STW Internal 5.25″ USB 3.0 CF/XD/MS/M2/TF Card Reader Review

I ordered a multi-card reader from eBay a few months back when I was moving my workstation’s internals to a new ATX case. I wanted a new case so I could use the old case to fix up my media-server pc that was in a very old case that was missing it’s side panels! 😛

The new case I ordered was black ZALMAN Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower computer case with a mesh front panel so I wanted a 5.25″ card reader that was at least black, but mesh would be even better. At first I found this NZXT 5.25″ multi-card reader at Amazon for $80 but that was a bit out of my price range. Plus, I saw many other card readers for far less so the price seemed pretty ridiculous to be honest.

Then I was on eBay and found this listing for a STW 5.25″ USB 3.0 Port CF/XD/MS/M2/TF Smart Internal Card Reader PC Front Panel U3B6 from Hong Kong for $12 and it looked almost exactly the same as the same as the expensive NZXT on Amazon except for smaller card slot labels, a different logo, and only one USB 3.0 port instead of two. Since my case already had 2x front USB 3.0 ports I was perfectly fine missing a port and going with the eBay knock-off because a SD card reader is all I was really looking for.

STW 5.25″ USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader

Here we are months later and I’ve successfully read and wrote to many SD and XD cards without a problem using the STW Card Reader. I regularly use the USB 3.0 port to quick charge my Galaxy S5 as well as transfer files back and forth – it works as fast as it should be so I can’t complain there either! I’ve also used both a Memory Stick PRO and a Memory Stick PRO DUO without any problems, but mainly just because I had some laying around from old digital cameras and wanted to check if my knock-off NZXT card reader would actually read/write them.

STW 5.25″ USB 3.0 Card-Reader Box

The plastic sides where you screw the STW Internal 5.25″ USB 3.0 CF/XD/MS/M2/TF Card Reader to the case are probably lower quality than the NZXT reader, but it works and looks good so I’d definitely recommend it to other people wanting a 5.25″ multi-card reader, especially if your case is black mesh like my Zalman Z11 Plus!

KLOUD City Black Drawer for ATX 5.25″ Computer Bays Review

After recently upgrading my computer with new fans and a case I ended up with three open 5.25″ bays on the front of my Zalman Z11 Plus case. At first I thought about getting one of the triple-bay fans but most of them come with blue LEDs that don’t match the blue LEDs in my Zalman case. The Zalman Z11 Plus case has great air-flow so I didn’t really need any extra air cooling, therefore I didn’t really see the point in uglying up my case with non-matching blue LEDs or going through the trouble of swapping out fans on the triple-bay fan. Instead I found this thread on reddit that lead me to this post with a huge list of things to put in those empty 5.25″ ATX bays.

The Zalman has 5x 5.25″ bays and after my DVD-RW and multi-card reader I was left with 3x empty bays. I decided to add an Orico 5.25″ to 3.5″ Sata HDD hot-swap bay for when I need to do hard drive diagnostics and recovery without having to open my case or use a USB to Sata adapter. Next I added the most useful 5.25″ bay accessory that I’ve ever seen, even more useful that the cigarette lighter and cup-holder – it’s a little 5.25″ black drawer by KLOUD City!

KLOUD City 5.25″ ATX Black Drawer

The 5.25″ KLOUD City Black ATX Drawer is simple yet awesome. No more USB drives and SD cards cluttering up my desk! Here’s the full extent of what I’ve got crammed in this drawer and off my desk:

KLOUD City 5.25″ ATX Black Drawer Open
  • 1x External USB multi-card reader
  • 5x USB to Micro USB adapters
  • 3x Micro USB to Apple/iPhone adapters
  • 2x USB Wifi dongle
  • 4x USB drives
  • 2x USB/USB-Micro 3″ Cords
  • 1x Bic lighter backup

There are other 5.25″ drawers available on Newegg and Amazon, and some even have a nice sleek flat front.. but those looked like a pain to open, and some reviewers said those other drawers don’t stay shut very good. Well, I’ve had my PC case leaned super far forward, with all the crap inside, and the KLOUD City black drawer stays shut! Also, the Kloud City drawer’s handle isn’t very sleek, but it stays shut do well that a decent handle is needed to open it.

I’m very happy with this KLOUD City 5.25″ ATX Black Drawer. I think they should also make some double/triple bay drawers as well!

Jarte Screenshot - JSnowCreations

Tired of Wordpad? Jarte might be for you.

By now, most of us are quite familiar with Wordpad. It has come with most Windows OS (Operating System) installations since the mid 90’s, and hasn’t changed much since. Need to Paste something temporarily, take down some notes, or write a quick letter? Then Wordpad is probably your best friend, (unless you’d rather use the ever-so-complex Notepad), but what if you want more without going with the big names like “Word” and “Lotus”? Then maybe you should think about checking out Jarte, a compact yet powerful shareware word processing application.

Jarte Screenshot - JSnowCreations
Jarte Screenshot – JSnowCreations

This Wordpad replacement program boasts many features from it’s sleek, misleading appearance, but don’t be fooled!

With only twelve buttons at the top of application, one might actually start to think Jarte is a bit lacking – But hovering over those lonely buttons will most definitely reveal otherwise. A whole array of functions never thought to be supported in such a small, compact application – some features expected, and some completely fresh.

Jarte Screenshot2 - JSnowCreations
Jarte Screenshot2 – JSnowCreations

Actually, Jarte comes with three interface schemes. One is a very, very, simple minimalist layout most likely best for notes, one is a compact layout with a bit more functions, while the third is a fully expanded “classic” looking Word Processor. To simply say “classic” would not do justice though, “innovatively classic” perhaps?

Jarte Screenshot3 - JSnowCreations
Jarte Screenshot3 – JSnowCreations

Throughout these different, well-thought schemes are many familiar writing tools tweaked with small add-ons that only help the attractiveness of Jarte. A mouse-over Bar Graph icon reveals word, character, page and line counts. Along with 25 clipboard slots, table support, special characters, and equations, the most impressive function just may be the built-in scalable screen-cap utility. The least impressive tool, however, would be the spell-check tool, though the creators say future released will be revamped. Other functions and utilities include PDF and HTML conversions, all major document file extensions, and tabs for multiple document work.

I would recommend Jarte to anyone that is looking for a good Wordpad replacement application, it can easily be found for download all over the web, for example my Jarte post in the Downloads section!