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Introduction to ISOstick


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#51 elegantinvention

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 10:55 PM

It is the "push-in throw-out" type, indeed :)
The slot is just narrow enough to get the card through, and it rests just inside so you can poke it with a fingernail as you say :)
Perhaps the photograph just makes it look a bit different since the circuit board is not inside it yet.

#52 MedEvil

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:04 PM

I see. That's doable too. :thumbsup:
I still think, a slit in right angle to the card slot, might be easier to handle.

But i'm sure, you will figure out what's best, once you had a chance to play a bit with the new casing. ;)

Good luck and :cheers:

#53 steve6375

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:18 AM

I have seen some SD slot designs where the user can slide the SD card in but miss the slot by mistake, so that the SD card drops into the insides of device and the whole thing has to be taken apart to get the card out. You need to make sure that the slot is only just wide enough to allow the SD card to go into the card slot so this cannot happen.

#54 steve6375

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:21 AM

Will there be an end cap?

#55 TheHive

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:25 AM

Will their be an end cap?

Are you asking Storage wise.

I had the same question you had at post #53 steve6375.

Im liking the picture on the first post. The thing I don't see is where the light for when the usb flash drive is active. On the video on the site it shows it in the back. but on this new picture on the first post the whole casing looks solid in the back. Will it be implemented as proposed or is that scratched.

Thanks for the updates.

#56 steve6375

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:27 AM

No - I mean a physical end cap to protect the USB connector.

re. LED - a previous post (or maybe update post) explained that the case will be semi-transparent.

#57 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:55 AM

No - I mean a physical end cap to protect the USB connector.

You mean the little thingy that will get lost in no time? :dubbio: ;)

:cheers:
Wonko

#58 elegantinvention

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

There will not be an end cap to cover the USB plug, it would have added a lot to the cost for little benefit. As Wonko the Sane points out, those get lost all the time.

The microSD card slot is very small, just barely larger than the card itself, and immediately in front of the socket. It shouldn't be physically possible to insert the card in a way that it misses the socket and gets lost in the device, it will just slide right into the socket and click into place. Once locked into place, the card will rest just inside the enclosure, it will not stick out. As previously mentioned it is a "push-push" type socket, so pushing it in with a fingernail after it is locked in will pop it back out.

Here's a top-down view of the enclosure's microsd socket to illustrate what I mean:
Attached File  isostick-microsd-socket.png   100.62KB   22 downloads

EDIT: Just wanted to emphasize how zoomed-in that image is, which may make the distances seem larger than they really are. For example, it is only one millimeter from the outer face of the enclosure to the line where the microSD is locked in ;)

Edited by elegantinvention, 26 November 2011 - 10:57 AM.
Clarification of scale :)


#59 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:40 PM

Just for the record Wonko (the Sane) hates stupid USB thingies with "removable caps" BUT likes a lot USB thingies with a protection for the USB connector.
It is perfectly possible to design such devices, there was (IMHO) a single very good one (that of course never "became a standard" as it shoulfd have been):
Posted Image

Which put's together INTEGRAL protection of the connector, UNLIKE the common:
Posted Image

design, with the "no hassle" of not needing to not loose the stupid cap.

:cheers:
Wonko

#60 elegantinvention

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:05 PM

Nice, I like it! Perhaps for the next revision :cheers:
I've also been a fan of this one, had one on my keychain for years:
Posted Image

#61 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:46 PM

Here you can see in detail the clever "movement" of the cover:

There are a couple animations here:
http://www.pny.eu/at...ion_attache.php
but they don't show it well enough.

:cheers:
Wonko

#62 steve6375

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:03 PM

Nice, I like it! Perhaps for the next revision :cheers:
I've also been a fan of this one, had one on my keychain for years:
Posted Image

Yes, I prefer this too as you can have it on a lanyard and just detach it. Also, if you have several of them and you see an empty cap you know you have left a USB stick somewhere!

#63 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:53 PM

Yes, I prefer this too as you can have it on a lanyard and just detach it. Also, if you have several of them and you see an empty cap you know you have left a USB stick somewhere!


Or that instead of losing the stupid cap, you have lost the actual stick....:ph34r: :whistling:

:cheers:
Wonko

#64 MedEvil

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:00 PM

Yes a lot of the Lexar Drives feature the eyelet on the protector, with a strong snap mechanism, instead of on the drive, which makes it the best solution, if one wants to have ones drive attached to something.

I personly prefer the retractors sticks. One handed operation all the way!

http://images10.newe...-183-084-03.jpg

Even better the SanDisk Contour as it does not only retract the connector but actually closes it.



:cheers:

#65 steve6375

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:32 PM

Or that instead of losing the stupid cap, you have lost the actual stick.... :ph34r: :whistling:

:cheers:
Wonko

Yes, but I use these all the time and I find that as soon as I see an empty Lexar cap on the end of my keyring or lanyard it immediately reminds me that I have left the key in a system. It is better than leaving the whole lanyard/keyring with all the sticks in some system and not being able to remember where you left it a few days later when you cannot find a particular key! You have to take off the lanyard to use the key, but with the Lexar cap type you don't. I have about 40 flash keys on various lanyards/keyrings/bits of string and from personal experience I find the Lexar cap solution the best.

#66 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:46 PM

I personly prefer the retractors sticks. One handed operation all the way!

Yes, those are also nice :thumbsup:, but the mechanism (of the ones that also close the connector) is complex (and yes, the PNY can be opened/closed with one hand as well ;)).

Yes, but I use these all the time and I find that as soon as I see an empty Lexar cap on the end of my keyring or lanyard it immediately reminds me that I have left the key in a system.


Interesting :dubbio: I usually get that same feeling as soon as I see that I have not the USB stick(s) attached to the keyring, but I don't have 40 of them.

Do you usually colour match the set of sticks you carry with you with your clothes :whistling: or you mean that you normally use 40 sticks with 40 different settings/contents? :w00t:

If yes, it seems to me like you REALLY need an ISOstick.....

@ElegantInvention
You will have to devise a "holder" for the 40 or more microSD's... ;)


:cheers:
Wonko

#67 ilikewindows

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

I have no idea how expensive this will be but if it more than the average stick then I would be curious to know if it can be made to be more rugged than the average stick. I have been burned before using a regular stick and having a family member with a nervous knee that bent the stick so bad it was no longer usable. When these drives stick out of the front of these computers they seem to make a tempting target.

Having the storage separate from the actual device helps significantly but if I pay $100 for this device then it is harder to justify buying two for those just in case moments. However, if the cost of making it more durable brings the price up more than 50% then making it more durable really does not make sense (just buy two and hope mass production kicks in).

Side note: I hate that swivel design for protecting the USB connector because that only extends the area of vulnerability. I would lean more to the clear cover that you already like.

Hope to see this go into production soon.

#68 MedEvil

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:43 PM

All sticks with the exception of those 'microsticks', where the stick is actually inside the connector, have the connector soldered to the PCB. None is more durable than the other in that regard.

Exception used to be the 'SanDisk Cruzer Micro Skin', which had a very unique design, in which the connector guard was actually part of the metal casing and not part of the connector.
Disadvantage: Stick can even take abuse the computer can't.
If it is more important that the stick survives or that your HDD survives, is a matter of opinion.

:cheers:

#69 elegantinvention

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:56 AM

Interesting points about the durability and pricing :dubbio:

On durability:
Most USB sticks use 31mil (0.8mm) thickness PCBs, but isostick uses 62mil (1.6mm) thickness for slightly better durability. This should help with the problem of kneeing it. I considered this a necessity because of the BGA part being used. The increased stiffness reduces mechanical stress on the balls of the BGA, increasing lifetime.
[Related: at a former employer, the chief engineer had a computer so unfortunately designed as to have the front USB ports on the *bottom*, near the ground. Of course, the computer sat on the ground as the desk was full of shiny engineering-related things and mandatory landscapes of paper, so the USB sticks were constantly being assaulted by errant foot movements, contorting them in magnificent ways. A surprising many of them survived such abuse! A typical failure mode was the board snapping at the USB plug, which the added thickness will certainly help with: a 31mil board of such size can be visibly flexed by hand, a 62mil board cannot.]

The enclosure is polycarbonate (lexan), is designed structures to increase rigidity, and has thicker walls than most USB stick enclosures.
I can't quantitatively say isostick is more durable under typical stresses than any other USB stick, but it was designed with durability in mind. I personally will be keeping one on my keychain which I'm not exactly gentle with :hammer: :fine:

As to cost, however, the aforementioned features do not add appreciable cost to the device.
The relatively high cost is due to two things:
  • The AVR32 (part number at32uc3a3128-ctu for the curious) CPU being used.
    It is USD$9.88 each in quantity 100 at the time of writing this.
    Typical USB sticks use a very specific-purpose, cost-optimized controller chip on the order of USD$0.75 per unit or less in the quantities they're purchased in (hundreds of thousands, I'm sure). The AVR32 pricing does not go down so much in quantity.
    If you're wondering why I chose AVR32 over, say, an ARM micro, see this post.
  • Early, low-volume production, meaning much of the final testing, assembly, and packaging happens right here in my house and components are purchased in lower, more expensive quantities.
    Once things get into mass production, component and manufacturing fees will start to drop and I can offload the entire manufacturing process to the assembly house in China.
    That also means lower cost per unit spent on shipping, too: at present the enclosures and the assembled PCBs must be separately shipped from China to myself in the US. In production the components will be sent between companies in China until they're blister-packed and ready for retail sale, eliminating international shipping charges until the final shipment to the retailer or fulfillment center. This also cuts out many potential delays incurred by customs.
Retailers also typically want 10 - 20% from what I understand, but they also drive higher sales volumes... :juggler:
Regardless, isostick will be more expensive than most USB sticks due to higher component cost and lower demand.

I hope this doesn't sound like making excuses for the as yet undetermined retail price. :suda:
It's a balancing act to hit the right price, and I'm certainly no expert. My assumption has always been that lower price means more sales, but that it will plateau at some point where lowering the price further stops increasing (or starts decreasing!) your return. That said, isostick saves a lot of time and will continue to receive updates bringing bugfixes and new features, and I hope that is considered when evaluating the price.

Ultimately I have no idea what my sales volume will look like, when it will drop off to the "long tail" or how long/low that tail will be, but I will keep it as inexpensive as possible while sustaining myself and my company. :cheers:

#70 steve6375

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

Chinese IsoStick
http://hinet.dyndns....drom_manual.pdf
Neat idea to actually insert the SD card into the USB connector!

#71 MedEvil

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:08 PM

That's a virtual CD-Drive, meant to be used from a running OS.
ISO-Stick is meant to be used as a boot media.
Also ISO-Sticks biggest advantage, to be able to switch between iso, is not present in the chinese "version".
It's much closer to a U3 Stick, than to ISO-Stick.

:cheers:

#72 bblaauw

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

Nice idea indeed by those chinese folks. Copy a concept, improve it and undercut, typical :)
Still it seems to be only 1 ISO per storage card if I read the manual correctly.

As for Isostick retail sales, either Creditcard or a big webshop like Amazon? Lexar seems to do it with their small-size big-capacity fast (150MB/s) USB3.0 flash disks called Lexar Jumpdrive Triton.

#73 steve6375

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:15 PM

That's a virtual CD-Drive, meant to be used from a running OS.
ISO-Stick is meant to be used as a boot media.
Also ISO-Sticks biggest advantage, to be able to switch between iso, is not present in the chinese "version".
It's much closer to a U3 Stick, than to ISO-Stick.
:cheers:

It is meant for booting as a CD or DVD
Don't you read Chinenglish! :loleverybody:

In Normal period, if you wan to use the ISO image that you burned to reboot, then choose Zidian
DVDROM, but some kind of bios can’t use the external DVD ROM to reboot ( usually it is a NB which with
internal DVD ROM), please contact with customer service if there is new bios updated or not?
It doesn’t support USB CDROM, generally it doesn’t support card drives
But some kind of bios, only can choose external device, generally there is submenu.
And some other kind of bios, only can choose USB cd rom, generally there is submenu, for this kind, you
need choose Zidian DVDROM of Zidian CDROM again.



#74 saddlejib

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

This big would be good

http://www.google.co...ed=0CIMBEPMCMAY

#75 LeMOGO

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

Don't you read Chinenglish! :loleverybody:


Actually, that would be "chinglish" :loleverybody:




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