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#22773 - 12/24/03 05:09 PM Data back up

Here at work our little lab all got jumpdrives as our christmas stocking stuffer. They are 256mb usb data storage devices the size of a zippo lighter and can hang on your key chain.

From a survival or preparedness stand point they may seem useless, but I realized I have a lot of data I would like backed up on this thing. It wouldn't help me survive in the ocean but it would help me survive in a post disaster situation where everyone else is trying to recover data or mouring the loss of a server or tape drive in a fire. You can get them in one GB size. As long as you aren't saving movies or tons of pics you could get a ton of stuff on there. I have already copied my genealogy files to my Jumpdrive and will shortly move over some important emails and docs I want to save.

The uses are many! Excellent little stocking stuffer also!

#22774 - 12/24/03 10:40 PM Re: Data back up
Comanche7 Offline

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 435
Loc: Florida

Great idea, as you aptly noted, it is not a cure all for everything, but a 256 meg chip is MUCH SMALLER than the same storage space in 3.5" floppies. Not as much data space or as water proof as a CDROM or DVD though, on the other hand, the CD or DVD may be easier or potentially more likely to break.

Like many of our other kit components, this becomes a personal and subjective choice. I just acquired a 512M chip after having borrowed a 256M chip for several weeks. What a neat way of moving files. Just put it into the USB port of most PC's and it is autodetected and drivers are automatically located (some operating systems i.e. W98 will likely require a quick software download from the device manufacturer though).

IRRC there were other threads that discussed what type of files were best to carry. I think that the consensus (if it could be called that) was to have your critical files saved in several formats, i.e. Word file, Excel File and then the same file saved in Adobe *.pdf format.

Another key point that was also raised was regarding file security / encryption and access by whomever may wind up with the data files on whatever format they are stored in/on. This can be a bit of a headscratcher for sure.

Nonetheless, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Happy Holidays,

#22775 - 12/25/03 04:43 PM Re: Data back up
pvr4 Offline

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 41
Loc: Will County, IL
These USB key drives are more waterproof than you might think. I carry one all the time for my work. It has been through the wash a couple of times and still works like a charm.

#22776 - 12/27/03 06:25 AM Re: Data back up
Comanche7 Offline

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 435
Loc: Florida

Glad to hear that there is some real world experience regarding them getting wet. What brand do you have? I have the SanDisk 256M Mini Cruzer. After seeing your post, I went back and checked on the minimal information that it came with and could find nothing that referenced exposure to the elements. I'll go back and look at their website to see if there is more info there. Not that I would intentionally dunk it though, more along the line of peace of mind in case it catches a few raindrops.


#22777 - 12/27/03 11:57 PM Re: Data back up

I suspect that there are two dangers to be concerned with VS getting solid state electronics wet. First is corrosion of exposed wiring. Second would be shorting out the circuits. Given that the majority of the circuitry is within the chip and therefore not too exposed It is rather simple to just dry out the gadget before applying any current. As long as the gadget is dry when the current is applied then all will be well even if it got wet prior. OTOH, if there is any water present when the current is applied I would expect fatal damage to result. If your gadget has no on-board battery it will be fairly impervious to damage by dunking. there are no moving parts so you can knock it around a fair bit as well. but if you get it wet then it is imperative that you also get it dry. So if it goes in the laundry make sure it goes in the dryer as well.

#22778 - 12/28/03 01:25 AM Re: Data back up
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I think your idea is fine. One may also use compact flash cards - I occasionally tote data to and from work using a CF card from my digital camera - I have multiple card readers at work and at home. Similarly, either directly or indirectly, one may use SD/MMC cards (my Palm Pilot uses them and I also have a couple of readers for that format card)

As for water - fret not about fresh water. If it gets immersed, dry it out and use it. Salt water, OTOH... if there is power to the device, that would be bad. If your jump drive gets dunked in salt water, flush it out VERY well with fresh water (tap is OK) and dry it out before use. If you're really paranoid, follow a tap water flush with a final rinse of distilled water. I have NEVER had a solid-state disaster from freshwater dunks and in fact regularly use fresh water flushes on electronics that need cleaning up. I've even had the interesting experience a few times of seeing electronics gear accidentally immersed and continuing to run under water - fresh water, mind you!

If you're anticipating being around the ocean, I'd look for a water-proof container like a tiny Nalgene accessory bottle or something like that.

Bottom line is that I would be a more concerned about accidental zapping from static electricity (and that does not worry me) than I would be about inadvertent wetting or immersion. Water's just not that big of a deal.



#22779 - 12/28/03 03:39 AM Re: Data back up
pvr4 Offline

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 41
Loc: Will County, IL
Mine are 256 MB lexmarks. They go through both the washer and the drier, so I think they are pretty dry when I use them again.

#22780 - 12/28/03 08:58 AM how about this

What about a CD ROM the size of a credit card? Actual size 2.5'' x 3.5''. http://www.crmac.us/id135.html

#22781 - 12/28/03 11:50 AM Re: how about this
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1038
Loc: Germany
CDs that are not round tend to have unbalances. This is not exactly good for the drive. There are round disks in about the same size. They hold up to 210 MB of data. Iīd prefer those.
The advatage of the USB device or CF card is that you can update parts of the data without needing new media. These media are much more robust than CDs.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#22782 - 12/29/03 12:02 AM Re: Data back up
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
I have a 128M Lexar one. I backup data to cd-r and mini-cdr as well, but the 128m flash drive is good for things that change more often. I keep a copy of my calendar and address book on mine. Wrote a quick hotplug script to copy them over each time I plug it in. The software I use keep the calendar and address book in simple ical and vcard format so I can, as worst case, read them with a simple text editor if I I can't find a system with anything that can import. Starting to make spreadsheets of important and expensive things such as my electronics/computers and tools/gear with model numbers, serial numbers, dates purchased, warranty expiration date, etc. I keep the spreadsheet with links to scans of the receipts and manuals and burn that off on a cd every so often, but I am going to keep the spreadsheet on the usb drive for a quick reference.

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