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A portable hard drive for photo transfers on the road

So, you're on vacation and you've got a full week of Kodak moments to go, but a full week of photos already in the digital camera. Now, thousands of miles from your computer, your camera is blinking the bad news in your face: "memory card full." What do you do? Digital Foci Media Buddy to the rescue!

An understated though large (5.8 in. x 3.4 in. x 1 in., 11.2 oz.) palm-sized unit in workman gray with a practical black-and-white LCD screen (to save power), this handy portable hard drive (30 to 80 GB capacity) allows you to offload photos, music, and videos directly from every popular memory-card or stick format. Put the full card directly into the unit and copying begins automatically. (For a robust test, I transferred three full-length movies, each more than a gigabyte, and a half-hour TV show to the unit, taking about four minutes to copy.) Once the files are safely on board, you can erase the card on your camera. When you're back home, use a regular USB cord (included) to transfer the files back to your computer.

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The directions are a bit obtuse, and the black-and-white screen could be snappier, but until Apple puts memory card inputs directly on the iPod (which can double as a storage device), this is a great solution to digital overflow on the road. Suggested price: $189.


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