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June 8, 2005

DiscHub - Does What it Says on the Tin - Economically Incentivised

I have to admit, I scammed the makers of The DiscHub. I'd previously bought 2 of them, and I had really loved them, and when I saw them advertising on their front page for bogglers to review it in exchange for a "free sample", I thought, hey, why not.

I first heard about it via Tom's Hardware, which must have a been a coup for the dischub people. The fact that the article convinced me, and that I subsequently paid money for 2, and still want another one (admittedly for free) - pretty much tells you all I really need to say about my (surely much celebrated) endorsement of their product.

09062005.jpgMy particular caveat however, is this - it does what is says on the tin, but it's not the be-all and end-all storage solution; not that it advertises itself as such. Whoops, sorry, it does - "Say Goodbye to Stacking". As I've illustrated in what is as little a posed shot as possible, the dischub is good at what it does, but it hardly eradicates the problem for serial eye-patch junkies like me (a drop in the ocean, more like). At the same time, it also isn't the most efficient way of utilising surface area, which can so often be at a premium.

09062005(001).jpgAll that said, the Dischub excels at making certain discs readily accessible. If you use a particular disc very often, it can be placed strategically, and the jagged layout of the dischub means you can see what you're reaching for without flipping through an album or sorting through a stack. Unfortunately taking a disc out of the hub, while easy enough, requires two hands - one to get the disc, and one to hold the hub in place, since it's pretty light - something that their new rubberised feet won't really help (though presumably they must sell to a lot of igloo dwellers). Not a problem perhaps, but something to take note of, especially people who are used to spindles that just sit there while you yank.

Personally I don't make it a habit of keeping discs that need to be reused - that's what no-cd cracks are for. I tend to use it to hold things I want to keep in front of my attention, like movies I want to watch, or things I need to complete. I also keep one next to my home entertainment system in the living room to hold stray discs while sorting through things to watch - again an instance where the easy reading of the disc labels comes in handy.

What I'd like to do now though, is mercilessly mock the dischub people for their rather silly and not a little opportunistic marketing of their product. Their shop, at the moment, stocks 4 variations - See Through, Satin Blue (both of which are the prettier ones), as well as (wait for it) Vader (Black - duh), and Storm Trooper (White - get it?). Charming, but also not a little moronic. Also, I received as my "review copy", a not so charming "Vader" when I asked for a much more handsome "See Through" - something that doesn't bode well for their warehousing and shipping operations. Though previously when I'd paid for it, they'd given me what I'd paid for.

Yeah, one of the other issues I remember annoying me when I last bought one was that their web store only takes Paypal, which is fine for those of us who've signed up, but would be pretty annoying for people who haven't - and presumably those are the masses of Mensch that you'd want to sell such a consumer-oriented device to. Credit card numbers are just easy. And I know the signs say "Hacker Safe", but the word "Hacker" in any context is going to raise more questions than a poky little image is likely to answer. Of course it's perfectly safe, but I just think some things cause more anxiety than they alleviate.

But I've saved what I like most about the dischub for last. Because I can tend to procrastinate as much as I do, I tend to leave things unattended for longer than they should, and most of the time that means layers of dust. The dischub holds the discs upright, so that there's nowhere for the dust to settle - so your neglected discs (at least those in the hub) aren't gonna get dusty. More of a problem for me than you'd think (or not, depending if you know me).

Oh, and like they say, the neoprene things that hold the discs won't scratch them - though scratch worriers are just (mostly) paranoid anyway.

So if you want one, get it - it's pretty (well, some of them anyway) and surprisingly well made (though for 12 bucks US, it should be). And if you boggle, try before you buy more.

By the way, all images were taken with my spanky Nokia 6630 - which I'll post about when someone comes over with a digital camera that will do it justice.

Edit: Jon, who's the guy running this LSD-induced lava lamp of a boggling program, sent me a number of clarifications, all of which are fair, and as far as I know, perfectly true,

1. If you roll the disc out of the slot you can do it one handed! It pivots around the edge of slot and come right out (I've tested it, true enough - it'd probably require practise to get it to be effortless though - they're considering applying to the Olympic committee in 2045)

2. Sorry for the mistake on the black vs the clear, I send review samples out myself, and must have put the wrong one in - our fulfillment for orders on the otherhand is ace.

3. PayPal stopped requiring users to register in order to process a payment over a year ago. Had that not been the case we never would have used them - but in the next week or two we will be swithching to an in house payment processor.

So there, DiscHub is perfect and and I and my opinions can be bought for the low low price of US$12. I will cede editorial control to you if you ask nicely. But really at this point, I'm just too tired to care, and abdicate all responsibility.

Posted by subtitles at June 8, 2005 9:49 PM | Computer Stuff