Teddy Towncrier's Web Oasis.

June 7, 2009

Using a thumbdrive for flexibility and peace of mind.

The magic of the thumb drive.

Carry your favorite programs and sensitive data safely in your pocket.

When it’s time to work with the confidence that nothing is left behind. A Pen Drive may be your solution.

IBM introduced thumb drives in 1998, as a solution for replacing the less stable floppy disks. Their use caught on quickly, and as portable data storage has become more of an issue, thumb drives or flash drives skyrocketed in popularity. They can now be seen hanging on lanyards around the necks of computer users everywhere.

This small (About the size of a man’s thumb), portable memory storage can be used to run applications, store pictures and even music They are re-writeable and unlike RAM, holds its memory without a power supply and will fit into any USB port on Windows and Mac machines. Being Hot-Swappable means a user can plug the drive into a computer and will not have to restart it to access the thumb drive. They are very stable memory storage devices.

Their lack of compatibility with Windows 98 can be seen as a dawback, since so many users are still running this operating system. However, most thumb drives come equipped with software that will install a Win98 driver on the computer, enabling the user to connect a thumb drive. Installing the software takes about 60 seconds.

Since my support group is scattered across the world …. I have added both conventional telephone and Skype to my thumb drive in addition to a few Instant Messengers.

Warning to supervisors and administrators.
Thumb drives also pose security threats, since they are easily concealed and can be used to run unauthorized applications without leaving any history on the host machine. Users could copy proprietary information to them, or upload unauthorized software from them, all undetected by the system administrator.

However, on the plus side; System administrators can also upload anti-virus software to an infected computer from a thumb drive, for instance, without risking the system servers. Their write speeds and read speeds only really come into play when users are running large applications from them. When the user is saving text documents or photos, for instance, these speeds are not nearly as important. Most thumb drives also have millions of re-write cycles and will store data for ten years before they need replacing.

These drives are available in storage sizes of up to 8 gigabytes. However; Most people will find that sizes of 256 megabytes to 1 gigabyte will do nicely. If you are storing mostly text, with few images, then a smaller thumb drive may be adequate.

Web developers are particularly fond of thumb drives since ideas can be demonstrated in a client’s office without the risk of leaving any tracks behind for later review and possible theft of the idea.

Want more ideas for enrolling thumb drives in your army?

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