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Downloading Pics without USB???

1135 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  avatar1
Hi Guys

Not sure if I should be asking this here or in Hardware but here goes.

I am going abroad soon for an extended period and want to take a Digital Camera. Aside from stocking up on memory cards, I would also like to d/l some pics and email them to friends etc!!!

I will have access to an oldish PC but it does not have any USB ports. Do I have any options which are simple and involve as little expense as possible?

Are there USB - Serial/Parallel port converters?????

I understand I can get a Parallel port memory card reader but the ones I have seen are pricey, bulky and I want to keep kit as small as possible - else a mains adapter/battery chargers etc would be handy too!

I don't think Internet cafes would be too keen to let me connect up to their systems either.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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If the laptop supports it you could get a USB PCMCIA card, they can be had on E-bay for about $25
What type of memory card does your camera use?

If it uses SmartMedia cards, you can get a Floppy Disk adapter.
It requires a small program to be loaded first, then allows the FDD to recognise up to 64 MB SmartMedia cards.

Speed is not high, but portability is. Have 1 floppy with the driver program on it, run that once and you are away.

It does not affect the normal operation of the FDD
Thanks for your suggestions.

The comp is an old desktop so won't have the slot to support the PCMCIA card

The camera? - I haven't actually bought it yet! Was edging toward a Canon A200 which uses CompactFlash memory.

Will try and check out this SmartMedia type card. Am I right in assuming it is the size of a 3.5" floppy disk? If so, does anyone have a recommendation of a Camera which uses it which is: Cheapish, 2MP+, with as few moving parts to go wrong as possible and is fairly rugged?
The memory itself is not the size of the floppy disk, the adapter looks just like a floppy disk.

The memory card is the size of a postage stamp, and its only 0.7 mm thick. Very small. It slides into the FDD adapter.

Don't get confused with the early Sony digicams that actually used a floppy disk.
This picture might make things clearer

But in my humble opinion, your best option is probably to install a PCI card with USB in the old desktop PC. Like this one ...
The problem with the USB solution, is if the PC is running Windows 95 revision A (likely if it has no USB ports) then it does not support USB in any reliable manner.

But agreed, the add-in card is cheaper (if you are able to perform surgery on someone elses PC)
I agree. You would need Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP to add the extra USB ports. Windows 95 and NT4 don't support USB

Also, if the pc is *very* old, it might have ISA slots instead of PCI slots. I hope we're not talking 486 here ...
Or get that sony camera that uses floppys to take pictures.
Thanks Plejon for the the links and suggestion.

I like the idea of the USB PCI card - didn't realise they were so cheap.

The comp I will have use of apparently is "old" but uses WIN98 (Chinese Version the subject of another thread!!! - but I am hoping to convert to WIN98SE English!! :) ) I might gamble on there being PCI slots cos I don't think the guy I have contact with is up to finding out for me

Thanks again for all your suggestions I appreciate the help

I think you have a 99% chance of finding a PCI slot. ISA slots were common in early Pentiums(P60, P90) , 486's and older. Anything newer than that and you should be fine.

If you want to be 100% sure, have the guy open up his computer. The difference is quite easy to see: PCI slots are about 9 cm / 3.5" long and white, ISA slots are about 14 cm / 5.5" long and black

On the attached picture you can see a part of a motherboard. In the top left corner you can see two white PCI slots. Below this you can see four black ISA slots.


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