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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
always let's do the specs first:
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
• Weight 15 grams
**Except for Windows98SE, which requires driver installation
• System with USB Interface
• Pentium 166 or higher
• Minimum 16 Mb RAM
• Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Mac OS 9.0 or above
What Is It?:::...
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.
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.
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!".
see if they were right!