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           32MB USB Pen Drive USB Bar

Product :

  Flash Drive

Manufacturer :


Reviewed by :

 Wayne Brooker

Price :

 £15.99 + VAT

Date :

  25th February, 2004


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Kindly Supplied By




It's amazing how innocent the word "data" sounds, particularly when it's something we've to rely so heavily on. From the college student listening to his favourite MP3 on the bus in a morning, to the multi-national company thrashing out their profits and losses for the last fiscal quarter, it's data that keeps the wheels turning.

The problem with data though is that it's an elusive little devil. Oh sure it's always available, but it's almost never at the same place you are at the time you happen to need it.

To be fair there are no shortage of portable data options these days with everything from writeable CDs and DVD's to external USB and FireWire hard drives all available for around the £100 mark or therabouts, so what's the problem?

CDs and DVDs are great if you're in no great rush and you've enough data to put on them. I don't know about you but even as cheap as they are it feels wrong to waste a blank CD when all I want to take with me is a file that's only a couple of Megabytes in size.

I've said it so many times I'm even beginning to bore myself, but the USB Flash drive is something every PC user should own, even if you think you've no use for one it's a fair bet that one day you will. And with prices now much more reasonable than ever before and capacities ranging all the way up to a thoroughly useful 1GB, there's a drive for every user and every pocket.

Okay, so now that I've fulfilled my obligations to the international guild of flash drive promoters, time to turn to what I'm looking at today, the USB Bar as supplied by USB Pen Drive.

As always let's do the specs first:

32mb USB Pen Drive - USB Bar
With write protect switch.

USB cable, Neck strap, Windows 98se driver CD

Plugs into ANY USB port
Security Lock and password function
No drivers required**
No power supply needed
Massive storage capacity
16mb, 64mb, 128mb, 256mb, 512mb and 1GB USB Pen Drive versions also available
Replaces up to 700 floppies*
Stores MP3, movie or picture files
Handles ANY data file, ANY format
PC or Mac
Worldwide compatibility on any system with USB
USB1.1 version
Fits on your keyring or in your pocket
Reading speed - 1,000kBytes/s
Writing speed - 920kBytes/s
Data Retention for over 10 years, read/write over 1,000,000 times
Weight 15 grams

*1GB version
**Except for Windows98SE, which requires driver installation

System Requirements
System with USB Interface
Pentium 166 or higher
Minimum 16 Mb RAM
Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Mac OS 9.0 or above

So What Is It?:::...

I'm sure I don't need to tell most of you what a Flash drive is but for those of you who are new to the concept it's basically a stick of memory in a fancy case. Perhaps that's a bit of a simple explanation but it's also pretty much all you need to know. There's a chip inside there too which allows data to be sent back and forth through your USB port, and it's a special type of memory that doesn't need a constant supply of power to retain its data but that's just incidental to its one main function in life, to hold data and let you transport it to and from just about any PC equipped with a USB port.

Some companies refer to these devices as "solid state hard drives" and "pocket hard drives" but the truth is they all work the same way and none of them contain spinning platters of magnetic media, it's just marketing babble.

So what's so special about these particular Flash drives? Well, when USB Pen Drive contacted me they said they felt they had a product that was "one of the best on the market - very reliable, good design, easy to use and well priced!".

Let's see if they were right!



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