Memory sticks have become wildly popular in the last few years – and for good reason. These handy devices are also known as jump drives, thumb drives, USB flash drives, flash memory, and other names. Most of them are a bit smaller than a tube of lipstick and easily slip into a pocket or purse. Nobody uses floppy disks to transport data any more, and even CD and DVD writable disks are starting to disappear. Jump drives/memory sticks are so much cheaper, smaller, and more convenient that they are becoming the standard for "portable data," the temporary storage of information that can be transported from one computer to another
I have seen memory sticks of limited storage capacity on sale for $3.99. Although I describe them as "limited storage capacity," each one still holds more information than 25 or 50 floppy disks. Prices range up to $60 or so for higher storage capacity devices; devices that are the equivalent of thousands of floppy disks or even as much as several DVD disks.
For a full explanation of flash drives/memory sticks, look at my earlier article at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/10/use-a-jump-driv.html.
I travel frequently and use different computers at home, in the office, and in hotel rooms and airport waiting lounges. I love the convenience of carrying data on a tiny memory stick and always having such a data storage device with me in my pocket, regardless of which computer I am using at the moment.
I have used memory sticks/jump drives for all sorts of temporary data storage purposes. I keep all my past newsletters on a memory stick. The same memory stick also contains several "work-in-progress" articles that I am working on at the moment (such as this article), a few hundred photographs, several thousand MP3 music files, all my favorite bookmarks from my web browsers, my address book with several thousand names, addresses, and e-mail addresses, my calendar, PowerPoint slides from all the presentations I have made in the past five years or so, and a lot more. I also have copies of several programs for both Windows and Macintosh, including Firefox web browser, OpenOffice word processor, and more. I can use my own programs and my own data on anyone's computer when traveling, be it my own laptop or a computer in a public library or in some hotel's business center.
I am using a 32-gigabyte memory stick these days, and it isn't even half full.
I have a new application for Windows, Macintosh and Linux that uses the same memory stick for data storage. It adds a lot of capability and allows me to find and retrieve information almost instantly.
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