With capacities far exceeding the old fashioned DVD-R, USB flash memory sticks combine large memories with fast read and write transfer speeds and extra flexibility across many applications and platforms that are hugely beneficial whether you are a humble gamer through to the professional system administrator. At the time of writing, a 16GB stick costs £13, the price of a 32GB one is fair at £32 and 64GB sets you back a wallet tenderising £80-£100.
Flexibility is key with the USB stick. Unlike a DVD-R, you can store multiple differing files types, all of which can be accessed by your favourite programs. So, if you want to listen to some mp3s, watch a film, store photos, documents or computer applications then you can do all of this – on just one stick. So, if you’re going on day trips to France and you need some entertainment just carry one of these on you and the world of entertainment is at your fingertips.
Remember when technology is new? It tends to come out in a range of functional, but not aesthetically pleasing, shapes. Well, the USB stick has been out long enough for the weird and wonderful designs to flood the market and I’ve gathered a few of my favourites for you to take a look at. Just remember, when you’re listening to your music or watching a film in the comfort of your Eurotunnel train, make sure you’re entertaining others with your choice of USB stick!
With the dubious pleasure of first having to remove the cap (Teddy’s head) this stick has the cute factor.
HR Giger’s famous design gets its internal spring jaw changed into a USB connection in this chunky model.
Ravage (from Transformers)
If, like me, you were aggrieved by the change in design of Ravage in the recent movies, then you can breathe a sigh of relief that they’ve done a proper job here.
New tech looks like a brick. Well it certainly does here! If you’re not content with this one you can always add more Lego bricks and really put your design stamp on it.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love steampunk designs so I just had to throw this one into the mix.
These little fellas do sit ups while the pen is in use. Apart from the vaguely homoerotic look they are all rather funky. For best effect make sure your laptop has three well spaced ports and put one in each!
One for the ladies. Fashion crosses boundaries with these designs by Dima Komissarov.
Disposable Eco USB Stick
It had to happen. In this throwaway culture, a Russian company has developed a disposable USB flash drive, called Flashkus. It’s made out of very little cardboard and handy if you want to hand out a lot of promotional sticks.
Staying on the Russian theme, here is a neat little Babushka doll.
These sticks were given out during the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s conference in 2008. If you use one, don’t blame me if something odd happens to your PC or Mac in 9 month’s time…
Animal lovers and Linux SuSE fans can get enjoyment from this wooden drive. The connector is safely stored inside its stomach.
Time for a gruesome one…
The rubber chicken makes a comeback in a slightly different guise. It’s not the most portable drive you can buy.
Going for a Goth look? Why not use a coffin-shaped stick emblazoned with a bas-relief black snake?
And finally… because no-one wanted it, no-one believed it and even now I can’t see the demand although if I saw someone using it, it would raise a well-intentioned smile –
It’s by Dima Komissarov again. The Flashbag has a tiny pump inside it which inflates the drive more and more as the stick’s capacity fills. Brilliant! It even stays inflated once disconnected giving you the chance to estimate how much space is left on it…