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Compact Flash - Long Obsolete?

2010-06-12 3 min read Electronics Anonymous marco

A few years back, I thought I’d revive my days of taking pictures and bought myself a digital SLR. Back then, they were not all the rage, mostly because they were so incredibly expensive and the pictures they shot were not much better than the point-and-shooters’. Seriously, if it hadn’t been that I was already used to SLRs and that I knew how powerful the lenses are, I would have done without.

I bought a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. I am not going to bore you with the specs, since every camera you get for free with a two-pack of ink cartridges is better these days, but it shot passable pictures (not particularly good ones, though) and I thought getting the tele lens out for the AIDS ride might be a good idea. You know, shoot the incoming finishers when they are not two inches away, that kind of thing.

Well, turns out the camera had a stinky 2G card. Back in the day, I am sure, it cost a fortune. I may have chosen it because it was the best bargain, but I could have probably bought two ink cartridges for the price of that one… (Sorry if you didn’t follow the sarcasm.) I thought, well, you can get 8G cards for $20, I’ll just head out to my fave store, The Shack (or whatever they call themselves today), and get myself a Terabyte of them.

I got there and looked at “options.” There was one card available, a 4G card for $30. It seemed like a seriously bad deal. I actually half-way thought CF cards had gone out of style and that a SD to CF adapter might be the way to go. They didn’t have any of that.

Instead, I decided to go to my least fave store, Best Buy. They opened a new store just across the street, and between the Shack a few blocks East and this new Best Buy, I am not sure how long that little store will survive. In any case, I get into the BB and manage to dodge the first wave of drones that come to “help” me (i.e. upsell me to whatever they need to throw out today).

When I stupidly think that the memory cards are going to be with the portable hard drives, a drone attacks. He’s actually kinda nice and not as salesly as I am used to from the store on Harrison in San Francisco. He doesn’t know of CF cards, though, hasn’t seen them. He is certain, though, they don’t carry an adapter. He runs back to the computer and just in time for me to ponder whether I should leave, he comes back with news: they are in store. The cards, not the adapter.

We walk to the other wall of the digital camera section and see the CF cards. There are four types: outrageously expensive 4GB, outrageously expensive 8GB, and outrageously expensive 16GB. I mean, the prices were laughable – the 16GB ran over $250! For that price, I can easily buy a 2TB portable drive!

Of course, they were supposed to be ultra-fast. But my camera is ultra-slow, so it doesn’t really matter. I ended up picking the 4GB model, praying that everything will work out fine. Then I walked to the digital SLR section and looked. All of them switched to SD now.

How quickly whole standards obsolete!

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