Remember making a mixtape for your secret crush and you just couldn’t fit that extra Air Supply song on it? If only USB storage technology was available back then, huh?
Okay, maybe you didn’t miss out on any dates because of clunky media storage (chalk that up to your retainer, perhaps) but I think we can all rejoice in the sleek, streamlined devices of the modern era. Granted I do get nostalgic about cassettes once in awhile, but I’m sure if I had the task of making a playlist with an old tapedeck, that nostalgia would pass real fast.
Which is why I want to take a minute to appreciate the premiere USB storage device–the flash drive–and some of the other devices it has replaced. Shoot down the road a few years from the cassette tape, and I’ll remind you of something you don’t miss.
The Floppy Disk
Sure, you might have a fond memory of searching for your favorite DOS game from the disk holder, but the loading times and finite storage would drive you crazy today. Plus, who decided to call it floppy? As if that instills buyer confidence. That’s like advertising breakfast cereal as soggy. Even with their upgrade in the 90s, I still prefer the sturdiness of a USB storage device.
Image: “Flash Drive v. Floppy” by Etineskid -Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The Compact Disc
Once hailed as the revolution in music and data storage, the CD had its drawbacks. A scratch usually rendered it useless. It couldn’t take a beating–heck it couldn’t even take a bouncing. Not to mention most CDs were a one-and-done situation, unable to rewrite. And the ones you could rewrite were a hassle. Ejecting trays and towering spindles of blanks–pass. I’ll opt for USB storage anyday. (And apparently so will Microsoft, if you read last week’s post.)
The External Hard Drive
Granted these are still around, but they aren’t the fossils they used to be. Personally, I still use one–a real monster that has its own power cord and hums like a refrigerator while it loads. All for 15 GBs. Modern USB storage is nearly limitless in its storage size while remaining compact and portable. I saw a 1 TB drive the other day about the size of a deck of cards. No cord. No hum.
USB Storage: The Modern Mixtape
Your days of nostalgia aren’t gone. With custom USB storage devices and personalized packaging options, you can still give your sweetie a mixtape. You can even make your flash drive dinosaur-shaped if you really wanted. But, most importantly: you can include every Air Supply song ever written.