USB Flash Drives are normal devices today, but not so long ago the term “flash drive” had never been heard, until you were associating the word with a Ferrari. So where did the revolutionary USB Flash Drive derive? Well, set your brain back to 1995, it doesn’t seem so long ago. Contrary to popular belief, most computer users were still regularly using floppy disks to transfer their digital data. In fact, practically all computers had integrated floppy disk drives because floppy disks were by far the most popular, practical and cheapest format for portable storage.

Also in those days, Zip disks and Jaz disks (both manufactured by Iomega) came available, but they were quite expensive. Zip disks could hold 100MB / 250MB of data, there were even 750MB disks around. Jaz disks offered 1GB capacity and later 2GB, however the high(ish) price for both formats meant many computer users couldn’t justify the costs, nor did many computer users have the need to save and transfer huge amounts of memory, unlike today. Zip disks and Jaz drives eventually died out within just a couple of years of production, they were also bulky and accordingly the Jaz disk broke quite easily.

CD Roms had also entered the marketplace, however they weren’t as popular for recording as the technology remained in its first stages. It wasn’t before late 90’s that CD rewriting appeared on many, or even most, new computers. By the entire year 2000, rewritable CD’s had fast become as popular, if not more, than floppy disks. These convenient new writable CD’s were affordable, compact, held a large amount of data and used little storage space.

By 2000, the demand for transferring huge amounts of data increased dramatically, within a year or so large portable storage disks were essential to not only companies, but also for personal computer users aswell. This is primarily due to the introduction of digital cameras, camcorders and downloaded audio recordings (very popular with internet users). People were now storing, collecting and transferring digital information far more than previously. Computers were also becoming exceptionally affordable due to lower technology costs plus the demand and desire to have internet use. By early 2000, an enormous percentage of households, or even most, would have some type of computer.

As many of us have unfortunately experienced, computers have a life span. They are able to become painstakingly slow, annoyingly crash and even die very inconvenient deaths. People were now needing to back up their systems regularly (and still do) in the fear of losing all their stored data. Businesses were also starting to go paperless, their information was now being held on personal computers. This saved companies time, resources and space for storage, it was however essential to back up their important data in order to avoid future problems.

custom usb flash drive Because of this, nearly every computer was manufactured with the technology to learn and write to CDs and very soon after DVD rewritable disks took over. Large data storage and transfer ability was now a necessity more than a luxury. The reason why as to why floppy disks soon became redundant are no real surprise. The average floppy disk held only 1.44MB of memory which is tiny considering that nowadays an individual image taken on a digital camera usually exceeds this amount. Rewritable DVDs were cheap and may hold 4.7GB of data, it would have a staggering 3263 floppy disks to achieve this. CDs could hold the average 650MB, this would mean 444 floppy disks. These comparative figures still amaze me today.

Around the year 2000, one of the latest things associated with computers (other than the internet) was the brand new USB “Universal Serial Bus”. Replacing the likes of most SCSI connection ports used to connect printers along with other peripherals etc. USB ports were ground breaking. You didn’t ought to be an expert to put your personal computer together, you merely plugged the USB connector cable into the port and another end of the cable into your device and off you went. No more was it essential to have a specific entry for your printer, mouse or keyboard because they could possibly be operated from any available USB port.

You can even plug in your camera and instantly access your photos via USB connection. Many USB devices didn’t even need an electrical power source or battery, low power could actually be supplied to these devices simply by connecting the it to the port. Today people regularly charge their cell phones and MP3 players via USB, whilst working away on their computers. Nowadays, you can find USB ports not merely on computers but additionally televisions, DVD players, audio players and also some car dashboards.

OK, so I’ve emphasized on how great USB “Universal Serial Bus” is and why the demand for portable storage has dramatically increased, but let’s focus this topic. A USB Flash Drive, can be referred to as memory stick, thumb drive and jump drive. This is a pocket sized device that is traditionally the size of a normal lighter and with the capacity of carrying HUGE amounts of digital data (some can store a massive 256GB). In the first days (2002) USB Flash Drives weren’t cheap and also the smallest memory sizes were very costly.

USB Flash Drives were however highly desirable since they could be plugged into any USB port without the need of a specific drive to read them. They were also robust, some can in fact withstand getting wet and continue to are good as new once dried (do not try this even though I have and it did really work when dry). Not merely were USB Flash Drives convenient and robust, these were convenient to carry and had decent read and write speeds, many flash memory providers even claim that USB Flash Drives can be utilized over 1 million times.

Currently the most popular memory size for a Flash Drive is 2GB, however NAND Flash Memory is becoming progressively more affordable as years and also months have gone by. A 2GB flash drive is enough of storage for many users but trends are showing that 4GB and 8GB drives are fast more popular, this is to do with lower pricing trends and the demand for more space for storage as the digital revolution is growing. USB Flash Drives aren’t just popular formats for data storage, they are also the most popular promotional gifts in the promotional gift market.

Due low unit prices USB Drives make fantastic promotional items for most reasons. They are often effectively branded with company logos and information, Pantone color matched and uploaded with promotional material. They can also be stated in unique shapes for hardly any cost. The products are always well received, appreciated and retain a higher end value. What better way to expose your company logo every day? You may also attach them to your key ring!

You Should Know About The USB Flash Drive – A Portable Storage Revolution