We wouldn't describe today's USB thumb drives as portly, but if you're looking for a way to slim down your flash storage, you could try running over it with a steam roller. We suspect (no, we KNOW) this won't do you any good, so if you absolutely must have a flash drive that will fit in your wallet nestled next to your credit cards, TopTech may be your go-to company. The company today announces the "nationwide availability" of its Slim Data USB Card.
"The Slim Data USB Card, which is available in a variety of colors, enables users to conveniently store and carry digital photos, music, video clips, and other documents in their wallets keeping them available to share with friends or family whenever or wherever the need arises," TopTech Products said in a press release.
TopTech says its ultra slim flash drives weigh less than 9g. So far, capacities for the USB 2.0-capable drives are only offered in 1GB and 4GB flavors, with custom colors beyond the clear, gray, orange, red, and blue currently offered.
The Slim Data USB Card are available now through TopTech Product's website in 4GB form for $28.
Oh flash memory, you’re capable of such wonderful things. Thanks to your extremely compact size, you’ve made it possible for EagleTec to release the absolutely tiny flash drive, the EagleTec Nano.
The EagleTec Nano, which comes in two sizes (8GB and 4GB, running $33 and $22 respectively) are so small that they manage to make the nano receivers that come with today’s Logitech mice look big! Plus, it reads at 15MB/s and writes at 6MB/s. Not too shabby.
If you’re interested in grabbing one of these, you can find them here.
Does your car have a USB port? Kick that nasty smoking habit and it just might. By freeing up your car's cigarette lighter, you can then shove Belkin's Micro Auto Charger into the socket and charge your BlackBerry, iPod, or other USB devices.
The Micro Auto Charger comes with a single 1-amp USB "quick-charge port for fastest possible charge" and sits nearly flush with the dashboard, Belkin says. For a little more jingle (and a lot less svelte), Belkin also offers the Dual Auto Charger, which tosses an extra 500mA USB port and USB-to-mini-USB cable into the mix.
You'll have to wait until next month for the Micro Auto Charger, which will sell for $15, or $20 if you want Belkin to include a iPode/iPhone cable. Those interested in the Dual Auto Charger can pick one up now for $30.
Ever wonder what happens when you take a Jensen #75 and connect it to a lego Technic motor using a rubber band? Neither have we, but thanks to YouTuber twdunbar, we now know, and it's pretty damn cool. Using the parts just mentioned, twdunbar fashioned together a Steampunk-inspired USB charger for his iPod, but it can also be used for other devices.
"The motor is being driven and so it acts like a generator, which feeds into a voltage regulator circuit to give a continuous 5V to the iPod (or any USB device)," twdunbar wrote on his YouTube video page.
Check out the video here, and if you're into the whole Steampunk thing, drop these links into your browser:
Every so often, a product comes out that makes us take pause and wonder "why hasn't anyone thought of that before?" That's the case with Corsair's new Voyager Port portable backup solution for USB flash drives. In this case, the cost of flash memory probably prevented such a concept from being conceived prior to now, but with the memory market in its worst slump in 15 years, Corsair's timing might be just right.
"USB flash drives, such as Corsair’s shock- and water-resistant Flash Voyager drives, are smaller and far more durable than portable hard disk drives, which have moving parts that are vulnerable to shock," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing, Corsair, "And with 64GB Flash Voyagers now available, USB flash drives are ideal backup solutions."
Combined with the included NovaBackup 10 software, the Flash Voyagers turns any USB thumb drive -- Corsair brand or otherwise -- into a one-button backup and restore solution. Even with the memory market in a slump, it's still more cost effective to invest in a HDD-based backup solution, but we could see the Flash Voyager being used with netbooks and other general purpose PCs with modest storage.
Corsair says the Port Voyager is available now with an MSRP set at $35 and backed by a 10-year warranty.
You’ve got USB devices, and you’ve got a network. Sure, you can plug those printers, scanners and hard drives into a computer and let that machine share them, or you can use IOGEAR’s new ShareStation and allow anyone using your network access to them!
IOGEAR’s ShareStation comes in two flavors – first up is the four port Net ShareStation that allows anyone with a local connection to the hub access to anything that’s plugged into its ports.
The smaller version of the ShareStation is a two port USB Printer Auto Sharing Switch that’s being described as the “only automatic printer switch compatible with Macs and PCs.”
The four port version will run you $99.95, while the smaller cousin will cost $39.95. Both will be available later this month.
Built by Huawei Technologies, T-Mobile is gearing up to release the "webConnect USB Laptop Stick," a USB-based modem for notebooks to tap into the company's new 3G network. The stick will come with 8GB of internal storage and include a micro SD slot.
According to Jeremy Korst, T-Mobile's director of broadband products and services, the webConnect will provide download speeds of 600Kb/s and peak at over 1Mb/s.
"For the majority of customers, use cases around web browsing, social media, MySpace, checking email - all those typical things we see our customers doing more and more while on the go, the speeds we're providing now are more than sufficient to provide that customer experience," Korst said.
Nifty as the device is, price could end up being an deterrent. The webConnect carries an MSRP of $250, which can be partially offset with a service contract. A two-year contract drops the price down to $50, or $100 with a one-year contract.
The beauty of a Live CD is that it gives you a chance to access your computer or a batch of alternate applications without actually having to load up your operating system. You only need to pop the CD into your optical drive and boot it up from your BIOS -- this self-contained environment runs independent of anything that's located on your drive partitions, even though you can still perform a variety of tasks that manipulate the data on your drives.
For example, you can test our new Linux distributions using a Live CD, saving you the time and hassle of blanking an entire partition just to see if it's the right distribution for you. You can also manipulate the partitions of your drives using a Live CD, expanding and creating volumes to create alternate locations for new operating systems, files, or whatever it is you'd use a separate volume for. Live CDs are great for troubleshooting your system (or saving your data) when your primary operating system won't boot, and they can also be used to break through Windows installations that you've lost the password for.
All that functionality... and you don't even have to install a single program on your machine! Click the link to check out some of the best Live CDs that you should have sitting on your desk.
Here's one you don't see every day, and have probably never seen before: A man with an embedded USB drive in his prosthetic finger.
After being involved in a motorcycle accident last May, Jerry Jalava was half a finger short of having all five digits on his left hand. On the advice of his doctor, who learned that Jalava was "a hacker," Jalava opted to have a USB drive attached to the fingertip of his prosthetic finger, instantly earning himself several hundred geek cred points. And if that weren't enough, Jalava earns a geek merit badge for carrying around a Billix Linux distro and the Freddy Got Fingered movie on his USB key.
On his blog, Jalava clarified that the prosthetic finger is removable, allowing him to detach and "just leave my finger inside the slot" until he's finished.
Gadget lovers have a device for everything. We often have 15 different ways to check the weather, 10 for email, and at least 5 with built in cameras. What we don’t have is an unlimited supply of USB ports, and we often struggle to keep our army of doohickey’s charged and ready to go. This can become an even bigger challenge when we’re on the road.
That's why we were so enthusiastic when we stumbled across the Super Travel A/C USB Wall Charger. This $25 adapter can power up to 5 devices at once with the 4 built in female ports, and sports an additional 5 pin male connector for smartphones. I just ordered one for myself, and devices like these remind us why we here at Maximum PC are such big fans of devices that charge via USB.