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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    A few months ago I bought a 64MB USB Drive from my online supplier. It paid off in it's first use. Plug 'n' Play under W2K/XP, a couple of tiny drivers needed under 98. I could see these becoming as handy as a keyboard or a mouse. OK, transfer speeds aren't supersonic, but this just means I have a little more time to plan my next move when on site. In the true style of hardware, you can now buy a 128MB version for about the same price as I paid for 64MB and there was talk of a 2GB in the pipeline.

    If fish had thumbs, I'd give these beauties a big thumbs up. Apparently also the weapon of choice for stealing Mac applications from in-store displays, but I haven't tried it, nor would I.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    I think you are referring to the Apple IPod which is in reality (your choice of) 5GB, 10GB or 20GB hard drive. My wife bought me the 5GB one for my birthday (about a month they introduced the 10GB model for the same price!)

    It's designed as a MP3 player and the scroll wheel it uses as it's main interface is extreamly intuitive. I've got over 600 songs on mine with over 40% of the capacity still available. I also can download my Calender/Address book from my PIM!

    After they first came out there were a few reports that they could be used to 'steal' Mac software from store displays. (On OS X - Mac applications are stored in 'packages' which contain ALL files needed by that application. - Just plug in the iPod, it shows up on desktop, click and drag the 'package' and Bob's your uncle.) Even something like MS Office would only take 3-4 minutes to copy using the firewire interface.

    Doubt that this happens much now that the problem is 'known'. Using the Unix interface behind OS X it is very easy to restrict copying of a 'package' to an administrator.

    Oh ya - forgot to mention. iPods work with Wintel machines too

  3. #3
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    Looks verrrry nice, but no that isn't what I meant. The USB Drive is no bigger than your thumb, weighs either 13 or 26g depending on capacity, no battery needed and with a read speed of up to 1000kb/s. The only improvement I'd like to make to it would be to have a bottle opener on the other end.

  4. #4
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    They are nice to have. I received a 16MB QDrive as a gift. Now I (generally) don't have to worry about files being too large for a floppy diskette, and yet I don't have to worry, either, about whether a computer has a zip drive or snappy Internet connection for FTP. Just plug in the device, and Windows (XP anyway) notices a USB Mass Storage Device.

    I love it when technology works the way we want!

  5. #5
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    Ooops sorry Fish. Didn't mean to <img src=/S/pirate.gif border=0 alt=pirate width=22 height=18> <img src=/S/jollyroger.gif border=0 alt=jollyroger width=29 height=18> your post. The USB drives wouldn't be very good for 'a five finger discount' for Mac users - too slow. The firewire connection is what makes the iPod so fast. Once USB 2 comes along this may change, IF Apple decides to adopt it.

  6. #6
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    I love my USBDrive too.
    I sometimes work on a customer site for extended periods of time and this lets me backup all the data that is changing so that I am protected from laptop failures.

    StuartR

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    Funnily enough, I use a slightly cheaper alternative - the 64MB Smart Media Card - as it came with my digital camera. Of course you need either a card reader or the camera (plus USB cable) to use it, but still very useful.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: A vital part of any engineer's toolkit.

    I did think about this as an archivable option, but as I don't already own a device that takes them I would be buying in from new. Also, I couldn't decide whether to go for Compact Flash, Smart Media, Memory Stick or something like a 7-in-1 reader. The added bonus with the card format is you're not restricted by capacity as you are with a USB Drive.

    Are there boards/BIOS that allow booting from USB devices?

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