Memory Card

Memory cards offer portability, re-recordability, power free storage, and, true to their name, a way to store information that you want to come back and use later. Memory cards are used in a variety of electronic devices, from mobile and handheld computers, cameras, telephones, music players, video game consoles and almost any other electronic device you can name. Some are even been adapted away from the small electronics field for use in industrial applications.

Memory cards originally came out in the early 1990′s. Before memory cards were used in storing information, many people had to rely on storing information to a hard drive or less technologically advanced portable storage devices, such as 3.5″ floppy discs. The first memory card was the PC Card. It was quickly followed by a variety of smaller memory cards, such as the CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and Miniature Card. These were quickly adapted for use not only in PCs, but in digital cameras, game consoles, and cell phones. The PC Card, nowadays, finds itself mostly in use in industrial applications.

Rationally, as small electronics continued to shrink, the need for smaller memory cards grew. By the early 2000′s many tiny memory cards on the market made the old memory cards look downright gigantic. Also, as memory cards grew physically smaller over time, their capacity for information storage grew larger. This follows the same trend as electronics altogether, with miniaturization evident in most electronics as technology advanced and diversified.

One industry that got quite a bit of use out of memory cards was the console gaming industry. For years, video game consoles relied on memory cards so that players could store their gaming progress. This technology was important to game console companies, such as Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft in keeping the attention and brand loyalty of notoriously fickle video gamers. Memory cards became imperative as video gaming technology advanced, and games became more larger, and much more technologically complex. Because these games also featured much longer playtimes (some as long as up to 100 hours or more!), it became imperative for gamers that they be able to save their gaming progress. Consoles from Nintendo and Sony relied on memory cards until optical hard drive storage technology eventually took over. On the other hand, small portable gaming devices, such as the Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance, and the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) handheld gaming device, still rely on memory cards. Their small size makes optical hard drive storage unwieldy and cost-prohibitive.

Digital cameras are another small electronic that continues to rely on memory cards. Memory cards have proven to be an easy way to transfer digital pictures taken on a handheld camera to a computer or other device for editing, storage, or printing. The majority of digital cameras today come with a memory card. That’s not to say that there isn’t other technology for transferring information. USB technology is very popular when it comes to transferring information between two devices, whether it be between two computers, between a printer and a computer, or between any other electronic devices equipped with a USB port. USB technology, though, requires a USB cable to connect each device, while the memory card, which plugs into each device, eliminates the need for the “middle man” (or cable!), so to speak.

Worried about compatibility with all these memory cards on the market? Never fear, most computers these days feature and abundance of slots of memory cards. It is not uncommon for even a small laptop to feature two memory card compatible slots, and as electronic technology advances, computers are sure to adapt.

This Memory Card Review is Written/Updated on May 20th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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