Micro sd's

It worked to SanDisk’s favor.

You remember the one day sale on the SanDisk Micro sd 32? I bought one after I returned the PNY.

Do you think that maybe…? No they didn’t do this on purpose?!? You think??

I kinda doubt it–that could start a war of sorts, with manufacturers favoring one brand of card over another (and getting paid to, potentially?!?). I just don’t get the feeling that SanDisk and other equipment manufacturers are into that. (But then, I’m naive as to those things.) Perhaps more likely, SanDisk tests a player with its own cards? What I find most curious is, I thought that SD was a standard–not the case, if one manufacturer’s card, emblazoned as an “SD” card, won’t work on some equipment?

I believe PNY is a rebrander rather than a manufacturer, which means its cards might be made by several manufacturers. I seem to recall that in the past some batches of the same model of PNY products performed very well, while others didn’t. Perhaps they were from two different manufacturers?

So perhaps your PNY card might not work in your Clip Zip, but another PNY card  of the same model might work?

Communicating with a storage device involves quite a few little details.  The confusing part is due to our own successes I am afraid, as we’ve grown accustomed to simply plugging the things in, or turning things on, and they just work.

As devices grow more sophisticated, their complexity can also increase.  I forget who first said it, but as engineering approaches completion, as refinements are successful, we have grown used to things that just appear to be magic, as they just, for lack of a simpler word, work.

Over the years, I have been accustomed to taking that little flat-blade screwdriver from my breast pocket (Navy electronics technicians refer to them as your tweaker, I like that), and giving the requisite trimpot a little tweak.  At nine years old, I remember it was routine for me to pull the back cover from a television set, power it up with a test cord (early sets had a safety design, if you removed the back, the power cable went with the cover), and check for a problem with the VTVM, comparing the voltages against the nominal voltages in the schematic.   Hey, there were even hot chassis designs, where the AC power was connected to the frame of the electronics.

For those of you who caught that, _things are so very different today, aren’t they?  _Yes, at nine years old, the Bobster was messing with live chassis, plate (vacuum tubes, of course) B+ voltages over 200 volts, and the oscilloscope.  This wasn’t surprising, as my father was an engineer, looking over my shoulder.  Cool stuff, huh?  Things were different during the space race.

When we plug in that miniscule microSD card, there are several layers at play.  There’s  the Sansa, of course, then the microSD slot and requisite control, then the contact sets, then within that card, there’s an internal control as well, and lastly, the flash memory devices.  Simply magic when you think of it, and smaller than, until recently, thought possible.  If you look on the under side (back, the unprinted side) of a SanDisk card, the border of the device is visible as a slightly raised rectangle. 

There are several layers involved with the SD and MicroSD card,  separated into what I’d describe as logic, or the device’s computing requirements (this is what is affected by formatting the disk, or using the SD formatter application), and electronic, the niceties of the physical port on the host machine, plus the data pins on the device.

In total, there are many variables that we expect, overall, to just work.  

I get nervous when I see those absurdly cheap deals on the Internet, _especially when they are name brand cards.  _Even more insidious is when there are cards sold at a reasonable price, that may be (gasp!) counterfeits.  Granted, it’s safe to assume that the Sansa is tested with SanDisk genuine cards, but that’s obvious, they’re sitting on the test bench.  No need to go to the local shop and buy one, they’re right there.  

If a different brand of microSD card doesn’t work, it’s most certainly is not the result of some evil conspiracy to force you into using a specific card.  There are standards that are in place for the format, of course, and many variables.  Reminds me of trying various magnetic tapes in search of the best sound. TDK, Maxell, Scotch, Ampex, BASF…they were all based upon one standard, but they performed differently.  WIth digital devices, what we experience is what I call the “feeler gauge effect”, it’s either “go” or “no go”, with the added aggravation, based upon Murphy’s Law, “okay, sometimes go”.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue: