You Should Know CONCERNING THE USB Flash Drive – A Portable Storage Revolution

USB Flash Drives are common devices today, but not so long ago the word “flash drive” had never been heard, until you were associating the term with a Ferrari. So where did the revolutionary USB Flash Drive derive? Well, set your mind back to 1995, it doesn’t seem so long ago. custom usb flash drive 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 at that time, Zip disks and Jaz disks (both manufactured by Iomega) came on the market, but they were very costly. Zip disks could hold 100MB / 250MB of data, there have been even 750MB disks around. Jaz disks offered 1GB capacity and later 2GB, but the high(ish) price for both formats meant many computer users couldn’t justify the expenses, nor did many computer users have the need to save and transfer large amounts of memory, unlike today. Zip disks and Jaz drives eventually died out within just a couple of years of production, they were also bulky and accordingly the Jaz disk broke quite easily.

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

By 2000, the demand for transferring huge amounts of data increased dramatically, within a year or so large portable storage disks were essential to not only companies, but 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 far more than ever before. Computers were also becoming exceptionally affordable because of lower technology costs as well as the demand and desire for internet use. By early 2000, an enormous percentage of households, or even most, would have a computer.

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

Because of this, nearly every computer was manufactured with the technology to learn and write to CDs and very immediately after DVD rewritable disks took over. Large data storage and transfer ability was now essential more than a luxury. The reasons 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 may hold 4.7GB of data, it could take a staggering 3263 floppy disks to achieve 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 revolutionary USB “Universal Serial Bus”. Replacing the likes of most SCSI connection ports used for connecting printers and other peripherals etc. USB ports were ground breaking. You didn’t ought 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 more was it necessary to have a specific entry for your printer, mouse or keyboard because they could be operated from any available USB port.

You can 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 these devices by simply connecting the it to the port. Today people regularly charge their cell phones and MP3 players via USB, whilst working away on their computers. Nowadays, you could find USB ports not only on computers but additionally televisions, DVD players, audio players and also some car dashboards.

OK, so I’ve emphasized on what 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, can be known as memory stick, thumb drive and jump drive. This is a pocket sized device that is traditionally the size of a regular lighter and with the capacity of carrying HUGE amounts of digital data (some can store a massive 256GB). In the early days (2002) USB Flash Drives weren’t cheap and even the smallest memory sizes were quite expensive.

USB Flash Drives were however highly desirable since they could be plugged into any USB port with no need of a specific drive to read them. These were also robust, some can in fact withstand getting wet and continue to are good as new once dried (do not try this even though I’ve and it did really work when dry). Not merely were USB Flash Drives convenient and robust, these were convenient 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 is becoming an increasing number of affordable as years and even months have gone by. A 2GB flash drive is enough of storage for most users but trends are showing that 4GB and 8GB drives are fast becoming more popular, this is related to 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, also, they are probably the most popular promotional gifts in the promotional gift market.

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

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