Intermart PCD-30USB External USB PC Card Read/Write Drive
With the introduction of Windows 98 and the iMac we now have a new kind of card reader to consider. Several manufacturers are coming out with USB (Universal Serial Bus) card readers which promise true Plug-N-Play installation as well as hot-swap and incredibly fast 12Mb/sec transfer rates.
Here's the Intermart USB reader, smaller than a pack of cigarettes and it works great. I installed the software and then just plugged it in and Windows 98 saw it immediately and loaded the drivers. Under My Computer there was a new entry called "Removeable Drive E" and all of my files were easily copied, read or deleted from the memory card.
Windows 95 users must be using the newer "Release B" of Windows 95 and have installed the USB support files from Microsoft before it can be used.
I opted for the regular PCMCIA card reader so I could read both SmartMedia and CompactFlash cards with the adapters I already had as well as Type II cards (I'm getting ready for my new Sony DSC-D700 camera around Christmas time).
Be sure to download the drivers dated 10/3/98, these are the newest ones. When unpacking the ZIP files be sure that your ZIP utility keeps the path names as it should create two subdirectories (\win95 and \win98) on your new installation diskette.
I give the Intermart PCD-30USB a rating of 4½ digicams, it operated smoothly, installation was easy and it is fairly inexpensive for a USB device. The only negative is that USB is not standard yet on PCs, if it is the only device on the USB port there is no problem but I have seen it interact poorly with other USB devices and hubs. To be honest I have not yet had time to test it with the new drivers.