101 Ways to Us e a Flas h DriveWell, maybe not 101, but quite a few... A Presentation by Joel May
The working memory in flash drivesis called “flash memory,” inventedby Toshiba in 1980 and availablecommercially since 1988.
Flas h Memory• Flash memory is a form of non-volatile computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.• Flash memory offers faster read access times and better kinetic shock resistance than hard disks.
Flas h Memory• Flash memory generally costs less than other forms of non-volatile memory and therefore has become the dominant technology wherever a significant amount of non-volatile, solid-state storage is needed.• Flash memory is also much smaller and lighter than other forms of non-volatile memory.
Flas h Memory• Another allure of flash memory is that, when packaged in a memory card or flash drive, it is nearly indestructible by ordinary physical means, being able to withstand intense pressure and heat.
Flas h Memory• There are many manufacturers of flash memory devices and almost as many shapes, sizes and capacities.• Examples of applications include digital audio players, digital cameras, GPS devices and cell phones.
Flas h Memory• Flash memory can be accessed by the device in which it is contained – Displaying pictures on a digital camera – Playing music on a MP3 player or iPod – Displaying maps in a GPS device – Playing saved messages or downloading ringtones on a cell phone
Flas h Memory• Flash memory can also be accessed by a desktop or laptop computer or by a printer• Directly, by connecting the device containing the flash memory to a computer or printer using a USB connection• Or indirectly, via...
Flas h Memory A card readerbuilt into a desktop computer
Flas h Memory A card readerbuilt into a photo printer
Flas h Memory A free- standing card reader thatconnectsvia a USB cable
Flas h Memory But the really important thing to remember isA ll Flas h Memory Devices are the S ame Ins ideWhether they be:• MP3 Players • Secure Digital Cards• Compact Flash Cards • Smart Media Cards• Memory Sticks • Flash or Thumb Drives • or whatever
Flas h Memory• Among other things, this means you can: – Take a bunch of pictures with your digital camera – Remove the memory card from your camera and put it in your pocket – Come over to my apartment – Plug the memory card into my computer – Show me the pictures
Flas h Memory• Among other things, this means you can: – Show up at my apartment with your mp3 player – See a new program on my computer of which you’d like to have a copy – Copy the installation software from my computer to your mp3 player – Return home and copy the software from your mp3 player to your hard drive – Install it on your computer
US B Flas h Drives• Flash memory is widely used in USB flash drives (also called thumb drives, jump drives, pocket drives, handy drives, stick drives, etc).• Flash drives first became commercially available in 2000.
US B Flas h Drives• USB flash drives are compact and easy-to-use devices that are similar in function to a computer hard drive• USB flash drives slip into your pocket, on a lanyard around your neck or on a keychain for ultimate portable storage
US B Flas h Drives• A flash drive consists of a small printed circuit board encased in a robust plastic or metal casing• Only the USB connector protrudes from this protection, and is usually retractable or covered by a removable cap• Flash drives use a standard type-A USB connection allowing them to be connected directly to a port of a personal computer
US B Flas h Drives• To access the data stored in a flash drive, the drive must be connected to the computers USB port• Flash drives are active only when powered by a USB computer connection, and require no other external power source or battery power source• They are powered using the limited supply afforded by the USB connection.
US B Flas h Drives• Currently, memory capacity ranges from 4GB up to 256GB, limited only by flash memory densities• USB Flash Drives are relatively inexpensive although cost per megabyte increases rapidly at higher capacities due to the expensive components
US B Flas h Drives• Based on a recent price check, flash drives were available in retail stores and online at $5 for 4GB, $11 for 16GB, and $65 for 64GB (or about $1 per GB)• A 128GB drive could be had for about $230 and a 256GB version was priced around $700
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Personal Data TransportThey can be used for transporting personal files (just like floppies, but a lot more capacious) - Data You can also use - Music specialized flash drives - Pictures to store medical alert - Video information - And More
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Personal Data Transport• Trek With Books, Not a Backache - Carry your e-books from iBooks, Kindel or Nook with you on your flash drive. – load up your flash drive with some of the thousands of free e-books (in text format) available from Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org)
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Personal Data TransportTunes to Go: - Many companies make small flash memory based audio players, essentially flash drives with sound output and a simple user interface. - If youre in your car, with the right hardware you can play the tunes right from the flash drive too— no software required
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Secure Storage of Files• With Flash Drives being used in various environments (safe or otherwise), security of the information is important.• Strong passwords, file locking or on-the-fly encryption is highly recommended.• A program like lockdir.exe ($24.95) is useful in this respect.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Application Carriers• Flash drives can be used to carry applicationsthat run on any host computer without requiringinstallation.• The great advantage of this is that when theflash drive is removed from the host computer,nothing from the host can modify the data on theflash drive AND vice versa.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Application Carriers• Some examples are: - U3 (www.u3applications.com/categories/all) - Portable Apps (portableapps.com/apps) - Ceedo (www.ceedo.com/products/ceedo- personal.html)
A pplication C arriers• With flash drive based applications, you can: – Plug your flash drive into the USB port of any computer anywhere – a friend’s house, an Internet Café, a hotel business center, an office – anywhere, and see your own familiar desktop, programs, and data, – Run a portable browser to surf the Web or a portable e-mail client to pick up email, – Put the final touches on your document or slide show presentation with Writer or Impress, – Play your favorite music or watch videos.
A pplication C arriersThen:• Remove the UTD at the end of the session andno record of your session or anything elsepersonal remains on the host computer. . .• And nothing from the host computer is retainedon your flash drive.
PortableApps AntiVirus Package Browser Instant Messaging Microsoft Office Substitute Math Game Calendar Email
PortableA pps• And many more: portableapps.com/apps
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Booting Operating Systems•It is possible to create a bootable Windows (or Linux)operating system on a flash drive and use it to boot upon a host computer.• Windows 8 (due out in October 2012) is planned tohave a feature called “Windows to Go” which will allowusers to carry a bootable copy of Windows 8, alongwith their programs and documents, on a USB flashdrive.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Augment System MemoryWindows Vista and Windows 7 have a “Ready Boost”feature that allows flash drives 4GB and larger to actas additional RAM in your computer, speeding upoperations.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Other Stuff• ID and security systems• Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE)• Music marketing• Arcade game memory• Brand and product promotion
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Backup Your Data• In my view, this is the most important use of aflash drive.• The characteristics of a good backup are: - Easy and convenient to create - Easy to access when needed - Physically located in a different location than your computer
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Backup Your Data• In the past, the safest way to create a goodbackup was to copy your data to a removablemedium (CD, DVD, external hard drive),• Then secure that medium in a location differentfrom that of the computer (safe deposit box,home of a friend, etc.).• That approach was effective but somewhatinconvenient.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Backup Your Data• If you use a flash drive on your key chain asyour backup medium: - You will always have it with you - If you need to evacuate your home in the event of a tornado, fire, or flood, you’ll take your backup with you
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Backup Your Data• If you use a flash drive on your key chain asyour backup medium: - If you need to restore defective files on your computer, the backup is conveniently available - When you sit down a someone else’s computer, you’ll always have all your files with you.
S ome Things You can Do With a US B Flas h Drive Backup Your Data• A great tool to use to back up your hard drive to a flashdrive is Sync Toy 2.1 from Microsoft:www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=15155• It compares the data on the source hard drive and thaton the flash drive on a file-by-file basis and makes themidentical; deleting, creating or modifying files on the flashdrive to correspond to those on the hard drive and viceversa, always using the most recent version of the file(s).
S ummaryThanks to flash drive technology, we are reaching the point where we can finally fulfill the real promise of the digital age:C omplete freedom and mobility
The E ndThis presentation is available for viewing at www.joelmay.org/presentions