USB memory stick and removable media

USB memory sticks and other removable media

USB sticks are becoming the favorite removable media to carry data around from a computer to an other. There are other removable medias out there but USB memory sticks are really cool and convenient.

Before the floppy drive was the most used way to carry data from a PC to an other. But they were unreliable because of their magnetic sensibility, easy to damage and would only hold 1.4 MB of data. They made a 2.8 floppy drive but it did not have a long life for the same reasons. Zip drives had bigger capabilities, but unless the target PC had one installed, you were all alone with one.

The CD-RW took over with it's bigger capacity of 650-700MB but unless you had a writer, you could not make them. For compatibility reasons, a CD written on a CD-RW would sometimes not be readable on all CR-ROMs.

USB memory sticks are so easy to use and will function on both PC or MAC USB ports allowing to exchange data from a PC to a MAC computer, now this is good. Basically all computers come with a USB port and you will be able to use the USB stick without even adding a driver to get them recognized. They are Plug&Play devices that do not need to be installed in order to be seen.

USB memory sticks are detected when inserted in a USB port and are automatically added in the removable storage devices of your computer. They are treated and act as a hard disk and simply copy paste files to them. Their speed depends on the type of USB port on your computer, a USB 2.0 port will run the memory stick faster.

Picture of an USB memory stick

They are smaller that the other removable media, they fit in your pocket, and are not as easy to damage as a CD for example. They come in size from 64MB to 1 MEG but this is just the beginning, they will come with bigger ones as time goes by. Unless your computer doesn't have the USB ports in from of the computer case, forcing you to connect the stick in the back, they are just great.

When you insert the memory stick in the computer's USB port Windows see it, warns you it's installing the new device, adds it to the list of removable devices and voila, it's ready to use. Most people can fit all their important data on a 1 meg memory stick. If you have to carry data around with you, USB memory sticks are the way to go.