I don’t know about you, but the PCMCIA slot on my laptop is the last place I
would ever think of to hide anything, so I guess that it makes sense this there
is now a product which utilizes this easily overlooked area.
Wireless Garden has introduced the
StashCard, billed as "a secret drawer
for your laptop!"
Virtually identical in size to a functioning PCMCIA card, the StashCard
measures 3.4" long x 2.1" wide and 0.2" thick.
It’s measurements alone preclude the StashCard from being able
to hold anything but the flattest of items, such as memory cards, folded bills,
paperclips, coins, a slip of paper with the hottie you met last night’s
number…you get the picture.
This is the topside of the StashCard, which is also the side
that has the hinge for the lifting door.
This is the back side.
According to a slip of paper that was included in the hidden compartment:
The StashCard is for Dry Items Only!
The StashCard is designed to hold dry items such
as memory cards, keys, stamps and other objects.
Warning: The inside of your computer gets
hot. Never put granular or liquid items into your
StashCard that may melt or otherwise leak.
Please allow me to climb upon my soapbox for just a moment…
I have to admit that the included warning really raised my ire. I mean, other
than a spare packet of artificial sweetener, what other type of "granular item"
would someone want to keep in their StashCard?
Maybe it is the mom in me, but with a name like "StashCard" and with an
understanding of its secretive purpose, my first thoughts of how this product
might be used included images of a modern day
Jeff Spicoli à la Fast Times
At Ridgemont High. In reality, the thickness of the card would probably
prevent storing all but the thinnest of herbal cigarettes. However, after
serving six mind-numbing – yet eye-opening – months of Tom Green
County Grand Jury duty, I now realize how many little "corner baggies" of
methamphetamine or cocaine could be stashed in a gadget such as this. Would an
airport’s x-ray machine be able to show a couple dozen little corner bags if
they were safely tucked in this metal card, docked in the memory slot of a
person’s laptop? I’m just asking…
To see if I was being an alarmist or over- reacting, I sent an email to my
friend Grabb, an officer with the local Sheriff’s Department. I included a link
to the StashCard, a couple of pictures from this review and said "tell me
what your first impression of this product is."
His answer was, "where is the meth or coke?"
It was nice to know that it wasn’t just me, and I’ll climb down off of my
Getting past the possible questionable uses for this item, the StashCard
functions as a storage drawer for small loose items, and it can hold several
small memory cards with space to spare.
Hmmm – what sort of pictures might one be storing on a
"hidden" memory card? ;0)
The StashCard can even accommodate a Type I Compact Flash card with enough
extra room for another smaller memory card.
However, if one is carrying the extra cards for their camera or PDA, it might
make more sense to store the cards in a pouch inside their laptop bag, and carry
a PCMCIA based card reader in the laptop’s slot instead.
When installing the StashCard in a PCMCIA slot, it is important to make sure
that its lid is closed all of the way. Assuming that it is, the card will slide
right into the drive. Here is a shot of it in a Fujitsu computer, where it is
virtually indistinguishable from a typical PCMCIA card.
Here is another photo, after the slot release lever has been pressed and the
card has been ejected. Looks just like the real thing, doesn’t it?
Interestingly enough, I found that on my desktop computer the StashCard did
not blend in so well. Here is a regular PCMCIA memory card, which when properly
inserted will stick out about 0.4" past the slot’s edge.
For whatever reason, the StashCard would not completely insert in my
desktop’s PCMCIA slot, and as a result it stuck out an additional 0.4", for a
total of 0.8". Where the memory card would slide in further as it engaged
with the pins deep in the card slot, the StashCard could not enter the slot as
There are legitimate uses for the StashCard. When transporting one’s laptop
the StashCard can act as a secret place to carry your extra memory cards, a
spare $20, a few stamps or an extra house key. Of course, if something really
valuable or incriminating was being carried in the stash card, probably the
worst place to hide it would be in a theft-worthy laptop.
Garden Stash Card may be purchased here or from other retailers.