Lexar JumpDrive

I love my JumpDrive.

Many people need to carry files from home to office. Floppy disks don’t hold enough, and zip drives break. (Zip drives break a lot! Don’t trust them with important data!) CD-RWs are a pain to use, and CD-Rs are cheap but not well suited to moving files back and forth frequently.

There’s a new device on the market that answers this need perfectly. There’s still some uncertainty about what to call it, but I see “USB drive” or “USB Flash Storage” used frequently. Imagine a device about the size of two quarters side by side, suitable for hanging on your keychain. When you plug it into a USB port on your computer, it’s instantly recognized as a drive, an F: or G: or H: drive, with 64Mb or 128Mb of space. On Windows XP or Windows 2000, no software is required – just plug it in and it’s ready to use in seconds. You can copy files to it, save files to it, drag and drop, just like any other drive.

I got the Lexar JumpDrive ( 64Mb for $52 icon, or 128Mb for $76 icon – and there’s $10 and $20 rebates if you look hard). There’s lots of other brands available. The local stores don’t know where to stock them yet, and their prices are too high. Buy them online.

There are three possible problems to consider:

There’s no security. If somebody steals it, they have access to your files.

These things are genuinely small. They’ll be easy to lose.

If your computer only has USB ports on the back of the CPU, it will be clumsy to plug it in, and you’re bound to forget to take it with you when you leave. (Buy a cheap add-on USB hub that sits on your desk.)

Those aren’t big problems, they’re small problems. These devices fill a genuine need for many people. Look into them!

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