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Backups At Your Thumbtip
by Lori Soard

Have you ever had the first three chapters of a perfect story and then misplaced the disk or gotten a formatting error when transferring from one computer to another? I've run into those nasty formatting errors numerous times while working from laptop to desktop. It's frustrating to say the least. I set out in search of a solution and found a new product that lives up to its hype--the new pocket storage devices.

Technology must have had writers in mind when the new thumb drives were created. Also known as Mini Universal Serial Bus (USB) storage devices, these drives can hold large amounts of data and are only the size of your thumb.

Lightweight and compact, they are the ideal form of portable storage. You can place them in your pocket, purse, or on a key chain and take them anywhere. They're compatible with most newer computer models, and are ideal for students who may want to transport data from home to school and back again.

The devices will only work with USB compliant computers. Simply plug them into the USB port and you're ready to access the data on your thumb drive. Most of the time, you do not need to install any special software. The thumbdrive is recognized by newer computer systems the minute it's plugged into the port.

At present, these portable pocket drives range from 8 MB of memory to 512 MB. However, as technology grows more advanced and smaller, consumers can expect even larger storage capabilities in the near future. Imagine saving every book and article you've ever written on one tiny drive the size of your thumb. You could then place it anywhere from a fireproof container to a safety deposit box for safekeeping.

Prices are reasonable as well, starting at around $35.00 for the 8 MB model. For co-writers who want to exchange versions of their manuscript to solo writers who want a quick backup method, the thumb drives seem to be an excellent choice. A must have for every writer!

Here are some links:

Memorex Thumbdrive

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008IM8C/qid=1046462160/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-electronics/104-7681940-0836713?v=

Although more expensive at $179.99, this system offers maximum storage space with 256 MB. The ability to share files between PC and MAC is something business people will sit up and take notice of. Works with most systems and is easy to use.

Sony Micro Vault

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000632HQ/qid=1046462320/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-electronics/104-7681940-0836713?v=

Small and compact, this drive supports a wide variety of systems. Easy to use but a bit pricey. Offered in various capacities from 32 MB up to 256 MB

Iomega Mini USB Drive 256 MB:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008KA64/qid=1046462355/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-electronics/104-7681940-0836713?v=

and 124 MB

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006W2OR/qid=1046462355/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2_etk-electronics/104-7681940-0836713?v=glance&s=electronics&n=172282

and 64 mb

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000721Y8/qid=1046462355/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3_etk-electronics/104-7681940-0836713?v=

From the makers of the ZIP drive, Iomega offers its thumb drive in 64 MB to 128 MB versions. Price is mid-range and functionality is excellent. Easy to use.

Lexar Media

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006I5FQ/qid=/sr=1-2/REF_TAG(pd_sbs_e_1)/104-7681940-0836713?v=glance&s=electronics&n=172282

Offers a 128 MB drive for a very reasonable 49.99. The drive can hold everything from MP3 files to text documents. The drive is compatible with both PC and Mac and offers a handy keychain option for additional portability. Easy to use and a good value for the money.

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© Copyright 2003, Lori Soard

Lori Soard has a Ph.D. in Journalism and Creative Writing. Thousands of her articles and short stories have been published and several of her books. Her latest novel is Housebreaking A Husband, released by Thorndike/Five Star. You can visit Lori online at www.lorisoard.com

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