What is a memory stick, AKA USB drive, AKA flash drive?
Memory stick, USB drive, and flash drive are all names for a new portable form of data storage. This small device fits onto a key chain and into your pocket, or in SwissMemory's case, protracts from a Swiss Army Knife. It plugs into your computer's USB port1 and depending on how much you wish to spend, holds from 64 MB to over a gig of data. The cheapest memory sticks hold the memory equivalent of a zip disk (64 MB).
Do I need one?
I'm not implying you need one that comes with a knife, but it does make a keen idea for an article! The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, for example, has outfitted all of their PCs with USB connections on the front of their towers, as well as cable extensions to the USB ports on the reverse of the tower.
This latest doodad easily works with new computers. Many computers currently do not come equipped with floppy or zip drives. Memory sticks are the only alternative to CD-ROMs, in this case. CDs also hold massive amounts of data, but take longer to create and are more accident-prone than memory sticks.
Plus you have the added benefit of portability. Memory sticks easily fit into your pocket and you can have it with you all the time.
SwissMemory is a fascinating gadget. If you plan on taking your memory stick with you on a plane, better buy one without a knife, but don't worry, Victorinox sells versions both with and without a knife! They've thought of everything! If you buy the bladeless version of SwissMemory, it comes equipped with a retractable ink pen and laser pointer.
Here is the product description:
"It is the first time that an original Swiss Army Knife has been equipped with a USB Memory. The SWISSMEMORY ™ USB is a trendy accessory, a perfect gift and business tool. The small all-rounder integrates numerous useful tools and is available in two versions: one with a stainless steel blade, scissors, a nail file with screwdriver, a ballpoint pen and a red light. The Flight version includes a red LED light and a ballpoint pen only and is especially aimed at people who like to work in the airplane while travelling."
To find out more, visit Victorinox's Web site.
1USB = The Universal Serial Bus connects a computer with external devices for the exchange of data. The USB has a high data rate and automatically recognizes devices and their properties. For low power devices it includes built-in power distribution.
Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2004.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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