Those that know me know that I do tend to like oddball hardware, so with being unable to get any sleep the other night I decided to browse AliExpress and see what I can find.
Spoiler Alert : Never browse AliExpress when you can’t sleep unless you want to be horrified.
Needless to say, I found some items for sale that… well… I cant really think of why they even exist as a product. It’s not that I don’t think that ‘someone’ might have been in a situation where it might have been useful for them… but who thought that there would be enough people to mass produce some of these items.
So for your entertainment, I’ll list some of my favorite items that I found which I cant think of a good reason why they even exist.
I’m a fan of PCMCIA as much as the next guy, I have tons of older PCMCIA cards from my older laptops, but I can’t for the life of me think of a single card that I have which I’d want or need to interface with my desktop computer. The only one that would even be partially useful, though in honesty not useful at all, would be my PCMCIA iomega Clik Drive. Except that the unit already came with PCMCIA to USB Enclosure. Anyway moving along…
Lets be blunt here, why does this exist? You can find Mini PCI-E SSD cards, what possible use could there be to need one for two micro SD cards? Surely this wouldn’t be used for some type of storage, micro SD cards have abysmal read/write speeds. Using this as some sort of cache would be pointless for that very reason as well. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a USB adapter for accessing your micro SD cards? Having to open your laptop up to change them in and out would just be annoying. Oh but don’t you worry, if you like micro SD cards have I got a thing for you…
Because what you really need in your life is to raid 4 SD cards together. And apparently that isn’t “baller” enough for some people apparently, because the following exists…
That’s right. First there was a person who thought, “Man I really want to RAID 4 SD cards together.” And then, someone else came along looked at his creation and scoffed and realize that what the world REALLY needed was to be able to RAID 10 SD cards together. In the interest of being clear I dont mean RAID 10, I mean RAID ‘ten’ as in the number that comes after nine when you are counting up. The actual RAID configuration is RAID0, which on crappy SD cards with bad writes will make your file system super stable. And do I even need to mention that this has a claimed compatibility with DOS/Windows 3.1, has someone written sata drivers for DOS/Windows and I didn’t get a memo about it!?
I seriously want to meet the person who designed this. This is without a doubt a serious 1st world problem. Here is a person who can look past all the difficulties and troubles in current computing and see the issues that REALLY need to be solved. And I think I’ve found another product that person created, because the genius of this product cannot be understated.
Now that’s a problem that I come up with all the time. “Man, I really need to connect another USB device to this computer, but all I have is this Mini PCI-e port that’s open…” I thought this was a product that would never find a purpose, and here my dear friends is where I have to be totally honest with you. This product apparently does have a purpose, or at least someone thought so when they designed the next product.
Seriously, what the hell!? First off lets ignore the fact that PCI-e splitters only work if your bios supports bifurcation and this page doesn’t even comment on that. At what point is it ever going to be advantageous to connect two external PCI-e x16 cards to an internal mini pci-e? Oh yea, and check out the specs… go ahead I’ll wait… that’s right its PCI-e gen 1.0, enjoy that blistering 250MB/s. I could potentially see this as useful in very small Micro-ITX builds where you need additional PCI-e lanes, but being PCI-e gen 1.0 pretty much kills its usefulness.
While we’re on the topic of PCI-e Gen 1, I actually know someone that bought this card thinking it’d be good. I’ll cut straight to the punch and tell it’s not. And to prove it I’m going to use a little bit of friendly math. That card allows you to connect up to 5 Sata 3G Hard drives to it. Ok, that doesn’t sound too bad right? Well the devil is in the details, as I said it connects through a Gen 1 PCI-e x1 slot. Anyone who knows their specs or remembered the prior item, will instantly realize that means that it’s maximum through put is 250MB/s, and remember this is a RAID card. So you’re going to hook up five drives to that have a max throughput of 300MB/s each (so a total of 1.5GB/s if all written in parallel) and then connect them through a 250MB/s connection. Without a doubt this is brilliance at its finest.
I dont think I can say it any better than Mr. Peters who comments on the products Amazon page.
I would not recommend this product to anyone. I have destroyed it to be absolutely certain that it will not be found by someone who might also try to use it.
So that was my sleepless night. If I have horrified you and you’re unable to sleep tonight, I sincerely apologize.