USB memory sticks – Utility or fashion accessory?

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I recently received an email containing several pictures of USB memory sticks, or Flash Drives as they are sometimesknown.  But these weren’t your average personal storage or transport of important information……these were novelty!

A search then ensued and I was astounded by the different amount of odd and also useful styles. Check out my findings after the break.

Thumb drives, as they are also known, go back to the year 2000 when IBM started commercially selling them.  After which, an explosion of design and size took place.  The most popular size ranges between 512mb and 2gb which seems very small as 250gb is widely available now.  According to usbdirect.com.au, the price has come down a whopping 60% in the last 2 years and in 2008 the amount of USB drives exceeds 10 billion! Storage can consist of documents, music and movies….a great way to back-up.

As the market has gone nuts…..so too has the fraud, Earlier this year Kingston had 250gb Flash Drives sold on Ebay for a measly US$25!! – Then, Kingston claimed the price should of actually been US$839.99.  Big difference!  Fraudsters even advertise on the stick/drive the amount of memory encased, according to wikipedia, when placed into the computer, they do say they memory as it was bought but when the user writes data on it, it is far from the advertised amount.

So whats out there in the way of styles?  Where does one start?

Well, remember way back when you would store all your precious documents on something like this (See left). The standard memory stick (see right) has come such a long when since its birth, breaking out into weird, wonderful and sometimes downright silly designs, which you can see in the galley below. From bottle openers to coins to donuts & hamburger USB’s.  I’m not sure how the bullet USB comes in handy but hey, its out there and probably selling. The prawn USB is a favorite of mine as the design is really quite clever and a little too authentic.  Anyway you look at them, they are a piece of brilliant technology that is getting smaller in outside size but so much bigger on the inside.

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