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Storing images while on the road

Some of you may remember my plea for help in choosing a portable storage system for the Contax ND images for a trip from Scotland to California.
I have just returned from my first all digital photographic trip, and for storage, I ended up with an Archos Mulitimedia Jukebox which has a 20Gb hard drive and can store images from the memory cards by using an adaptor.
I use 2 Lexar 256 mg cards, and they take 27 RAW images each. I also have a Kyocera Finecam with 128Mb storage cards, and the Archos allowed me to use RAW for all the important ND images taken during the trip, and Jpeg for the rest. I came back with some 500 images, split 50/50 between RAW images and Jpeg1 images, but of course the RAW images took up much more space on the hard drive. It is possible to get 2000 RAW images on the drive.
Before I left, with the Archos connected to my home computer, I set up two folders one for the Finecam, and one for the N Digital to accept the images. During the trip I copied the files from the flash cards to the appropriate folders using the "copy all" option (this copies the preview images and the main files) - this was done with the Archos connected to the 110 volt mains, but I did the transfer on batteries without problems a couple of times.
I then checked the files had transferred correctly - they always had - but my difficulty was simply in finding exactly where the files had been stored on the Archos. The filing system on the Archos is not as intuitive as a Windows based Explorer interface, and when there are some 500 files on the hard drive, it took some figuring out. In the end, I did not loose one file during the trip, and they all transferred to my PC after I returned home without any problems.
To ease the transfer process, what I have now done (and this would be applicable for any portable storage device) is within the Contax ND folder on the Archos, I have set up sub folders ND1, ND2, ND3 etc, and I will use a different sub folder for the contents of a card each time I transfer the pictures, and this will make images much easier to find and review.
I also tried using the sound from the Archos, and I loaded some MP3 files before we set off. Although it was not the main reason for getting the equipment, the sound quality is excellent. I used it in our hired c&er van, because there was an adaptor shaped like a cassette which went into the van stereo, and could plug into the Archos headphone socket, allowing you to run the sound through the stereo system - it sounded great through that also.
The Archos is a good solution to the storage problem, and has the added advantage of Jpeg preview and on board sound as well, and in case you're wondering, I don't work for the company but I do like their product!


When I was shooting in New Zealand, I used an iPAQ PDA with a double CF slot sleeve, and I would copy each night from the 512MB CF card I used in the ND to one of three 1GB Microdrives I carried. I was shooting only JPEGs which ended up being around 3MB each so I had less storage requirements.

I used the Win Explorer in the iPAQ to copy the files, and structured the folders by date, which was nice. I was also able to review each day's "catch" with a picture viewer.

Of course using RAW files would not have allowed this. I thought of shooting RAW but not being able to check if you had a good image or not until I returned home from half-way around the world was too much paranoia for me to handle

On my next trip I'l take a Tablet PC with the Raw Developer, so maybe I'll shoot some RAW images too.