more prone to fail than the memory cards are. It seems to me more logical instead of carrying a couple o

      • Set your camera to RAW mode, I dare say you'll be lucky to get 15 shots out of your 256M card. At that size, 5G is around 300 shots; not even enough to drain the battery of a D70, and the amount of information from CCD's is only going to go up, not just in resolution, but in dynamic range.

        You're right generally, of course, but plenty of even portable applications can use this kind of storage (and more).
  • No News Here (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lord Apathy (584315) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:37PM (#10221467)

    I don't see why this is making news now. Those of us with the high end digital SLR and such have been doing this since we first found out you could get these CF cards in these players. It's cheaper to buy the player and canblize it for the CF than to buy the CF.

    Waste of a good player if you ask me.

    • by quintessent (197518) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:31PM (#10221763) Journal
      You see, every time the spec for something goes up a notch, Slashdot needs to post an article about it, esepcially CPU speeds, as measure in megahertz.

      The interesting thing is, I was under the impression that both Creative and Apple have now protected their Microdrives so they're not readable in a camera.

      For those who are thinking of doing this, beware, though. I bought a cannibalized microdrive, which worked for about weeks, then died without warning. Now I have no idea how to get the thing fixed.
    • Imagine if Slashdot only posted news once. If I was away for a few weeks, and slashdot posted a really cool article about some obscure subject that's rarely covered by anyone, I would most likely miss out.

      Not everyone reads the first article. Quite frankly, I'm glad Slashdot reposts nearly identical articles.

      Providing they're not posted the same day.
  • by DoctorHibbert (610548) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:38PM (#10221470)
    Was the guy himself a microdrive? Has the microdrive robot takeover begun?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:40PM (#10221483)
    If you search completed items on eBay, a 5GB microdrive went for $96 recently. So this guy wasted $150. The days of buying MP3 players and selling them for their parts are over.
  • by Lord Haha (753617) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:40PM (#10221485) Homepage
    Carbon Cannibal: Breaking it down for the hard drive

    As I described yesterday, I bought a very nice MP3 player, the new Rio Carbon 5GB model. It's awesome, and I already like it a lot. My original intent, though, was not to buy an MP3 player to listen to music, but instead to rip apart for its 5GB hard drive, for use in my Nikon D70 digital camera. But once I saw the Carbon, I decided it was time to own an MP3 player, so I got two.

    Rather than eating lunch today, I decided I would share my story of destruction. In part two of our saga, I tear into the second of the two Carbons I bought, pictures included.

    Note: If you decide to spend $249 on one of these things and tear it apart yourself, you do so at your own risk. It's value to Rio and the store you bought it at will instantly become $0, and your warranty will be a thing of the past. At your own risk, your mileage may vary, do not pass go, please tip your waitress. Oh, and whatever you do, don't come yelling at me. It's your own damn fault. In fact, you will probably end up with $249 worth of useless junk. You have been warned.

    Okay, so first of all let me tell you right up front that I broke the thing to the point where I will have to use a little glue to put it back together. The Carbon has a metal back plate, and a plastic front plate, with a rubber surround. What I did not realize is that the front plate is in sections, as well. Not realizing this, I didn't remove the front plastic facing (the silver plastic with the LCD window and the Rio logo) from the body of the MP3 player. It is held in place with some adhesive. Just be careful while you remove it and it will come right off. Once off, it may be that there is a better way to get this thing apart than the method I used. If I will have to use some glue inside where it used to have screws holding things together, because I broke a few plastic threads on the plastic case where the screws were attached as I pried it apart.

    While it looks from the outside like the rubber portion is a section all on it's own, it in fact is not. The rubber part is just glued to the plastic front plate, which is under the silver plastic front cover just mentioned.

    How I got it apart (your mileage may vary, be careful): I started by working a small screwdriver around the case, prying very gently between the metal back plate and the rubberized section. There are a number of metal tabs that you will see inside as you go. Those hod the drive in place. Be careful and don't go too deep or apply too much pressure inside with your screwdriver, you will break things if you do, or you might crack the case. If you don't care about reusing the Carbon, you can afford to be a little more indiscriminate, but things are packed together pretty tight in the small case, so caution and taking one's time is warranted.

    Once I worked all the way around with the small screwdrivers (I used 2, it helped keep things working along), I peeked inside to become a little bit familiar (there's a lot you just cannot see, though). Then I used a screwdriver inserted from the bottom of the case to get good leverage as pictured below, and worked the case looser.

    In the end, I used my fingers, after loosening with the screwdriver, to take the case apart. Again, note that I broke the plastic threaded screw posts in the process. The end result was a front plate, a loose power button (just insert it back in place later), the top chrome-like trim plate (that has the holes in it for USB, earphones, etc), and the back plate with all the electronics attached. The front panel navigation button is loose when you disassemble it - it's held in place by the front plate.

    There are two screws that you will need to remove from the face of the circuit board (the side with the LCD screen), and then you can start to swing the circuit board away from the hard drive. Below is the view from the side, pulling the circuit board up and away from the battery (lower left) and hard drive (in the lower center of the picture under t
  • Nit picking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:42PM (#10221495)
    Don't really buy that 1,500 picture number, but it is in the right range. I have a 2.2GB Microdrive in my 5 Megapixel camera and can only shoot 550-600 pics. But really, how often do you need that many pics? I have shot a couple hundred when using the autodrive a lot, but I could cull those down in the field if I started running short on space. The problem with CF hard drives is they are a LOT slower than flash on playback, so wading through the contents is not fun.
    • Let's see. 5/2.2=2.2727* 2.2727*x600 = 1363. Seems bout right to me.
    • 2200MB/600pic=3.66MB/pic*1500=5.5GB.
      So his camera makes 10% smaller jpegs/raws(didnt rtfa) then yours, which is more then possible given the different compression strategies used.
    • he's close. My pics off my 6.3mp Canon Rebel are in the 2-3mb file size range with the quality and size set to max (Jpeg), Double that if I'm shooting RAW. That would be about 1400 on average.
    • But really, how often do you need that many pics?

      All the time if you are doing astrophotography and stack images. If you are shooting 10-15 raw photos at a time, you can only get 12 series of exposures on a 1 GB card.

    • Keep in mind that the size of the JPEG file the camera produces depends a lot on (1) How well the camera implements the JPEG algorithm and (2) The amount of sensor noise. Little point-and-shoots have a lot more sensor noise then higher-end DSLR's and thus tend to produce much larger JPEG output files pixel-for-pixel. The Canon 10D series (including the 300D 'Digital Rebel') DSLRs have very good low-noise sensors and one of the best JPEG compressors in the business, with the highest quality JPEG mode produ
  • by mAIsE (548)
    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=5gb+microdrive &btnG=Search+Froogle

    its about $180 for a 5G drive with some sort of warranty
  • Energy consumption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hernyo (770695) <laszlo.hermann@gmail.com> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:44PM (#10221505)
    It's nice to get a 5G 'memory card' for just $250. But does this microdrive suck the battery faster than regular flash memory card? This is quite an important issue because - as far as I know - digicams and batteries 'hate each other'.

    -- yeah, i know, my english sucks
  • by adzoox (615327) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:47PM (#10221524) Journal
    I wish anyone that has tried this with a Rio Carbon or more specifically the iPod mini - do you get better battery life with a compact flash card in these things?

    And to note... I recently spoke with someone at Hitachi. They said the MAIN reason the iPod mini is a closed device where you can't just remove the drive easily is solely to protect it's market for the drives otherwise.

  • my wish list... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John Seminal (698722) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:47PM (#10221529) Journal
    i wonder why digital camera's don't come with internal hard drives, and better battery packs. size could be an issue, but if they can make 512 meg usb keychain drives (imagine it without the plastic casing and it is even smaller), i am sure they can put a gigabyte on a camera and still leave a slot for a memory card. also, why not have better batteries? if my laptop can get 4 hours, with a 14.1 screen, then on scale a camera should be able to do better with a much smaller battery. even if they expand the battery pack on camera's by 50%, that would be that many more pictures i could take. and one last thing, add on a better optical zoom, and get rid of the digital zoom.

    since we are talking cameras, i might as well ask. i have a 2mp camera which takes good pictures, but i am thinking about getting a 3 or 4mp as prices have fallen (paid over $250 for my 2mp 18 months ago). what digi camera's do people have, and how do they like them? my 2mp is fuji, and i have been happy with them. the 2mp takes nice pictures, but a guy at the photohut told me that for anything larger than 4x6, i should get a better camera.

    • Re:my wish list... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Neophytus (642863) *
      Get a Canon PowerShot A80 (not to be confused with the A85). It's the best camera you can buy for the money. Just be sure to use quality (2000 or 2300mAh) rechargables with it, otherwise you'll get about 10 minutes of usage rather than hours.
    • My Canon Digital Rebel can take pictures for days before I need to recharge the battery.
    • Re:my wish list... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bwalling (195998) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:40PM (#10221813) Homepage
      Sure, they could have internal storage, but you pay for the camera without that, so why should they increase their costs? Sure, they could have a better battery, but then you would buy the $70 secondary battery. Sure, they could improve the optical zoom, but it's cheaper for them to add digital zoom and fool most consumers with it.

      They're trying to make money, not help you.
    • I second the recommendation for Canon's A80; I think they very recently released a successor, I think it's A95. Believe me, the swivel LCD makes a HUGE difference, it's not a gimmick.
    • They dont put those things in because it would drive the cost beyond what the average consumer wants to pay for a basic digital camera.

      Want really good zoom? Get a DSLR and a nice lens. The nikon D70's 18-70mm kit lens is worth $500 but only costs a bargain $250 in the kit.

      More battery power = bigger battery = bigger camera. Size is a purchase factor for many people.

      Most DSLR's can shoot well over 1000 shots between charges and theres no need to turn the camera off. Heck, my D70 *never* turns off com
    • The reason they don't do it is the mark up on accessories. Why include something and make 2% on it when they are turning 33% profit on the accessory sales. They know you are going to buy spare batteries, another memory card, and a bag, tripod, etc, etc, etc. Everything they include is one more thing they can't bend you over on.

  • by be-fan (61476) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#10221571)
    Why else would they always put the link in the most useless part of the text? To keep me on my toes? The link does not point to 1,500 six-megapixel pics, so the link text should not be "1,500 six-megapixel pics." The link text should be the "rip the 5GB CF Card out of it."
  • by cflorio (604840) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:04PM (#10221611) Homepage
    The price of Compact Flash really took a nose dive in the last month. You can now get a Sandisk Ultra II 1 GB solid state card for under $100. [jr.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:05PM (#10221616)
    You think he might have put some larger images on the site so that people could follow along with his mod...
  • Batteries? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:07PM (#10221623) Homepage Journal
    What kind of camera can take 1,500 6 mega pixel pictures without a change of batteries? If you can change batteries, you can change media as well.

    I've got a Sony DSC-V1, and I love it. But getting a > 256mb memory stick won't do me too much good without extra batteries.
  • by Techie2000 (517233) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:25PM (#10221740)
    http://www.seagate.com/cda/newsinfo/newsroom/cover age/article/1,1113,2320,00.html Soon you won't have to buy the MP3 player to get the drive.
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:33PM (#10221776) Homepage
    Seagate is backlogged a bit, but they're increasing capacity and these drives should be available shortly. "We're a bit oversubscribed. We're looking at ways of increasing capacity." -- Rob Pait, Seagate's director of global consumer electronics marketing. Pulling these things from consumer products will be unnecessary very shortly. After all, the version they put in the Rio Carbon was packaged for retail sale. A USB-keychain format is coming. There's also an ATA version for OEMs.

    The drive was designed in Singapore and manufactured in China. Seagate, once a California company, is now so multinational they barely have US operations. They've closed plants in Ireland, Mexico, Mayalasia, and Singapore because those places weren't low-cost enough.

    Here's the ST1 drive manual [seagate.com]. Expect a glut of these things in January, once the holiday season business has been fulfilled and the production lines are running at full speed.

  • Priceless ! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:49PM (#10221858)
    Cost of Rio MP3 player: $249
    Cost of trip to buy Rio: $5
    Value of your time to disassemble Rio: $50
    Having your hack featured on Slashdot: PRICELESS!
  • The Next DIY Project (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:57PM (#10221905)
    Your next project is to do something useful with the remaining Rio parts. W.A.S.T.E. not, want not.

    After all, if people are cannibalizing OnStar systems after the subscription runs out just to get the GPS components, someone ought to be able to suggest a use for the rest of your Rio.

    • People typically put in smaller CF devices and sell the result on ebay. What do 512MB media payers go for these days? You may have to copy system files using a laptop. I don't have a Carbon so I don't know.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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