Of all the new portable technologies I’ve adopted over the past couple of years, USB thumb drives are near the top of my list of useful, convenient accessories. I carry one in my pocket at all times, and am constantly looking for new applications to put on them. At this point in the continuing evolution of these devices, you can get so much capacity for so little money that you don’t have to feel restricted to collecting only tiny applications on them. In case you haven’t yet adopted a USB thumb drive and put good applications on it, here are some ideas.
Only a few years ago, many people carried USB thumb drives that topped out at 256MB of capacity, and those were pretty expensive. Now, you can get this 8GB SanDisk drive for under $25, and I’ve seen other 8GB drives for under $20.
What if you want more serious capacity, for backing up key files, or loading up lots of applications? Check out this citation, from 2006, of a 64GB USB flash drive going for $5,000. Times have changed dramatically since then. Corsair has a 64GB drive for under $65.
USB flash drives also now come with numerous types of extra attractions. Several of Kingston’s drives now offer SD card reader options. These are very convenient for transferring photos to and from digital cameras and the like. If a diminutive form factor is your thing, consider the Kingmax Super Stick, which, as seen above, is about the size of a stick of Trident gum.
If you do adopt a USB thumb drive, also see this post I did on PortableApps and MacLibre–two easy ways to get tons of open source applications on your drive in one quick download.