I've been thinking of something I'd like to buy, but don't know if it even exists and if so where to find one, but here's my idea. If its not out there and someone wants to invent it, just give me the credit.
I want a device that lets me transfer data between electronic storage devices that is much less bulkly than my laptop. Let me explain. I, like most people these days, have a digital camera. When I go on vacation, I take pictures with it. But unlike a film camera, once you have used up all your memory, buying another memory card isn't quite as cheap as buying another roll of film. Granted you can take many more photos than you could with a roll of film, and you can delete the ones you don't like (although with my camera, I have been unable to delete pictures off my memory card without clearing the whole card). But once the card is full, its full. If you want to take more pictures you have to upload the pictures to a computer and clear your memory card to start taking more pictures. My solution to this dilemma is to take my iPod with me on vacation (as if I wouldn't already take it with me) and use its hard drive to store my pictures once I've filled a memory card. A USB Flash memory drive would also fill that role. But in order to accomplish this feat I need a computer to act as the middleman. If I'm staying with friends I'll just use their computer, but if I'm travelling solo, I generally have to take my laptop with me to be sure I'll have a way to do it.
It seems as though there ought to be a way to create a simple device that allows you to connect to electronic devices and transfer data between them. I mean you'd need a couple USB ports, maybe a firewire port, and some kind of OS that can recognize the devices, and perhaps an LCD display to give the user a little bit of control over what happens, but really thats about it. Obviously there would be options for expanded versions of this idea. For example, add a CD drive that would let you rip songs and send them to your iPod. In order to have an mp3 player, you pretty much need to have a computer as its home base. Why should you need a computer that costs $1000 to put music on your $100 mp3 player? I realize most people already have a computer, but still.
If anyone out there knows of a device like this, please let me know. If not, please invent one and give me a freebie, as you'll soon be raking in the dough with this lucrative idea that I am offering you.