USB Flash Drive
USB Flash Drive
With the advent of the new age come new technologies that man found very indispensable whether in work or play - USB Flash Drive introduction. This is true with computers, which man relies with to make work easier. For students, having a computer makes researches and writing papers easier. And now that there are so many devices invented, the USB flash drive becomes handy and useful for storing data.
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Just a few years ago, people use floppy disks to store data and information from the computer. Despite its expediency and convenience during the time when no other storing devices were available, it was easily infected by viruses and worms from other infected files. As such, manufacturers thought of a better device that will not be susceptible to viruses and can store large amounts of data.
Popular in terms such as “flashdisk,” thumb drive,” USB memory stick,” and “pen drive,” a flash drive is a type of universal serial bus or USB, a drive that is able to store and transfer files from the computer (Gurley, 2005). It has a NAND-type flash memory data storage device which allows for exchange and saving of data (Paul, 2008). A flash drive is usually 70mm long, or about the size of your thumb, and is less than two ounces in weight. There are still steady improvements in size and price. Moreover, the USB flash drive can store any type of data such as video and text files, ranging from 64MB to 64GB. It can also be stored with excel and jpeg files (Chudzik, 2006). Although nothing moves in a flash drive and has no mechanical parts, it is given the name “drive” because it is run by the operating command like a mechanical drive (Paul, 2008).
The first USB flash drives were introduced into the markets in 2000 by Trek Technology and IBM. Later on, companies brought out products similar to the USB flash drives, and Trek Technology charged the companies with lawsuits. Although the first flash drives have only 8MB capacity, they were much better than the floppy disks and compact disks or CDs terms of capacity (USBFlash.org, 2008). In less than 10 years, many improvements have been done on flash drives. From 8MB capacity, there are now flash drives that can hold data and files of up to 64GB. Flash disks also come in designs that are durable.
Uses of a USB Flash Drive
A USB flash drive is not limited to storing data. It can be used for other purposes. First, a flash drive is useful in transporting data. Downloaded files, including music, pictures and videos and documents, from the computer can be stored in a flash drive. Depending on the capacity of the flash drive, it can hold large amount of data.
Second, a flash drive can be used to store information and files securely. Although a flash drive can possibly be infected with viruses, deleting the virus is easy. Third, a flash drive is useful for IT administration. Through a USB flash drive, a portable location for configuration data and systems installation, maintenance and repair utilities is now available to IT professionals. Moreover, a flash drive provides “simultaneous backup functionality” before doing any repairs (USBFlash.org, 2008).
Third, portable software can be run on host computers through flash drives. There is no need to install the software. Fourth, a flash drive is useful in scanning for virus or repairing data outside the operating system of the computer. Fifth, a flash drive is useful in storing promotional data such as video or music. It is an effective marketing tool that costs less and looks prestigious. Moreover, a flash drive can be used for company marketing and promotions. For instance, promotional USB flash drives have the company logo, and they are preloaded with marketing multimedia (USBFlash.org).
Advantages of a USB Flash Drive
Perhaps the primary advantage of a USB flash drive, unlike the floppy disks and CDs, is its capacity to store large amount and any kinds of data. It recognizes audio and video files. In addition, a flash drive is portable due to its small size. You can carry it in your pocket or key ring. Plus, it is very convenient to use, either in personal computers, laptops or Mac. Thus, transporting files from computer to computer is easy and convenient. Aside from these, a flash drive stores and transfers files faster than its alternatives. USB flash drives are now faster due to USB2. A flash drive is also reliable to use because it does not rely on moving parts and is recognized by computers (USBFlash.org, 2008). Thus, it does not require much of power during operation. It is also reliable in moving huge amounts of data and files. There are flash drives which can accommodate one million erase or write cycles (Paul, 2008). This is very unlike the floppy disks and CDs, which are limited in storing capacity and operations. Even the rewritable disks can only contain 700KB of data.
Another advantage of a USB flash drive is its durability. It is designed in such a way that it cannot be damaged or scratched easily. It is protected by a protective case, which is either made up of rubber or metal. At one instance, a flash drive which was submerged in water and dried immediately after, still worked. Furthermore, a flash drive is rewritable, which means you can erase any data and store more data. Vast amounts of information can be written on it. You can use a flash drive over and over again. USB flash drives become more popular as an alternative to floppy disks and CDs. A floppy disk is sometimes not read by the floppy drive. It is very vulnerable as a small scratch can affect its function. USB flash drives also prove much better than CDs, which are cumbersome and cannot be kept in a pocket.
USB flash drives were invented to enable people to store and transfer data and files easily. They are used to securely store data. Flash drives are also convenient for IT admin because IT professionals can store configuration data on them. Flash drives also provide backups before any repairs. They are also useful in scanning for viruses outside the operating systems of a computer. Thus, there is no need to be afraid for your computer to be infected by a virus. The advantages of a flash drive are its portability, durability, speed and convenience of use, large storage capacity, and function that allows data to be rewritten.
Moreover, USB ports are now the norm for computer storage. Almost all of mainstream PCs and laptops have USB ports in them. Thus, a USB flash drive is more compatible to use. Gone are the days when people use floppy disks and CDs.
Chudzik, D. (2006). How to use a USB flash drive. Wellesley College. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.wellesley.edu/Computing/Flashdrive/
Gurley, C. (2005). What is a USB flash drive? Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.bama.ua.edu/~gurle001/tutorial.htm
Paul, S. (2008). The advantages of USB flash disk. Ezine Articles. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Advantages-of-USB-Flash-Drive&id=1450261
USBFlash.org. (2008). The history of USB flash drives. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.usbflash.org/history.htm