Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Geek Memorabilia #4: My First USB Flash Drive

I got my first USB Thumb drive from a guy who was on vacation in my trailer park. He was a geek and he seemed impressed by my geek skills and it was all very flattering. The company he worked for (large oil company out of Houston) had recently supplied him with a fancy new 1GB Thumb drive, so he gave me his old cheesy 64MB model.

I've learned a lot about the wonders of flash memory and am continually impressed with the growing number of opportunities they provide. At first I only used it for transferring small files. Then I started to keep working files on it and was able to edit those files at work and at home. I remember thinking that I forgot how big 64MB's can be when working on small things like documents, spreadsheets, pictures, and lego models.

Recently I was introduced to flash memory applications like Portable Firefox and Portable Thunderbird. At first glance I saw little use for these applications, but then it hit me...I will never have to remember my online user names and passwords again (or keep them in an easy to use text file). Portable apps and a nifty little program like Private Disk it won't even matter if I lose my flash drive; both digital thieves and nosy people alike will be put in their place with killer encryption.

I know now I'm only scratching the surface of all the cool things I can do with USB flash drives, but this post isn't to introduce my would be readers to the uses of solid state storage mediums. It is instead to honor my first, and now retired, USB flash drive. Not only did this 64MB wonder turn me on to this new world of portability, but it showed me honest to goodness solid state resilience. What I mean by solid states is that there are no moving parts. As one can see by my two pictures I did not take care of this particular piece of geek memorabilia like I should have. Even after two trips though the washer and a case melting dryer experience, this bad boy still functioned. In fact, not only did it still function, I was surprised to find my data was safe and sound.

I regret not taking care of this flash drive like I will the next. An unsuccessful image search on goolge for how it originally looked showed me how rare of a find this gem was. In honor of this flash drive I could only replace it with the best, and now that have more portable megabytes I hope to play with all new and improved flash drive toys. First on the list is Portable OpenOffice.org.

2 comments:

Bubec said...

That is the object I frequently knocked off the counter.

Felix said...

Hey buddy, flash drives are definatly handy devices. I was recently reviewing an article in the "PCWORLD" magazine February 2006 issue, "23 Things To Do With A Thumb Drive". It reviews different drives and diffenet uses for them. One versatile and useful thumb drive program is called U3, very impressive. Check it out at U3.com USB drives can also be used as boot devices, I am thinking of installing Ubuntu on one. There is also Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux, they will both fit onto a 256MB drive.

Similar to the thumb drive is an external USB 2.5" HDD enclosure. That configuration offers awsome customization with a small increase in size. I have aquired one that comes with a wallet type of case and with the cord stoed inside is about the size of a calculator. It fits in my back pocket like a wallet. In addition to the increase size is the fragilness of a hard drive. I contest that a 2.5 60GB HDD enclosed in an external USB drivebay and stowed away in a wallet sized carrying case dropped from shoulder height of a 5'7" man on to bare freezing concrete is capable of causing terminal damage to the HDD, this is a proven lab result.

I also did some looking at 2.5" and 3.5" flash HDDs and found some intreging gadgets. Do a search, you will get all kinds of interesting results.