• Windows 98/98se (with Device Driver)
• Windows ME, 2000, XP and CE without Device Driver
• Linux Kernal v2.4 or above without Driver
• MacOS 9.x, 10.x without Driver
• Over 7mb/sec (Read) : 5mb/sec (Write)
• Supports HighSpeed (480mbps)
• Password Utility programme with auto-popup feature
• Media Format programme with multi-function
• Built-in Error-Correction Code function
• Powered by the USB bus
• User Security Feature using Password
• Write/Delete Protection switch
• LED indicators for power/transfer-in-progress
• Operating Temp: 0 - 85 degrees Celsius
• Shock Tolerance: 2000G (Maximum)
• Altitude: 80,000ft above sea level
• Noise: 0db
• Data Retention: up to 10 years
• Reprogramming cycles: 300,000 cycles
• Mean Time Between Failures: 500,000+ hours
I was wandering through a local Countdown Supermarket of all places, when I spotted this. I did a double-take because not only did I not expect to find PC hardware in a supermarket, but 128mb USB storage for $30 struck me as a pricing error! But no, it was honest to goodness for real, so I bought one to keep on my keyring as an 'emergency storage' in case I left my usual pendrive at home.
I got it home, plugged it in to the PC and sure enough a few seconds later it was ready to use. Nice. Very nice. I tested the transfer speeds under USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 and found it to be a fair bit slower than I expected. At this point I decided to have a good detailed read of the specs listed on the back of the box. And this is where it started to turn to clotted custard.
Firstly, the transfer rates listed are NOT realistic, however it was reasonable so there was no real hassle there... it's still heaps faster than burning a CD or dumping to a ZIP disk. As I read on, I realised there should have been a CD or diskette with the unit... for there was no data on the pendrive to start with, so where were these utility programmes they mentioned?
And where's this Data Protection Switch? I could detect no switches to prevent accidental data loss at all. The LEDs are there, as I found out almost 2 weeks later. They are hidden under the dark plastic base where the string attaches (On the left end, in the picture above), but they are only visible if you can see the endcap, which I couldn't on my home machine. No gripes on that score, but be aware of that fact if seeing evidence of power-up and/or data movement is important to you.
I decided to contact the Product Support detailed on the sticker on the back of the box. I dialed up and discovered that this unit is handled in NZ by PBtech in Auckland. Punching in the extension number so helpfully provided on the sticker, I ended up speaking to the answerphone of the product manager. I left a message, expecting to hear back within a reasonable amount of time. 2 days later, I rang again, and spoke once more to the helpful answerphone. At least IT was doing it's job.
3 WEEKS later, still no return call. So, one more time... only to discover he was away that day. Left a message, and added that I was reviewing the product for the site. Surprise and joy! The next day I get a call back! Alas, I was in a meeting at the time, so the gentleman left me a message. I returned the call... and spoke ONCE AGAIN to the answerphone.
Overall, this is quite a nifty little unit... but you must keep in the back of your mind that even the plug in mostly plastic, so the chips might handle a 2000G shock, but I'll bet apples to gold that the casing will shatter under much less impact-stress than that. However, should anything go wrong, you'd be better off just hurling it in the bin, since Product Support is almost non-existant... well, never in the office anyway.
Random listing from 'Computer Hardware'...
An innovative way to store, share and transport data. Compact and sleek. Store 'n' Go ™ USB Drive is a stylish way to take your data with you. Store everything from corporate data files and business presentations to photos, video clips and music, all readily accessible on any computer with a USB ... more...
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Philip K. Dick