Reusing or Recycling CF Cards
October 11, 2007 6:47 PM   Subscribe

What do you do with your old CF cards?

You know the ones - the 32MB card that came with the compact digital camera, long ago, the 128MB cards that were bought for that weekend trip, the 256MB cards, perhaps a 512MB card or two. Maybe even that 1GB card that sits unused.

I don't want to throw mine out - but I am using my three 2GB cards in my three digital cameras, to the exclusion of all the others sitting in my digital media box. Any creative ideas for using these neglected smaller-storage CF cards and avoid throwing them out?

And, if they can't be reused for anything interesting, can they be recycled?
posted by seawallrunner to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They are in my desk drawer... Ranging from 4mb Sony cards up to a 64mb CF, and some sticks of 512mb DDR Ram. Old stuff that doesn't have a home :(.

CF cards in IDE->CF adapters are good for thin client PC booting though!
posted by SirStan at 6:54 PM on October 11, 2007

They're useful for digital picture frames.
posted by smackfu at 7:17 PM on October 11, 2007

I give them to friends who are not worried about the latest in technology.
posted by kanemano at 7:20 PM on October 11, 2007

More and more modern computers are coming stock with x-in-1 media readers so its not too implausible to use them to get data to a friend where you aren't so sure the friend will give your media back. It will be like the Gladware of bits and bytes.
posted by mmascolino at 7:26 PM on October 11, 2007 [3 favorites]

I throw them in when I eBay off an old PDA or camera or other gadget, or give them to a friend.
posted by kindall at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2007

I still use them in cameras, because IMHO CF is still the best flash card format due to its hard-to-break and hard-to-lose form factor...

However, if that's not an option for you, you can get CF-USB adaptors for cheap and have a lot of somewhat bulky "flash drives".
posted by fvox13 at 8:12 PM on October 11, 2007

They can be very handy to store Linux boot images; if it's big enough, you can store an entire operating system on one and use it to boot your machine in an emergency. Having a 'panic button' bootable environment can be very handy indeed.

This is easiest with a 1gb card, because you can put a whole LiveCD plus a bunch more stuff on it, but you can do it with smaller units... even a 32mb card is enough for a text-only boot with lots of repair/recovery tools.
posted by Malor at 9:04 PM on October 11, 2007

You can post them to me, cos I need some small ones for a security cam I have.
posted by pompomtom at 9:15 PM on October 11, 2007

I boot my router (m0n0wall on a soekris) from the 32MB one that came with my digital camera.
posted by kdar at 9:32 PM on October 11, 2007

yes, my homemade digital photo frame runs a pared-down Mac OS 7.5 on a PowerBook 540, all running off a 32MB CF card.
posted by thejoshu at 10:16 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

I use mine in my SuperCard for my Nintendo DS. They're perfect for DSOrganize, a PDA-like utility.

I also use them as a floppy disk replacement. When I need to transfer a couple of pics, docs, music etc. from one computer to the other, they are a lot faster than burning a disk, a lot smaller, and most of the computers I deal with have the built in 7- in - one card readers.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 6:43 AM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Call up the local schools/libraries/community groups/etc and see if they have any use for them. Though this is generally more true for PC parts, these sorts of organizations are often in need of usable secondhand technology. A few extra CF cards might make some teacher's day. You might get a small tax deduction, and you'll have contributed something useful to your local community.
posted by jacobbarssbailey at 9:26 AM on October 12, 2007

Keep them with your cameras in case you're ever challenged by a security guard, police officer or property owner who demands (illegally) to confiscate your memory card. Hand them the old media, and get away with not only your more useful and expensive cards, but your apparently offensive photographs intact.
posted by kowalski at 10:54 AM on October 12, 2007

thank you all for your very helpful suggestions!

indeed, giving them away appears to be the best solution for me - I do have friends who will use the media, and I will inquire with the local library (once they return to work) and with the local school whether they will use the media.

kowalski, your suggestion made me smile - I take wilderness photographs and have not been challenged by security guards. But I know people who have, in urban photography settings, so thank you for the idea.
posted by seawallrunner at 4:54 PM on October 12, 2007

Seconding digital photo frames; just for posterity. (In case the next guy with this question has no friends.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 12:17 PM on October 13, 2007

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