What is a pen drive? Do I need one?

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Life.PenDrive.Definitive.Guide

What is a pen drive?

Data? Something we've all come to depend on in recent years. Music, video and text are all made up of those tiny bits called megabytes and gigabytes. However, with the event of laptops, mobile phones and Mp3 Player's all of our data is now mobile...and that's where the phenomena of pen/data/thumb/flash drives comes in. So, basically a pen drive is a stick of memory which plugs into the USB port found on almost any computer. It can hold a lot of data without the need of batteries or external power.

Pen Drive in context

No one thought a few years ago that pen drives would ever become a commodity. Two or three years ago prices ranged from £200-£300 for an 8mb-32mb model. Now, they're anything from £10-£80 for gigabytes of space enabling you store hundreds of music files, thousands of pictures and hundreds of thousands of word documents and PowerPoint presentations. Indeed, data storage has never been so cheap, convenient and accessable.

Do I need one?

If you're a student or someone who works on more than one PC, they're indepensible and one you start using them, they'll become essential to your everyday life. For example, if I have a picture of a house for a piece of coursework or word document full of statistics, I can drag and drop those files onto the pen drive. When you insert the drive into the computer, it appears in 'My computer' enabling you to simply copy your files across quickly and easily. Then, right click, eject and plug it into another PC and copy that same picture and document without any loss of quality. It really is that easy!

Will it set me back?

A really good 1GB (One Gigabyte) pen drive will be about £15 which isn't much at all. Some of the good brands from experience: Kingston, Sandisk, Toshiba and LG. Pen drives are getting cheaper although the very large 16GB versions are expensive (£80).

  • 1GB - for students or those who aren't going to save large amounts of data.
  • 2GB - for students who take their music with them or those who have large archives of word documents.
  • 4GB - you can cram plenty into 4GB of space. They're slightly more expensive though (£30~).
  • 8GB - Enough for several movies, moderate library of music, thousands of pictures and hundreds and thousands of word documents.
  • 16GB - A crazy amount which will be the norm in one or two years to come!

The Good, the Bad and the Awful!

A superb 'fake pen drive' guide is available here. It gives details on fake pen drives available at very cheap prices here on eBay. Even if you think you're getting a good deal, a few weeks down the line could result in lost data (and tears!). Try to search for a certain make and if you see a cheaper version and a more expensive version, it's best to use common sense here.Often drives from China or Hong Kong are branded Sony, Kingston or Sandisk but feature poorly made chips which really will result in tears. Watch out for this one!

Superman! Super...pen drive?

Pen drives have the amazing ability to get dropped, left out in the rain and go through the wash and...still work! They are very tough because they have no moving parts. Just something to remember but don't try to attempt this!

So...

Pen drives really are a plus in the digital don't have to lug aroworld because they enable you to do so much more or at least make what you do more convenient. Now you don't need to lug around your laptop or burn your files onto CD or floppy disc anymore. Plus, they can be written and read at least forty thousand times! Small, easy to use and now not so expensive. Just watch out for the imitation and cheap versions and you'll be laughing!

Hope this helps,

Tom

 

 

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