Double Your Macbook Storage: A Review Of The Coin-Sized TarDisk Expansion Card

tardisk storage

The amount of storage space on your laptop is something most people think about twice: when first purchasing a machine and after warnings start popping up that your storage is nearly full. Frequent travelers often need larger storage capacity for their laptops while at the same time trying to minimize the amount of bulk in their backpacks. The TarDisk storage expansion card is designed to expand your laptop’s hard drive space in the absolute smallest form factor possible.

What The TarDisk Is And Isn’t

The TarDisk is a piece of technology that’s evolved into a very, very specific niche. TarDisk come in two versions, 128 and 256 gigabytes (GB), both of which are only designed to work with either the Macbook Air or Pro line. (A TarDisk needs to be specifically ordered for your particular Macbook Air or Pro model.) About half the size of an SD card, the TarDisk fits right into a Macbook’s SD card reader, giving you 128 or 256GBs of additional storage.

tardiskTarDisk 256GB Storage Expansion Card for MacBook Pro 15″

buy from amazon

Small But Integrated

Clearly, one of the main advantages of a TarDisk is its size. Traditional portable hard drives for travelers, a primary option for getting more space on your laptop, are bulky. Portable hard disk drives (HDD) are also a lot more vulnerable to damage, depending on whether or not you’re willing to shell out some extra cash for a solid-state drive (SSD). Durability, speed, and ease are all problems the TarDisk tries to solve, with varying success.

tardisk 128gb

The TarDisk is small, as you can see from the photos and video above, tiny by any standards, especially when compared to a portable hard drive. Though this tiny size does come with some big limitations, mainly in terms of storage space. Most portable hard disk and solid state drives give you an additional 500GB to several terabytes (TB) of additional storage space.

A Seagate Backup Plus, about the size of a pack of playing cards, is 4TB at less than half the cost of a TarDisk. You’re saving money to give up durability, speed, and size for an external HDD. SSDs like the Samsung T5 with double the storage capacity of a TarDisk are aren’t quite as fast but nearly as durable, though still an added accessory with cable to carry around. Compared to a typical Macbook Pro however, a TarDisk is going to double your storage capacity.

You might be thinking you could simply swap out a few TarDisk to compensate for the size restriction but one advantage of the TarDisk has a downside. By modifying your Macbook’s (MacOS 10.12, OSX 10.11, and 10.10) operating system configuration, a TarDisk integrates with your existing storage drive. In other words, once you run the TarDisk software, it becomes a part of your Macintosh HD.

Convenience For Some

Before installing a TarDisk using their ‘Pearing’ software, you’ll need to do some prep. A Time Machine backup is required and if your laptop’s drive is encrypted, you’ll need to turn off FileVault. (Both processes can take a few hours.) Once the Pearing software has done its job, the you’ll notice your disk space is now 128 or 256GB bigger. No need to worry about ejecting an added disk or trying to remember where a file is stored.

tardisk pearing

Being integrated like this means you won’t be able to pop the TarDisk out of your SD card slot without going through the entire Pearing process in reverse. Doing so can make your entire laptop inoperable so know what you’re getting into first. Despite the drawbacks, the TarDisk is small, only steals an SD card slot (which you can replace with a HooToo or Satechi adapter), and is faster than most external drive options.

The TarDisk probably isn’t for people already traveling with a large capactity external hard drive or two because in most cases, those are travelers who are prepared to fill up a lot of disk space with high resolution photos and videos. But for business travelers or those of you whose disk space on a Macbook Pro or Air slowly arrived at critical, the TarDisk can conveniently expand your storage.

Why Do People Travel To Star Trek Conventions?

People travel for many reasons and for 10-20,000 every August in Las Vegas, that reason is Star Trek. Although I’ve been to the Creation Entertainment Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas several times, I still have trouble answering the question I’m asked most about it: why do people go to Star Trek conventions?

As you can see in the video above, as I spoke with other Trekkies at the convention this year, people attend Star Trek conventions for a very human reason – one that won’t feel alien to any traveler or person. Plus, you’ll get to see a glimpse of what goes on at the largest Star Trek convention in the world.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

All The Cosplay Pictures From The 2017 Star Trek Convention In Las Vegas

klingons stlv 2017

I’ve been to several Star Trek conventions in Las Vegas and while there’s always been cosplay, this year the costumes jumped to another level in terms of creativity and complexity. You can take a look at the cosplay from 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 to see the evolution of Trek fans dressed in costumes but at the 2017 event there were more people cosplaying than ever.

These are some of the best cosplay photos from the 2017 Star Trek Convention held at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.

TrekPool (Deadpool Star Trek mashup)

trekpool star trek las vegas 2017

From Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

lokai star trek las vegas

The Niners From Take Me Out To The Holosuite

niners copslay

Gorn Beauty Queen!

gorn beauty queen


tholian cosplay las vegas

Star Trek Beyond Alien and T’Pol

cosplay star trek las vegas 2017


andorian cosplay las vegas 2017

Borg Queen and Data

data and borg queen cosplay stlv 2017

All Species Can Cosplay!

dog star trek cosplay 2017 las vegas

From A Piece Of The Action

piece of the action cosplay

Klingon Family

klingon family cosplay las vegas 2017

Live Long And Prosper, Vulcan

vulcan cosplay

It’s A Cellular Peptide Cake

data troi cake cosplay


star trek las vegas cosplay 2017

Red Shirts

star trek vegas red shirts


borg cosplay

More Klingon!

klingons las vegas

Jon Snow-Klingon Mashup!

jon snow klingon 2017


kazon cosplay

From The Animated Series

star trek animated series


guinan cosplay 2017 las vegas

The Enterprise!

enterprise cosplay 2017 las vegas


antedean cosplay

More Vulcans

vulcan cosplay las vegas 2017

Costume Contest Winners

star trek las vegas costume contest 2017

Orions with their Ferengi

orion ferengi cosplay 2017

The Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas draws over 10,000 people per year to the city every August. It’s 5 days of all things Trek, testing the limits of even the most diehard geeks!

trek galaxy cosplay mashup

Nearly all of the cosplay you see above was handmade. These aren’t costumes people are picking up at a specialty shop, but making on their own for the fun of the convention. There’s also an annual costume contest, judged by, among others, legendary makeup artist Michael Westmore. The Klingons in the top photo took first place, winning themselves $1,000 for their creative efforts.

I wasn’t nearly able to fit in all the cosplay photos I took from the convention in this post but you can see all of the costume pictures I took in my Las Vegas album here.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

A Potterhead Shares 5 Things You Must Do When Visiting Harry Potter World In Orlando

This is a guest post by 16 year old writer and #1 Potterhead Brian Selcik, a student at the Metropolitan School of the Arts. Brian has previously been a guest here before, writing how you can plan your very own Harry Potter tour in London. He’s visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando 4 times and shares what he’s learned from experience to make your trip there even more magical.

harry potter wizarding world

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (we’ll call it Harry Potter World) is one of the most magical experiences for fans of all levels. Whether you’re simply a movie watcher (I’ll try to forgive you) or a super fan like me, everyone will enjoy the magic that Universal has to offer. As amazing as it is, there are some things you should know before visiting Harry Potter World.

1. Use Early-Admission (You May Already Have It)

Starting your day early is a very important factor. The earlier you get there, the less you have to wait for rides in the morning. The lines, especially in the summer, are incredibly long (and hot). If you can get to the parks as soon as possible in the morning, you can jump in the lines quickly and only have to wait about 30 minutes. This photo was taken bright and early at 8:47 a.m:

harry potter world

If you’re staying at any of the Universal Orlando on-site hotels, you almost certainly have early admission to Harry Potter World included with your accommodation. This lets you get into the park an hour (sometimes two) earlier than everyone else.

I would recommend doing Gringotts because that line probably reaches the longest wait time out of all the Harry Potter rides. After you’ve experienced the full queue, you can just hop in the single rider line from there on out.

2. Hop In Single-Rider Lanes For Much Shorter Wait Times

Single rider lines are available for the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Forbidden Journey rides. Essentially, single rider lines offer a shorter wait time since they’re used to fill in people-gaps on the rides, but you won’t be sitting with your party. For instance, if there’s a party of three going on the Forbidden Journey, they’ll fill in the fourth seat with a single rider. One thing to note: you won’t be able to experience the full queue (there are surprises along the way) with single rider lines, so if you can get that experience in the morning, it’s worth it.

3. Switch To Gringotts Bank Notes

If you plan to buy merchandise, bring money. Lots of it. All the galleons, sickles, and knuts that will fit into your bag… or you can transfer your muggle money into Gringotts bank notes at the Gringotts Money Exchange located in Diagon Alley. Just know that these bank notes can only be used in Harry Potter World. There isn’t requirement at to exchange your money at all, it is simply a novelty but for super fans and kids, a nice addition to the Potter experience.


harry potter world snapchat

Regular butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, hot butterbeer, butterbeer potted cream, butterbeer ice cream, butterbeer fudge, OH MY DUMBLEDORE IT’S A BUTTERBEER EXTRAVAGANZA. Get it ALL. I quite like butterbeer, if you couldn’t tell.

5. Cool Off In Honeydukes Alleyway

honeydukes alleyway

Just located near the entrance to Hogsmeade is Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe. If you walk just past it, and make a left and another left, there is a small alleyway type location. It’s quiet and makes you feel as if you really are in the Wizarding World. Stand there, breathe in the magical air, hold your wand and live your best life as the wizard you are. Also, it’s usually cool/air conditioned. You’re welcome!

Thank you very much Brian for all the tips for visiting muggles! You can find more of Brian on the Harry Potter Fansite MuggleNet and he also runs an Etsy shop where you can purchase hand knit goods.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

When You Travel In A Plane, Time Slows Down For You: Here’s How To Calculate By How Much

andorra dali clock

We all know that our clocks change as we cross time zones in an airplane. Did you know however that you are actually traveling a bit further into the future, relative to your friends on the ground when flying? This effect is called time dilation, predicted and later proven by Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity.

Let’s quickly start by clearing up the title of this post since there are a few details which couldn’t so easily be summarized in a few words. The first thing to know is that whenever you move through space, by walking, running, driving, etc. relative to people who aren’t in motion, you are traveling just a bit slower through time. This effect has been confirmed by atomic clocks placed in airplanes as well as orbiting satellites and compared to those on the ground.

Additionally, according to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, time moves faster in the absence of a gravitational field. (Relative to others who are in stronger gravitational fields; in other words, closer to ground, for example.) The higher up you are, the further you are from Earth’s mass, which means slightly less gravity for you and a slightly faster clock. While standing, even your head is ever so slightly moving a bit faster through time, since it’s a meter or two higher above the ground than your feet.

How noticeable is this effect? Well, not very as gravity is weak force, but using what’s known as a gravitational time dilation formula (originally discovered by the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz) we can calculate it.

time dilation formula

Assume you’re flying at 10,668 meters for 8 hours at roughly 1,007 kph, from true south to true north, where your friend is sitting at sea level; when you arrive, your watch will be running about 0.00504 seconds faster than theirs.

What’s all that north-south business? Well, since the Earth rotates and planes usually fly across this rotation, that would change the calculation a bit as you and your friend are moving in directions relative to each other.

Let me help you figure out how much in the “future” you are on your next 8 hour flight.

t1 = time elapsed (for person not moving)

t = time in seconds spent traveling
v^2 = speed, kilometers per second squared
c^2 = speed of light, 299792.458 km/second squared

So, t1 is what we’re looking for. t is time we’ve spent flying: 8 hours, or 28800 seconds. Let’s say our plane is flying at 920km/hour, that’s .25km/second. And c (the speed of light) is a constant in the universe. After inserting those numbers in the time dilation formula, t=28800.0000003. For the lazier, here’s an online time dilation calculator that does the number crunching for you. That means your friends, asleep (not moving), on the ground have experienced .0000003 extra seconds relative to you.

There are numerous time dilation formulas accounting for various scenarios, with gravity in mind, used to keep GPS satellite clocks in sync with those on Earth, among other things. So the next time a friend picking you up at the airport complains about your flight being late, tell them if they hadn’t been stuck in the past, they might have arrived at the right time.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

Geek Takeover Week 2017 On foXnoMad Begins Now

star trek las vegas 2017 borg

I love traveling and technology but this week I and my guests may not write about either. I’m guessing if you follow my site, there’s probably a good chance you’re a geek about something. Every August on foXnoMad, the geeks takeover with a new post each day covering science, science-fiction, fantasy, and more.

You’ve been warned. You’ll be assimilated. The geeks are here…

Monday: Geek Takeover Week 2017 On foXnoMad Has Begun

Tuesday: When You Travel In A Plane, Time Slows Down For You: Here’s How To Calculate By How Much

Wednesday: A Potterhead Shares 5 Things You Must Do When Visiting Harry Potter World In Orlando

Thursday: All The Cosplay Pictures From The 2017 Star Trek Convention In Las Vegas

Friday: Why Do People Travel To Star Trek Conventions?

May the Force be with you or live long and prosper, depending on your preference. I hope you’ll enjoy the posts I’ve prepared for you this week. There won’t be any new posts next week from August 21-25th, and regular twice-a-week posting resumes on August 29th. Qa’plah!

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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