Preparing for a Prototype

Pyramancer

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Pocketability is still possible with very low profile USB to microsdxc adapters like these:
Code:
https://www.amazon.com/aceyoon-Adapter-480Mbps-MicroSDXC-MicroSDHC/dp/B06XKVS1XD
Here's a question out of curiosity (and/or ignorance since I don't follow trends in storage media except around the times when I'm buying some, which I haven't in some years): Why choose a low-profile USB-to-µSDXC adapter over a low-profile USB flash drive? Compactness? Capacity? Speed? Price? Flexibility?
 
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levi

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The biggest capacity low profile USB stick I can find sports 128GB from reputable manufacturers (there's a no name USB2 256GB stick there, but I guess they're hoping that at USB2 speeds you'd be out of warranty by the time you actually filled up whatever's really in there).
 

Pyramancer

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The biggest capacity low profile USB stick I can find sports 128GB from reputable manufacturers (there's a no name USB2 256GB stick there, but I guess they're hoping that at USB2 speeds you'd be out of warranty by the time you actually filled up whatever's really in there).
Hmm... I see. Yes, the Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive only goes up to 128 GB.

The SanDisk Ultra Fit™ USB 3.1 Flash Drive goes up to 256 GB though (for US$ 46 each).

And I see one "compact" 512 GB drive, but not only is it not from a reputable manufacturer, it says it is from "no" manufacturer at all! (See below.)

Since this memory is to go into a USB 2.0 socket...
Pocketability is still possible with very low profile USB to microsdxc adapters like these:
Code:
https://www.amazon.com/aceyoon-Adapter-480Mbps-MicroSDXC-MicroSDHC/dp/B06XKVS1XD
With two USB 2.0 ports and two of those adapters:
512GB left USB 2.0
512GB right USB 2.0
... your complaint about USB 2 speeds applies to the µSDXC as much as it does to the USB flash.

However, at a theoretical USB 2.0 data rate of 480 Mb/s it would only take two and a half hours to fill a 512 GB memory. And it would be fast enough for many purposes (which only require reading modest amount of data at a time, such as photo albums, music libraries, e-book libraries and such) even if in reality it was ten times slower and took 24 hours.

On amazon.com there is a US$ 20 "USB Mini Flash Drive Memory Card 512GB" by no manufacturer, and the warranty on that might indeed have expired in that amount of time!
 
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levi

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Yes, my 'complaint' was rather a flippant comment and should have deserved some kind of smiley really I guess.

In my experience the actual data rate of USB is generally about three quarters of what the theoretical bus rate is. With encryption, I was only getting half rates the last time I upgraded by hard discs over USB2. Still two days if you have the data ready to go on there is within most guarantees.

If these 512GB sticks are real, then they're only as good as a 512GB µSD in a little adaptor, if pocketability is about as good either way, so it's rather academic which one @Grench chose to use in his example. I guess the extra adaptor when using µSD cards is likely to be less reliable though, so its a trade off of reliability over whether you intend to use different µSD cards at different times.
 

Grench

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@Pyramancer @levi
My reasons for using the tiny adapters are:

They work at USB 2.0 speeds - which is adequate to the ports on the Pyra - and protrude by less than 1CM.

microSDXC cards have historically had higher storage capacity than then-available 'stubby' USB flash drives. In the few years that I have been making this kind of list for the Pandora and now the Pyra,

I have yet to have seen a time point where small USB drives could have a higher capacity than this adapter plus the then highest capacity microSDXC card.

I own a handful of these microSDXC to USB 2.0 adapters and frankly they work quite nicely. The card gets inserted from the port side - which means it is protected and -inside- the USB port during use. Very slick.

This is what they look like inserted into the Pyra Keymat Test Mule:



More pictures at:
https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/test-the-keymat.80259/page-13#post-1419559

The two adapters in the picture look different - they're actually two of the same adapter. The one on the right has a card inserted inside the adapter. The one on the left does not. The yellow tab is the card ejection button that pushes the card out from -inside- the plug itself.

I consider these little USB 2.0 adapters to microSDXC media to be a 'reasonable solution' for someone who might want to 'max out' the Pyra's local on-board in-pocket storage capabilities.
 
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Pyramancer

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@levi
Yes, my 'complaint' was rather a flippant comment and should have deserved some kind of smiley really I guess.
No need for a smiley there, I think, as the humour in your 'complaint' was evident, I think. It was after my whimsical side had had a chuckle, that my curiosity was engaged about how long it would really take to write 512 GB over USB 2.
If these 512GB sticks are real
I don't think they're real.

@Grench
Thanks for the explanation. And pics!
 

bluedeer

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@levi
No need for a smiley there, I think, as the humour in your 'complaint' was evident, I think. It was after my whimsical side had had a chuckle, that my curiosity was engaged about how long it would really take to write 512 GB over USB 2.

I don't think they're real.

@Grench
Thanks for the explanation. And pics!
In my experience, even though the maximum data transfer speed over USB suggests that it should take probably a couple of hours, the slow nonsequential write speed of a lot of drives seems to be the bottleneck for a lot of things being transferred. Even on 128GB drives. I transferred my install of Fallout New Vegas which is about 60GB thereabouts from my main hard drive through USB to a 128GB Kingston USB thumb drive, and it took probably close to three or four hours because there were so many tiny files of just a few kb and the write speed kept ramping up and down. It averaged around a couple hundred kilobits a sec to a few megabits depending on how large the file was but it seemed to take -forever- for it to finish copying one file before it moved onto the next.

If it's one large 512GB file, just a couple of hurs. If it's 512GB worth of various file sizes, probably best to start it copying and just go to bed because there's no telling when it'll finish.

* Edit - Had to revise my estimates mostly because I forgot to take into account that USB 2.0 write speeds never actually reach their theoretical maximums.
 

Grench

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In my experience, even though the maximum data transfer speed over USB suggests that it should take probably a couple of hours, the slow nonsequential write speed of a lot of drives seems to be the bottleneck for a lot of things being transferred. Even on 128GB drives. I transferred my install of Fallout New Vegas which is about 60GB thereabouts from my main hard drive through USB to a 128GB Kingston USB thumb drive, and it took probably close to three or four hours because there were so many tiny files of just a few kb and the write speed kept ramping up and down. It averaged around a couple hundred kilobits a sec to a few megabits depending on how large the file was but it seemed to take -forever- for it to finish copying one file before it moved onto the next.

If it's one large 512GB file, just a couple of hurs. If it's 512GB worth of various file sizes, probably best to start it copying and just go to bed because there's no telling when it'll finish.

* Edit - Had to revise my estimates mostly because I forgot to take into account that USB 2.0 write speeds never actually reach their theoretical maximums.
A trick for that kind of file transfer. Compress the files into 1 file on the SSD or HDD and only write one giant file to the USB/SDXC card. Continuous full blocks are good. Then on the destination computer decompress right from the USB/SDXC to the SSD/HDD as one continuous file read.
 

NovemberJoy

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A trick for that kind of file transfer. Compress the files into 1 file on the SSD or HDD and only write one giant file to the USB/SDXC card. Continuous full blocks are good. Then on the destination computer decompress right from the USB/SDXC to the SSD/HDD as one continuous file read.
Unfortunately, a Pyra wouldn't be able to do that due to its 32GB of internal storage, although a 1TB SD card could handle it. I'll have to look into that technique, since I've never really heard of that.
 

levi

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Depends if your talking computer to computer transfer or computer to something that can only be connected over USB2. If you're copying to a thumb drive as the final target for whatever reason, there's not much other way to do it, unless the drive supports some flavour of USB3 and it can be worth firing it over to a machine that support that to do the actual flash transfer. I suspect the problem might be in the way that flash actually works; they're all based on pages, and the whole page gets wiped every time you make a change to it. It'd take a lot of working RAM for the card controllers to buffer whole pages before committing them to storage, and there's always the risk that an impatient user is going to yank the drive before the blinking light goes out and you've lost those megabytes, so they generally write things as soon as they get them, and copy a page before wiping it and rewriting it with updated data for every file received.

Edit: In reply to @Grench
 

Grench

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Anticipation can be a time killer.

So, I asked myself, what things do I want to be able to do with the Pyra, 'Out of the Gate'?

Audacious (an apt-get away?)
VLC (an apt-get away?)
Vulture's Eye (may need to be compiled from source - it isn't in the Debian repository)
Chrome Browser? FireFox?

Pyra + Exagear + X86 Linux Steam Client + X86 Linux native version of Neverwinter Nights EE ... Does that equal playing on a NWN persistent world? (this one might have to be a longer timeline)
 

faeredia

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Anticipation can be a time killer.

So, I asked myself, what things do I want to be able to do with the Pyra, 'Out of the Gate'?

Audacious (an apt-get away?)
VLC (an apt-get away?)
Vulture's Eye (may need to be compiled from source - it isn't in the Debian repository)
Chrome Browser? FireFox?

Pyra + Exagear + X86 Linux Steam Client + X86 Linux native version of Neverwinter Nights EE ... Does that equal playing on a NWN persistent world? (this one might have to be a longer timeline)
Just the basics to begin with, i3, vim and something to sync with my laptop/desktop. The usual suspects (c, rust, python, awk, perl. Just got into maxima as well).
Would like to try gnome lollypop
 

Grench

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There are now 1TB microSDXC and SDXC cards listed for pre-purchase from reputable sites.
Code:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1451117-REG/lexar_lsd1tcbna633_professional_sdxc_card_1tb.html
Code:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1461854-REG/sandisk_sdsqxbz_1t00_ancma_1tbgb_extreme_plus_uhs_i.html
Be VERY careful if you're seeking these out. There are clearly more fakes out there than real, but supposedly some real ones exist. The most likely to be real could be:

At this time only the Lexar SDXC ones seem to be for sale - though not delivery yet. bhphotovideo.com says March 6th.
At this time only the Sandisk microSDXC ones seem to be for sale - though not delivery yet. No ETA for these.

Sandisk announced a 1TB SDXC card over two years ago - but that has never actually been made available for purchase. Currently the maximum capacity for the SDXC slots is the 1TB Lexar card.

Conversely, Lexar announced a 1TB microSDXC card when they announced their 1TB SDXC carrd - but the 1TB Lexar microSDXC is not available for purchase.

However, both are good news as we'll hopefully see some competition for these giant capacity cards.

So, since I periodically create a 'max theoretical pocketable Pyra storage' article. it is time to update.

32GB - The Pyra is slated to have a 32GB internal eMMC drive.
1024GB - Behind the battery door there is a microsdxc slot.
1024GB - Left sdxc slot (current maximum sdxc orderable)
1024GB - Right sdxc slot
---------
3014GB = 3+ TB max internal storage without adapters

Pocketability is still possible with very low profile USB to microsdxc adapters like these:
Code:
https://www.amazon.com/aceyoon-Adapter-480Mbps-MicroSDXC-MicroSDHC/dp/B06XKVS1XD
With two USB 2.0 ports and two of those adapters:
1024GB left USB 2.0
1024GB right USB 2.0
---------
5152GB = ~5.1TB max pocketable storage.

The Pyra has cracked 5TB pocketable & active storage threshold!

No - I can't afford to buy all that media. Yet.
 

Grench

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@Grench don't forget that microUSB 3.0 OTG port...
On the Pyra it would have to connect to the wide microUSB 3.0 OTG port as a microUSB 2.0 narrow connector device. That will leave the entirety of the USB Type A port and the bit between them sticking out the back of the Pyra. The part is 30.5mm long, of which maybe 5mm would be inserted, leaving about 25mm of dongle sticking out the back, which is more than the arbitrary 'doesn't stick out more than 1cm' restriction rule that I applied 'for pocketability' to this exercise. Without that restriction to ensure pocketability, it opens up to hubs, NAS, DAS and gets pretty silly.

If you wanted to allow that much extension behind the case, and if you can find one, then one of these would now add a terabyte (if using a 1TB microSDXC card).
Code:
https://www.cnet.com/news/pkparis-unveils-worlds-smallest-android-flash-drive/
It is a touch longer than the Sandisk USB stick noted at 35mm would have ~30mm sticking out. In either case, it extends too far for my pocketability restriction.

I haven't been able to find any examples of a microUSB only flash drive - i.e. one with a microUSB connector but no USB type A extension (or more) hanging off the end of it. I had thought that somewhere someone must have at some time made a stubby microUSB only flash drive meant to be left in 'all the time' for Android phones, but I can't find any instances of them existing.

A bit of a dream device might be a microUSB 3.0 (wide like on Pyra) connector that takes a microSDXC card vertical and sideways (so it fits flush to the device back). Not that we really need such an animal - we are unlikely to be starved for on-device storage. Fewer and fewer new devices with this connector show up now as USB C continues to displace it.
 

Grench

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Top is the original RHS.
Bottom is the RHS II. It is about 2mm longer than the original version - all in the dart tip. I found some nice 20mm knurled aluminum standoffs and main standoffs to make the length right.

Both fit the Pandora... But will they fit in a Pyra? Count me anxious to find out. After I find out, I'll post the parts list so anyone can build them.
 

ClockworkCoder

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I'm not sure what RHS stands for but those styluses look great :)
[doublepost=1564725762,1564720404][/doublepost]I'm getting excited for you Grench (and more than a little envious if I'm honest). Really looking forward to hearing/reading your opinions and reaction when you finally get yours :)
 

Grench

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