Information Collection for the Prepper – Part 2
Most of the information discussed in these articles will be electronic files – specifically PDF and TIF files. This article will discuss how to safely store these files and use them before and after the SHTF.
Portable Storage of the Library
What I need to be able to do is read PDF and view TIF (graphic) files using my cell phone. It would be best if I could read these files from a USB drive, or secondarily, from a miniSD card. The plan would be that I would copy these files from my computer to these storage (USB and/or microSD) devices. I will sometimes call the information stored on these devices as the "Library".
I like the Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth USB 3.0 Flash Drives because the USB drive is built into an "armored" case. The case appears to me to be made out of steel and rubber and is shock resistant with a water seal. These devices are about 3 inches long and about 1 inch in diameter. I have carried 2 of these devices in my pocket, along with my EDC (every day carry) stuff, for over a year now. My grandson carried the one I gave him on his keychain. The paint is a little worn but the devices still work fine. I have two 256 GB drives.
Here are the things that didn't work:
I can carry thousands of PDF and other computer files with me everywhere I go. I just needed a portable device to read them with. Read on and I will tell you about my struggles finding a portable device to read these drives with.
My current cell phone is an Apple 4S. It has no capability to store computer files, nor any way to read files even if it did. I searched diligently for a cable with a female USB connector, into which I could plug my above-described USB drives, and that would plug into the connector on my phone. I never found one. Given that I never found a cable that even if I made up such a cable myself, which I didn't, there would be no software with which to read the files.
Prior to the Apple 4S phone, I had an Android phone that I could copy a few files into from my computer, but storage was limited. Not the solution I really wanted.
From this experience, I decided what I really needed was a small tablet device. On Father's Day in 2017, I was in a Barnes and Noble store and saw they had their new Nook 3.0 device (an Android device) on sale for only $40. Never having had a tablet I thought "Ah, a small tablet and only $40, wow.", so I purchased one. This Nook accepted a microSD card, up to 128GB, as removable external storage. Thinking this was the solution to my problem I ordered a 128GB microSD card and loaded it up with files copied from my Windows computer. When I inserted the card into the Nook I could not make the Nook recognize the card. It seems that Android devices do not recognize the drive formatting used by Microsoft. Not finding a solution to my problem online, I wrote a letter to the Barnes and Noble CEO asking how I could make this work. I got a call back from a very nice young man in a few weeks who explained that with recent changes in the Android operating system no Android device will read devices with this Microsoft formatting. Clearly, they want you to buy their files. Well, the files I want to read with my portable device are not available from such sources.
Finally, a solution
A few months later I was having a new DVR installed by my satellite provider and I was telling the tech this story. He suggested that I go to Best Buy and tell them what I wanted. So I carried my USB drives and my miniSD card to Best Buy and explained what I wanted and he pointed to a tablet and said: "There's your solution".