Jan 23 2012

USB Drives That Make You Jump Drive For Joy!

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In the Stone Age of computers and digital storage, there were little “floppy disks” that promised holding an entire megabyte of space… although it was really only 978 kilobytes. AOL would send these little plastic disks to every household each and every month, hoping computer users would sign up for that now antiquated and laughable hook up to the internet. They made great drink coasters or building blocks for the kids.

Syquest made these huge, lumbering disks that held 70 megabytes but if they got bumped or shaken like an Etch-a-Sketch, the information would be lost. They were bloody expensive and environmentally hazardous with their hideous plastic cases that matched VCR tape covers for flimsy ugliness.

The Zip disk was a boon to storage with a huge 100 megabytes of storage and computers started including Zip drives along side the slots for the floppy disks. It was heaven! When the Jazz drive was introduced with a gigabyte of storage, orgasms flooded over the digital industry.

And so, eventually the CD-ROM… with external readers/burners, were introduced and the dinosaurs died out and fire was discovered. The Iron Age brought the  multi-gigabyte DVD and the rest is history.

What’s New?

I’ll never forget my first USB drive. I bought a set of four that looked like little medicine pills and held a whopping 256 megabytes each! How would I ever fill that much space? I could hook one or more to my key ring and take them anywhere I wanted to go! I could go on vacation and take my entire hard drive with me if I needed to use a computer wherever I landed. My laptop was the size of a cinder block and weighed twice as much… and was top of the line but there were no USB ports.

I was just given a crappy 8MB USB drive by a local Chinese restaurant I frequent several times a week. It has a dragon and the name and number of the restaurant printed on it. I threw it in the box of several dozen drives I have by my desk. The good drives have a shelf and a place of honor in my studio.

We all love gadgets and fun toys, so why not enjoy both? Can’t get enough Star Wars in your life? Well, that’s your personal problem but you can keep your C3PO from having his memory wiped with a handy USB Drive all your own! From donuts to sushi, from thumb-shaped thumb drives to Simpsons figures, you can take the fun with you.

Showcase of USB Drives

The force is with you and a dozen or so manufacturers with all the Star Wars drives out there. If you’re a fan of the Lucas trilogy of great films… and three Jar-Jarring bad ones, then you’ll Obi-want one of these!

Maybe you still want storage space… the final frontier but only want to embarrass yourself with one of these Star Trek rank badges with a secret drive. Pretty sure there are also figures of your favorite character available. Right now, guessing George Takei is ripping the head off a Captain Kirk drive – not to store files – just because Shatner treated him like crap!

A fan of steam punk? Well, get with reality because the Victorian Age didn’t have brass and copper jet packs! But if you truly insist on living in a dream world, then these cool drives will keep you happy at work while coworkers snicker behind your spats-wearing, woolen outfits.

Lots of files you want to keep with you? Then “Back Up To The Future” with your own Delorean drive. Marty and Doc not included.

If ninjas are invisible, then you’ll never find these colorful rubber drives on your desk or in your messenger bag. Still they’re just too cool not to buy!

Domo arigato Mr. storage roboto! It will compute if you love these mechanical men with the ability to carry your deep, dark secrets.

It was only a matter of time before the Swiss Army Knife had a jump drive in the place of a blade. Yet another needed piece of survival gear when surviving in the wilderness – like the tweezers for eyebrow plucking and the toothpick for cleaning corn nibblets from between the enemy’s teeth.

If carrying a USB drive on your keychain is just too… “techy” for you, then go for the “Bling” drive. Watches, necklaces, glasses, lighters and more. Bling is the king-thing when you’ve got storage bore-age!

There’s so many food-item drives on the market, we just couldn’t stomach including them all. Pies, cookies, cakes, candy, donuts, and… yuck… vegetables and fruit. Guess your choice depends on your taste!?

Stupor hero is how you’ll feel when you’re trying to decide on one of the hundreds of drives available. You’ll just marvel at the amount on the market. The choices will drive you batty! Almost as much as these horrible puns.

Transform your files into these cool Transformer drives. You’ll be Optimus-Primed and ready for business with this ultra-nerdy collection that offers storage and play value, too!

While Betty Boop’s severed head is a bit creepy, “I pity da fool!” who could pass up a Mr. T doing sit ups when plugged it (plugged into a tower, he’ll keep bonking his head against the computer!) or dogs that hump your laptop. And when it comes to thumb drives, why not have an actual thumb?

Choose your weapon and protect your files with these killer drives. Probably not the best choice when traveling on any major airline or entering government buildings… or in an office… or public.

Here’s another cool but dangerous drive made by a studio as a promotional piece. It’s “da bomb!” I only hope there’s contact info printed on the back.

Creating your own USB drive is easy with a little imagination and hot glue. This one certainly has a touching sentimentality for the files and digits you want to keep at your fingertips!

Aside from my favorite Chinese restaurant, lots of promotional drives are being given out all over the place. Even business cards now have built in USB drives (great for loading samples of your work in slideshow format!). Think of some cool ideas for your business and what drive you would create.

If you have a huge mailing list, there are manufacturers with pre-designed drives for promotional pieces and they will print your logo and info, too! Just Google “USB Drive” and you’ll find sources for promotional drives.

Once you have a numerous collection of drives, you’ll need more USB ports then your computer provides, That’s when it’s time to think of a USB hub. Here are a few cool ones on the market – minus the bad puns!

(rb)

About the Author

Speider Schneider is a former member of The Usual Gang of Idiots at MAD Magazine, “among other professional embarrassments and failures.” He currently writes for local newspapers, blogs and other web content and has designed products for Disney/Pixar, Warner Bros., Harley-Davidson, ESPN, Mattel, DC and Marvel Comics, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon among other notable companies. Speider is a former member of the board for the Graphic Artists Guild, co-chair of the GAG Professional Practices Committee and a former board member of the Society of Illustrators. He also continues to speak at art schools across the United States on business and professional practices. Follow him on Twitter @speider.

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Comments and Discussions
  • So freakin’ cool =D
    The Darth Vader and StormTrooper ones are hilarious

  • Gizmo4444, 23 January 2012

    the one with the pigs is brilliant :oD

  • SteGweb, 23 January 2012

    Beautiful! The Ninja and pigs, however, are the best!

  • Vadim, 23 January 2012

    Nice collection.We make cool custom drives for a living.

    • Speider, 23 January 2012

      I didn’t want to spotlight any specific company (because it wouldn’t be fair to other firms), but there are some very cool drives you’ve created!

  • Theo, 23 January 2012

    Some weird usb drives in this collection :) Love the Ninjas!

  • cre8ivetype, 23 January 2012

    what a fun article … and great selection of pics!
    perfect to read on a cold, rainy, gray day to lift the spirits … thanks, speider!

  • Kelly, 24 January 2012

    I absolutely love this! I am obsessed with USB drives… and Star Wars!

  • Danny, 24 January 2012

    SyQuest drives were 44mb and later 230mb.

    • Speider, 24 January 2012

      Thanks! Who can remember the details from before the Bronze Age? ;)

  • mike, 24 January 2012

    Who makes the “Mr storage roboto” ones? Can’t seem to really find them…

    • Speider, 24 January 2012

      Google images for “robot usb drives” and you’ll get a ton of choices!

  • gopalb123, 24 January 2012

    Excellent collection…thanks Speider

  • McGoo79, 24 January 2012

    Anyone want a ninja flashdrive that looks like it’s dropping a deuce inside your machine? Me either. Yeah, alright, I do. ;)

  • Helder, 24 January 2012

    Coooool. Where can I by them?

  • USB Memory Direct, 25 January 2012

    Awesome round up of USBs, we actually sell nearly all of these and if we don’t have them we often create custom ones for our clients.

  • Kim Fox, 26 January 2012

    Huge fan of the Police in a Box One!!! Just might have to buy that!

  • KansasBard, 27 January 2012

    Nice collection, but your readers are likely to want to know where they can buy them. Links to each model (or at least the original website) would have been a nice addition to this article. Not to mention the commission you could be making if you could point to them on an affiliate website.

    • Speider, 30 January 2012

      Normally I would, but the mixture of images made it impossible to list each one without taking up column space. As mentioned in a reply above, just Google image “USB drives” and they will all come up with links to the sites that sell them.

  • Speider, 30 January 2012

    If you liked these products, wait for the upcoming article, “Products that help you survive office life.” Hilarious, helpful and filled with all sorts of fun and useful stuff (with links!).

  • shiva, 30 January 2012

    very nice round with usbs

  • jameel khan, 31 January 2012

    Coooool.

  • Dave, 04 May 2012

    Love them all! Some are really impressive… Pigs is genius!

    I find USBs very good presents indeed. Last year I’ve given 3 USB flash drives to relatives and they all loved it (surprisingly cause I thought would be too geeky). But as you know think standard USBs are pretty boring so I was able to find a few cool models – found on http://www.MemorySticks.ie – for my uncle (who’s a dentist) and my niece (who loves shopping) for example…

  • GTInitiatve, 18 September 2013

    Very nice :) Do you know who distribute those items in UK? I am interested to fide a wholesalers. Many thanks for help!

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