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judgmentday

USB Pen Drives

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The pen drives are mostly useful for conveniently transferring small volumes of data. Reliability of a USB flash devices is obviously superior to HD, but speed is still lagging. The fastest USB 2.0 units achieve about 8 MB/sec. reads and 6 MB/sec. writes. Many have very useful built-in security/encryption features. I use both flash and external 2.5" hard drives, depending on the purpose.

Bettis

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in my experience they are pretty reliable, shock proof is a real benefit to these things compared to an external hard drive.

They're also small and lightweight, making them ultra portable (more portable thana floppy).

Usually these things only read at about 1MB/sec and write about 2/3rds that. So getting a USB2 version doesn't have an advantage over USB1 in most cases.

The main difference in usability between one of these and an external hard drive is that the pen drives have a much more limited capacity and lifetime. The lifetime of flash ram limits it to maybe 1,000-10,000 writes per sector, reads are basically infinite, and once the data is on there it should stay there for years without intervention. This is similar to CD-RW in that respect. As fasr as capacity goes, these things are usually limited to 128MB in the mainstream becasue the cost of 256MB and 512MB are too much right now. And 1GB is so costly that it's almost unheard of.

If you just want a 32-64MB module you can goto walmart, target, or other like stores. I've seen them carrying varying name brand models for about the cost of no-names on ebay. I've bought two pen drives off ebay and I can't say I've really been that pleased with either of them. I'd stick to name brand if I were you.

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How fast and reliable are these drives? 

Is it still better to use an external USB2.0 hard drive than using these small drives? Thanks. :)

As for reliable? I accidentally ran one through the wash. Hot/Cold wash with bleach, hot dry. It still works perfectly. The data that was on it survived just fine. (What can I say, they're so small, they get left in pockets too often.)

For small amounts of data, they're probably 'better' than USB 2.0 hard drives. But they are significantly slower. My 128MB module takes about 4 minutes to write 100MB to. And, lots of current motherboards can boot from them, so they make a good 'emergency boot disk'. With a 512MB module, you can fit a decent Linux distribution on one, or even Win98.

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As for reliable? I accidentally ran one through the wash. Hot/Cold wash with bleach, hot dry. It still works perfectly. The data that was on it survived just fine. (What can I say, they're so small, they get left in pockets too often.)

Can you please tell me what is the brand. I definitely will buy it.

For small amounts of data, they're probably 'better' than USB 2.0 hard drives. But they are significantly slower. My 128MB module takes about 4 minutes to write 100MB to. And, lots of current motherboards can boot from them, so they make a good 'emergency boot disk'. With a 512MB module, you can fit a decent Linux distribution on one, or even Win98.

It would work perfectly for me. I'll use it to transfer files (virus scan updates, pictures, MP3s, etc.) from my work computer to my home computer since I only have 56k connection at home. The 512MB module would be excellent! :)

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As for reliable? I accidentally ran one through the wash. Hot/Cold wash with bleach, hot dry. It still works perfectly. The data that was on it survived just fine. (What can I say, they're so small, they get left in pockets too often.)

Can you please tell me what is the brand. I definitely will buy it.

Mine is an 'Intelligent Stick', I can't find the name of the actual manufacturer, but they have a website at www.intelligentstick.com. The thing I liked about this model is its size. It's not as thick as most USB pen drives. It doesn't have a 'shroud' around the USB connector, so it looks alot like a Sony Memory Stick. (You can see a size comparison at My Webpage.)

I bought mine at Fry's Electronics (a real store, not the website.)

P.S. I've accidentally washed a Sony Memory Stick as well, it survived, too.

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