You Should Know About The USB Flash Drive – A Portable Storage Revolution

USB Flash Drives are normal devices today, but not such a long time ago the word “flash drive” had never been heard, unless of course you were associating the term with a Ferrari. Where did the revolutionary USB Flash Drive derive? Well, set your brain back to 1995, it generally does not seem so long ago. Contrary to popular belief, most computer users were still regularly using floppy disks to transfer their digital data. In fact, practically all computers had integrated floppy disk drives because floppy disks were by far the most popular, practical and cheapest format for portable storage.

Also in those days, Zip disks and Jaz disks (both manufactured by Iomega) came available to buy, but they were quite expensive. Zip disks could hold 100MB / 250MB of data, there were even 750MB disks around. Jaz disks offered 1GB capacity and later 2GB, however the high(ish) price for both formats meant many computer users couldn’t justify the expenses, nor did many computer users have the necessity to save and transfer huge amounts of memory, unlike today. Zip disks and Jaz drives eventually died out within just a couple of years of production, these were also bulky and accordingly the Jaz disk broke without difficulty.

CD Roms had also entered the market, however they weren’t as popular for recording because the technology remained in its early stages. It wasn’t before late 90’s that CD rewriting appeared on many, or even most, new computers. By the year 2000, rewritable CD’s had fast become as popular, if not more, than floppy disks. These convenient new writable CD’s were affordable, compact, held a large amount of data and took up little storage space.

By 2000, the demand for transferring large amounts of data increased dramatically, within a year or so large portable storage disks were essential to not only companies, but also for personal computer users aswell. This is primarily due to the introduction of digital cameras, camcorders and downloaded audio recordings (very popular with internet users). People were now storing, collecting and transferring digital information a lot more than previously. Computers were also becoming exceptionally affordable because of lower technology costs along with the demand and desire for internet use. By early 2000, an enormous percentage of households, if not most, would have a computer.

As many of us have unfortunately experienced, computers have a life span. They are able to become painstakingly slow, annoyingly crash and also die very inconvenient deaths. Individuals were now needing to back up their systems regularly (but still do) in the fear of losing all their stored data. Businesses were also starting to go paperless, their information was now being held on personal computers. This saved companies time, resources and storage space, it was however necessary to back up their important data to avoid future problems.

Because of this, almost every computer was manufactured with the technology to read and write on to CDs and very soon after DVD rewritable disks took over. Large data storage and transfer ability was now essential more than a luxury. The reason why as to why floppy disks soon became redundant are no real surprise. The common floppy disk held only 1.44MB of memory which is tiny considering that nowadays a single image taken on an electronic camera usually exceeds this amount. Rewritable DVDs were cheap and could hold 4.7GB of data, it could take a staggering 3263 floppy disks to do this. CDs could hold the average 650MB, this would equate to 444 floppy disks. These comparative figures still amaze me today.

Around the year 2000, one of the latest things associated with computers (other than the internet) was the brand new USB “Universal Serial Bus”. Replacing the likes of most SCSI connection ports used to connect printers and other peripherals etc. USB ports were cutting edge. You didn’t have to be an expert to put your personal computer together, you merely plugged the USB connector cable in to the port and the other end of the cable into your device and off you went. No longer was it necessary to have a specific entry for the printer, mouse or keyboard because they could be operated from any available USB port.

You could even plug in your digital camera and instantly access your photos via USB connection. Many USB devices didn’t even need an electrical power source or battery, low power could actually be supplied to the device by simply connecting the it to the port. Today people regularly charge their mobile phones and MP3 players via USB, whilst working away on their computers. Nowadays, you will find USB ports not merely on computers but also televisions, DVD players, audio players and even some car dashboards.

OK, so I’ve emphasized on how great USB “Universal Serial Bus” is and just why the demand for portable storage has dramatically increased, but let’s focus this topic. A USB Flash Drive, is also referred to as memory stick, thumb drive and jump drive. It is just a pocket sized device that is traditionally the size of a regular lighter and with the capacity of carrying Large sums of digital data (some can store an enormous 256GB). In the early days (2002) USB Flash Drives weren’t cheap and also the tiniest memory sizes were very costly.

USB Flash Drives were however highly desirable because they could be connected to any USB port with no need of a specific drive to learn them. They were also robust, some can actually withstand getting wet and continue to are good as new once dried (please don’t try this even though I’ve and it did actually work when dry). custom usb flash drive Not only were USB Flash Drives convenient and robust, they were easy to carry and had decent read and write speeds, many flash memory providers even declare that USB Flash Drives may be used over 1 million times.

Currently the most popular memory size for a Flash Drive is 2GB, however NAND Flash Memory has become a lot more affordable as years and also months have gone by. A 2GB flash drive is enough of storage for many users but trends are showing that 4GB and 8GB drives are fast becoming more popular, this is to do with lower pricing trends and the demand for more space for storage as the digital revolution continues to grow. USB Flash Drives aren’t just popular formats for data storage, they are also probably the most popular promotional gifts in the promotional gift market.

Due low unit prices USB Drives make fantastic promotional items for many reasons. They may be effectively branded with company logos and information, Pantone color matched and uploaded with promotional material. They are able to also be stated in unique shapes for hardly any cost. The merchandise are always well received, appreciated and retain a high end value. What better way to expose your company logo on a regular basis? You can also attach them to your key ring!

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