USB Flash Drives are normal devices today, but not so long ago the term “flash drive” had never been heard, until you were associating the word with a Ferrari. Where did the revolutionary USB Flash Drive derive? Well, set your mind back to 1995, it generally does not seem so long ago. Contrary to popular belief, most computer users were still regularly using floppy disks to transfer their digital data. Actually, practically all computers had integrated floppy disk drives because floppy disks were the most popular, practical and cheapest format for portable storage.
Also at that time, Zip disks and Jaz disks (both manufactured by Iomega) came available to buy, but they were quite expensive. Zip disks could hold 100MB / 250MB of data, there have been even 750MB disks in existence. Jaz disks offered 1GB capacity and later 2GB, but the high(ish) price for both formats meant many computer users couldn’t justify the costs, nor did many computer users have the need to save and transfer huge amounts of memory, unlike today. Zip disks and Jaz drives eventually died out within just a few years of production, they were also bulky and accordingly the Jaz disk broke without difficulty.
CD Roms had also entered the marketplace, however they weren’t as popular for recording as the technology remained in its first stages. It wasn’t before late 90’s that CD rewriting appeared on many, or even most, new computers. By the year 2000, rewritable CD’s had fast become as popular, if not more, than floppy disks. These convenient new writable CD’s were affordable, compact, held a substantial amount of data and took up little storage space.
By 2000, the demand for transferring huge amounts of data increased dramatically, inside a year or so large portable storage disks were necessary to not only companies, but also for personal computer users aswell. This is primarily due to the introduction of digital camera models, camcorders and downloaded audio files (very popular with internet users). Individuals were now storing, collecting and transferring digital information far more than previously. Computers were also becoming exceptionally affordable because of lower technology costs as well as the demand and desire to have internet use. By early 2000, an enormous percentage of households, or even most, would have a computer.
As many folks have unfortunately experienced, computers have a life time. They are able to become painstakingly slow, annoyingly crash and even die very inconvenient deaths. People were now having to back up their systems regularly (but still do) in worries of losing almost all their stored data. Businesses were also beginning to go paperless, their information was now being held on computer systems. This saved companies time, resources and space for storage, it was however necessary to back up their important data in order to avoid future problems.
Because of this, nearly every computer was manufactured with the technology to read and write on to CDs and very soon after DVD rewritable disks took over. Large data storage and transfer ability was now a necessity more than a luxury. The reasons as to the reasons floppy disks soon became redundant are no real surprise. The common floppy disk held a mere 1.44MB of memory that is tiny considering that nowadays a single image taken on an electronic camera usually exceeds this amount. Rewritable DVDs were cheap and may hold 4.7GB of data, it would have a staggering 3263 floppy disks to do this. custom usb flash drive CDs could hold the average 650MB, this would mean 444 floppy disks. These comparative figures still amaze me today.
Around the year 2000, one of the latest things connected with computers (other than the internet) was the brand new USB “Universal Serial Bus”. Replacing the likes of most SCSI connection ports used for connecting printers and other peripherals etc. USB ports were ground breaking. You didn’t should be an expert to put your personal computer together, you simply plugged the USB connector cable into the port and another end of the cable into your device and off you went. No longer was it essential to have a specific entry for your printer, mouse or keyboard as they could possibly be operated from any available USB port.
You could even plug in your digital camera and instantly access your photos via USB connection. Many USB devices didn’t even need an electrical power source or battery, low power could actually be supplied to the device simply by connecting the it to the port. Today people regularly charge their mobile phones and MP3 players via USB, whilst working away on their computers. Nowadays, you will discover USB ports not merely on computers but also televisions, DVD players, audio players and also some car dashboards.
OK, so I’ve emphasized on how great USB “Universal Serial Bus” is and just why the demand for portable storage has dramatically increased, but let’s focus this topic. A USB Flash Drive, can be known as memory stick, thumb drive and jump drive. This can be a pocket sized device which is traditionally the size of a regular lighter and with the capacity of carrying Large sums of digital data (some can store an enormous 256GB). In the first days (2002) USB Flash Drives weren’t cheap and even the smallest memory sizes were very costly.
USB Flash Drives were however highly desirable since they could be connected to any USB port with no need of a specific drive to learn them. These were also robust, some can actually withstand getting wet and continue steadily to are good as new once dried (please don’t try this even though I’ve and it did actually work when dry). Not merely were USB Flash Drives convenient and robust, these were convenient to carry and had decent read and write speeds, many flash memory providers even declare that USB Flash Drives can be utilized over 1 million times.
Currently the hottest memory size for a Flash Drive is 2GB, however NAND Flash Memory has become progressively more affordable as years and also months have gone by. A 2GB flash drive is plenty of storage for many users but trends are showing that 4GB and 8GB drives are fast more popular, this is to do with lower pricing trends and the demand for more storage space as the digital revolution is growing. USB Flash Drives aren’t just popular formats for data storage, they are also one of the popular promotional gifts in the promotional gift market.
Due low unit prices USB Drives make fantastic promotional items for many reasons. They can be effectively branded with company logos and information, Pantone color matched and uploaded with promotional material. They are able to also be stated in unique shapes for hardly any cost. The merchandise are always well received, appreciated and retain a higher end value. What better solution to expose your company logo every day? You can even attach them to your key ring!