Jul 22, 2010

USB Flash Drive Benefits

USB flash drives, or memory, stick, "thumb" or "pen" drives are becoming as common as a standard writing pen. Perhaps it's no wonder due to a wide range of brands (and non brands), widespread availability in retail stores and online sites, significant price reduction, larger capacities (i.e. more file storage), small thumb size for pocket portability, and practical easy file transfer between computers. I brought a 128 MB memory drive for $70 NZ in 2007-08, and recently a Lexmar 4 GB for $ 15. This translates to a massive cost reduction of 55 cents/MB down to 0.004 cents/MB. Or another way, $560 for 1 GB in 2007 and about $4 on a strict linear cost calculation. But more likely like $252 (I recall) against $10 today at adjusted retail and market prices.

The advent of USB memory drives can certainly make file transfer, i.e both from and to a computer very easy and fast with minimal effort. It's worth considering advantages and disadvantages, and perhaps future advantages for these removable (and rewritable) flash memory data storage devices. In some instances they may be a critical lifesaver for a computer, by restoring a virus affected PC to it's working state.

Advantages of an USB Flash Drive

Software Benefits

* Easily and quickly copy files to transfer to another computer: - e.g. photo's, documents, music, pre- installation software, internet browser bookmarks, and software utilities.
* PC configuration settings: - Optimize a computers environment and settings: e.g. diagnostic software files, components, drivers, etc. Thus helpful to troubleshoot, optimize, and even to help recover a PC to an ideal working state.
* PC Anti-Virus and Malware removal and maintenance: - Load critical install anti-virus, malware, spyware, trojan software in to a virus affected PC. Then install to the affected PC, download updates, then scan to attempt removal. I keep critical and free install programs in my USB pen drives. Then update them and recopy them again as a quick alternative backup to my usual methods. Note - It may pay to scan for malware/anti-virus your USB pen drive, between swapping computers.
* Portable PC USB Player: After loading in your favorite music mp3 files, than can play on another computer. Perhaps use a personal customized portable software player as well - with a playlist if possible.
* Operating Software -For the technical and ambitious, USB's can boot up operation systems, using varying methods, modifications, "slip streaming", reloading condensed windows, etc. It's a bit intensive and challenging but if you want to give it a go... best to search online for further information, or visit putting "windows in your pocket". I have seen at least three other tutorials/links online and from our NZ forum - Press F1 at PC World NZ.
* USB Portable Software - Some software also have a portable version, which is a condensed version and generally work similar to their full versions. The popular CCleaner, Revo Uninstaller, Anti-Virus, Firefox Browser, Open Office, etc, have portable versions. Their are also websites that offer fully featured application suites - i.e. USB housed software (e.g. the portableapps suite from www.portableapps.com). These can include many utilities - e.g. games, players, task managers, calendars, encrption security-password tools, and so on.

Image of Portable Apps - Image from snapfiles freeware

USB Flash Drive Portable Applications from NZ
Brands, Design, Costing, and Portability Benefits

* If you are brand conscious their are many to choose from, and include Kingston, HP, SanDisk, Lexmar, Corsair, A-Data, Patriot, etc. You may want enhanced features, such as high read/write speed, capacity (in GB), inbuilt security and management software, connectivity (e.g. wireless), cap protection, key chain, wrist band, sleek appearance, ideal weight, write protection, compatibility for mac's, windows, and linux. You can also get personally branded or printed USB pen drives for business promotions. Also check warranty and the brand's website for updates on the pen drive and any associated software.
* Costs have decreased markedly over the years, thus a benefit if you are budget minded, since their are many to select (in price and models) - seem to be predominant in electronic and appliance stores. I have personally seen specials at New Zealand stores, such as Bond and Bond and Harvey Normans ($9 for a 4GB drive)
* Portability - i.e. Stick in your pocket. Easy to transport. Easy to Use. Handy. Perhaps they may get much smaller. Or translucent to varying degrees with flashing lights. Or transmit signals - e.g as a remote for TV, double as a portable torch, or auto save and save emails, or otherwise. What would be the next stage of significant development for USB flash drives? Who Knows? Any Ideas - then please add comments...


1 comment:

samual james said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that i enjoyed reading it. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Plastic USB