- Memory Stick or
- Thumb Drive or
- USB Drive or
- USB Flash Memory or
- Flash Memory Stick or Drive or ARGGGG!!!!
I’m in a strange position, I think, in that the invention of these little works of memory wonder changed my life. Not possible you say? Allow me to elaborate. My job requires an awful lot of file shuffling. Digitally speaking. If you want to stand up on stage and give a professional talk, you do not want to be futzing around with a laptop and cables while a thousand people are waiting. No, you give your presentation file (usually PowerPoint) to me and I run it for you. You and I communicate via a tiny little remote control device in your hand. And don’t worry, I got your back, if you are nervous and your hand slips, I wont let you advance too fast. If you have problems with using a remote because your brain is all wrapped up around what you are talking about, I’ll be paying attention and I can just advance for you. Basically my job is to make you look good.
Anyway, prior to thumb-memory-stick-flash-drives-thingies, the only way to get me a file was to either email it to me (not common – the email was a lot slower back then and stingier with big files) or to burn it on to a CD. The idea of using a CD to move one file seemed so wasteful, that most of the time, this file transferring would only happen once, sometimes days before your talk. All of this meant that I was the official keeper of your slides. If you wanted to make a change you had to come to me. That is no longer true. Now you can keep making changes until the moment before you walk up on stage. Just toss me the little flashy-sticky-doodad, and I get it up and running on my laptop – as quick as I can.
And here is the point of this rant:. When I need to get that file on to my computer fast, the size and shape of the drive-stick-thumb can make all the difference in the world. Seconds count. I have two USB slots on one side of the laptop, and two on the other. When there is only one free, a badly shaped USB-drive-flash means I have to unplug something. Your over-sized, but visually adorable whatever is going to slow me down.
So next time you are in the market for USB drives, just remember, what looks ‘cute’ right now might have me screaming in frustration when I have to actually use the darn thing!