USB drive

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USB drive

(1) An external hard disk drive or optical disc drive that plugs into the USB port. See portable hard drive.

(2) A solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that hold a terabyte or more of data, the solid state USB drive emulates a hard disk. USB drives are extremely popular for backup as well as data transfer from one machine to another. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Their ever-increasing storage capacities have all but obsoleted writable CDs and DVDs. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is also called a "flash drive" as well as many other monikers. Any combination of the words "USB," "flash," "key," "drive," "jump" and "stick" are used (see USB drive names).

Transfer Speed
USB drive vendors use the data transfer ratings of CD-ROMs, where each "x" equals 150KB per second. For example, a 90x drive is 13.5MB/sec (90 x 150). See CD-ROM drives and solid state.

Long-Term Marketing Mileage
Vendors give away custom-printed USB drives preloaded with promotional material, because people keep using them.

No Bigger Than the Plug
In 2010, Verbatim launched its Tuff-"N"-Tiny line, only two millimeters thick. Although the contacts are exposed (top left), the units are water and dust proof.

Steampunk Drives
A 19th century USB drive... of course. These drive cases are hand crafted. See steampunk. (Image courtesy of WillRockwell,

Fun and to the Point
Bevy makes devices that hold a user's photo collection, and this rather appropriate USB drive holds its promotional material.

One Terabyte USB Drive
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first 1TB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993 when floppy disks were widely used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent storage of 650,000 of them. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
The new ProStick[TM] gives players precision puck handling movements and all new controls intuitively mapped to the right thumb stick while the groundbreaking face-off system brings an unmatched level of depth and strategy with every drop of the puck.
While it lends itself to the game's realism, there's a steep learning curve for navigating among striking, clinching, wrestling and grappling, which relies on an odd octagon-shaped mini-game where quick flicks of the thumb sticks block submissions.
Every button is vital and the thumb sticks hold so much possibility and importance in passing and movement.
A few weeks ago he launched a website, which lists some 50 crooks, market sticks, knob sticks, thumb sticks and leg crooks.
His thumb sticks up over the waistband, as if he were looking to hitch a ride, the final touch.
Dual thumb sticks and buttons - Play all your favorite games with full gaming controls and dual analog thumbsticks
The D-pad and controller thumb sticks have also been redesigned, for better precision while playing.
It's amazing so much information can be kept on a few thumb sticks," she said.
The controls are fairly simple with Xbox thumb sticks controlling your movement and rolling manoeuvres.
The 18in1 kit includes five analog thumb sticks for enhanced gaming control when playing sports, racing, and driving games.
Featuring 12 fully analogue buttons, which offer 256 degrees of sensitivity, the Vibra Force(TM) controller has rubberized analog thumb sticks for better grip and control.