SAVVY COMPUTING
Flash Drives: The Latest, Greatest Gadget

October 2006
by Reid Goldsborough

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The one constant about
personal computers is change, and the PC technology that has changed the most
involves storage devices. In 1981, the first IBM PC came with one or two 160-kilobyte
floppy drives. Following the lead of Apple’s first iMac in 1998, most of
today’s PCs dispense with floppies.

 

Various technologies—from Zip
drives to rewritable CD and DVD drives—have vied to replace the venerable, but
slow and low-capacity, floppy drive. The most versatile is the USB flash drive,
first used by IBM in 1998 on its ThinkPad laptop computers in sizes from 8 to
64 megabytes.

 

Flash drives are available today
in sizes all the way up to a whopping 64 gigabytes, with Kanguru Solutions’
Kanguru Flash Drive Max costing an equally whopping $2,800 (www.kanguru.com/flashdrive_max.html).
The sweet spot is occupied by the 1-gigabyte drives, which generally cost from
$45 to $90. A step up, Kingston’s 2-gigabyte U3 Data Traveler can be had for $80
(www.kingston.com/flash).
Smaller 128-megabyte drives cost as little as about $10 today. Other popular
vendors include Verbatim (www.verbatim.com), Memorex (www.memorex.com), and SanDisk (www.sandisk.com).

 

How They Help

 

Flash drives can be used for everything
floppy drives used to be used for and then some. You can make them part of a
“sneaker net” and move file…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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