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IBM 1GB Microdrive

At the size of a quarter, the IBM 1GB Microdrive is the smallest hard drive in CompactFlash form factor. I remember that the first hard drive I had was only 32MB in storage size, but its physical size was 5 1/2" and weighted several pounds. Compared to my first hard drive, the IBM 1GB Microdrive is unbelievably small!

My old hard disk whines and chews even when it is not in use. On the other than, the IBM 1GB Microdrive is also extremely quiet. It powers itself down when not in use and spins up only when data is read or written to the drive. To hear its soft whine, I have to hold my Canon D30 digital camera very close to my ear while the drive is spinning. Vibration due to its spinning disk is almost non-existant.

The IBM 1GB Microdrive comes in CompactFlash Type II form factor. The Type II is slightly thicker than the Type I form factor. Therefore, your digital camera or CompactFlash reader must support CompactFlash Type II in order to use the IBM 1GB Microdrive. As an example, I was unable to use the Microdrive in my Olympus C-2500L digital camera that only supported CompactFlash Type I cards.

At the time of this writing (2002-11-26), the IBM 1GB Microdrive is the most inexpensive 1GB CompactFlash storage medium, megabytes-wise. It beats all 1GB solid-state CompactFlash's in megabytes per dollar. Even the 512MB solid state CompactFlash's, which became popular recently, still cost a bit more than the IBM 1GB Microdrive, megabytes-per-dollar-wise.

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Copyright © 2002, 2003 by Chieh Cheng. All Rights Reserved.