So for the past two years I have been a Mac guy. I have fallen in love with the clean easy to use interface of OSX coupled with the power of the base os for when I need to get down and dirty on a network. Along with this love affair I had come the the conclusion that the days of portable computers bristling with ports and expansion slots like guns from battleships of old were gone. Then I switched jobs and was issued my Dell Lattitude D630. So far it is a nice laptop. Aside from the OS options I have ( I chose Ubuntu) I was surprised to see all my hardware options including a serial port (woohooo no need to care my keyspan USB adapter!!!!), a docking port slot ont he bottom, the ability to remove my DVD drive for a few extra hours of battery, 4 USB slots, VGA out on board, an a PCMCIA slot.
Lets just say out of all of those mentioned my PCMCIA (PC CARD) slot was my least favorite. Many computers are moving to the PC Express Cards that have much more bandwidth for options just out audio and video interfaces. So I just left my PC Card slot alone with the blank that had come in it. Some of the guys I work with are carrying super thin laser mice in that slot and my wife’s HP has a cool little remove that hides in that bay but all in all it seems pretty useless. That was till I found an old CF to PCMCIA apter that I had picked up to try to use CF cards in my older Cisco routers (That did not work!).
I had a 1Gig CF laying around so I slapped the CF in the adapter and the adapter in my laptop. So now I have a 1Gig solid state storage device. Considering this is removable I encrypted it with TrueCrypt and now I save all of my customer and critical info on it. Considering that even 8Gig CF cards are below $100 bucks now this is a pretty nice because you dont have to worry about forgetting your thumb drive or breaking it off as you move your laptop around but you still have a SolidState store for your data. Worst case my laptop fails I can use the CF to USB adapter I carry with me on any system with Truecrypt installed and access my data.
If you are interested in trying this you can try these links for the parts.
I hope this helps some of you resurrect your lonely PCMCIA slot from computing history and helps you avoid data loss in the future.