USB Flash Drives are normal devices today, but not such a long time ago the word “flash drive” had never been heard, until you were associating the term with a Ferrari. So where did the brand new 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. Actually, 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 in the marketplace, 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 expenses, nor did many computer users have the need to save and transfer large amounts of memory, unlike today. Zip disks and Jaz drives eventually died out within just a few years of production, they were also bulky and accordingly the Jaz disk broke without difficulty.

CD Roms had also entered the marketplace, but 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, or even more, than floppy disks. These convenient new writable CD’s were affordable, compact, held a substantial amount of data and took up little storage space.

By 2000, the demand for transferring large amounts of data increased dramatically, within a 12 months large portable storage disks were necessary to not only companies, but also for personal computer users as well. This is primarily as a result of introduction of digital camera models, camcorders and downloaded audio recordings (very popular with internet users). People were now storing, collecting and transferring digital information far more than ever before. Computers were also becoming exceptionally affordable due to lower technology costs in addition to the demand and desire to have internet use. By early 2000, a huge percentage of households, if not most, would have a computer.

As many folks have unfortunately experienced, computers have a life span. They are able to become painstakingly slow, annoyingly crash and also die very inconvenient deaths. People were now needing to back up their systems regularly (and still do) in worries of losing almost 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 storage space, it was however essential to back up their important data in order to avoid future problems.

Because of this, nearly every computer was manufactured with the technology to read 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 reasons as to why floppy disks soon became redundant are no real surprise. The average floppy disk held a mere 1.44MB of memory which is tiny considering that nowadays a single image taken on a digital camera usually exceeds this amount. custom usb flash drive Rewritable DVDs were cheap and may hold 4.7GB of data, it could have a staggering 3263 floppy disks to achieve this. CDs could hold an average 650MB, this would mean 444 floppy disks. These comparative figures still amaze me today.

Around the year 2000, one of the latest things connected with computers (other than the internet) was the revolutionary USB “Universal Serial Bus”. Replacing famous brands most SCSI connection ports used to connect printers along with other peripherals etc. USB ports were cutting edge. You didn’t have to be an expert to put your personal computer together, you simply 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 as they could be operated from any available USB port.

You could 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 mobile phones and MP3 players via USB, whilst working away on the computers. Nowadays, you can find USB ports not only on computers but additionally televisions, DVD players, audio players and also some car dashboards.

OK, so I’ve emphasized on what 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, is also known as memory stick, thumb drive and jump drive. This is a pocket sized device that is traditionally the size of a regular lighter and capable 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 even the tiniest memory sizes were quite expensive.

USB Flash Drives were however highly desirable since they could be connected to any USB port with no need of a specific drive to read them. They were also robust, some can in fact withstand getting wet and continue steadily to work as 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, they were easy to carry and had decent read and write speeds, many flash memory providers even declare 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 a growing number of affordable as years and even months have gone by. A 2GB flash drive is plenty of storage for many users but trends are showing that 4GB and 8GB drives are fast becoming more popular, this is to do with lower pricing trends and the demand for more storage space as the digital revolution is growing. USB Flash Drives aren’t just popular formats for data storage, also, they are just about the most popular promotional gifts in the promotional gift market.

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