Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

#4590 in the category "Things I Needed Long Ago"

Stocking stuffers just get cooler the older you get. I remember I used to get all atwitter between the ages of 9 & 12 when I saw Star Wars action figures poking out of the stocking top. Of course, had I a bit of foresight, I would have asked my parents to leave them in the package and then never played with them, all in anticipation of eBay and the techno-weenie dollars that got tossed around in the late '90s before the dot com bust.

I was quite pleased this year to acquire a USB "keydrive" (also known as a keychain drive, pen drive, pocket drive, thumb drive, jump drive, USB flash drive, etc.) as part of my growing array of tech gear.

The biggest hassle I run into from being a Mac guy in a PC world (other than the unwashed masses that persist on using an inferior and buggy operating system from Bill Gates's Evil Empire, then insisting I'M the one out of step with reality... but that's a tale for later) is the trouble transporting data around from one computer to another. Broadband has made that a bit easier, but it's not always available, especially when going between a secure network at the office and your home computer. I used to use an old Syquest EZ drive, but with the drive, power supply and a colletion of cartridges, that was a pain in the ass to haul about. Plus, it was a rare PC that had a SCSI card installed, as they preferred the older, slower parallel ports for some idjit reason. Eh? What's that? Cheaper, you say? OK, you saved $15. Now you get to diagnose IRQ conflicts and "Device Not Found" errors. Oh, yeah, BIG savings there...

CD-ROMs made things a bit easier, but it's mostly a one-way trip. See, my Macs have been able to read a DOS-formatted disk for at least 15 years now. Floppy, CD-ROM, Zip Drive, didn't matter. Stick it in the slot, and the icon popped up on the screen. Not so in reverse. As far as I know, you still can't read a Mac-formatted disk on any PC. Oh, yeah, THAT'S a superior system...

OK, rant off.

The USB drive works like a charm on anything I've plugged it in to. It's not all that quick to upload or download, but packing the storage equivalent of 5.5 foot tall stack of floppies in a gizmo the size of a mini-Bic cigarette lighter is pretty darned cool in my book.

This one's a 512 MB JumpDrive Sport from Lexar. They apparently make these in sizes up to 2 GB, but they get pretty spendy in that capacity range. I've been shuttling .mp3's to work the past few days, and I can usually get 175+ crammed into the little flash drive. Yay! Music at work other than in the elevator!

I also brought up a bunch of digital photos, so I can have something on my desktop other than the Windoze default backgrounds. Damn, how stuck in the 90's are they? Still insisting on .bmp files unless you turn on Active Desktop? Hehehe, what a joke. Oh, sorry. I forgot rant mode was off!

Go pick one up! They're pretty handy, hang on your keychain and make trading porn with your buddies carrying music, spreadsheets and documents much easier!