Pretentious, opinionated language

Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Expresscard universal slot design is insane

I need to vent now that i understand this is a conscious design choice.

I use a laptop for playing live shows and making music. To connect my laptop to my external firewire sound card, i was basically forced to get an expresscard firewire adaptor (apparently laptop firewire ports are shit). I'm mortified to find that the slot for the card is almost twice as wide as the card itself, basically leaving the card "Hanging" with wall contact on one side only, meaning a slight shift of the laptop or a careless hand gesture will easily push the card sideways and out of the slot.

Behold, internet illustration:

Expresscards are apparently "designed to be hot swapped". Well the stuff that connects to expresscards has a nasty tendency of NOT being designed to be hot swapped. Sound cards for instance. They really, really hate being yanked out during mid use. So does XP actually, commonly freezing up completely once this accident happens. And this accident happens a LOT. The firewire cable is short and stiff, meaning as soon as i hook this thing up, i don't dare put my hand anywhere near the right hand side of the machine. Tomorrow i'm playing a show in Berlin and the debate of wether to bring the sound card and enjoy ASIO and zero ground loop and fear The Accident or to accept ground loop and sound like shit but safe is killing me.

I can't believe this design is allowed, and certainly not how the computer or card didnt come with a sort of slot-in object to keep the inserted card from jiggling around. The immediate result is i have to shove some cardboard in there or something, and i HATE THAT.


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