Compact Flash Memory 101
Pretty much this entire site is my way of passing along Compact Flash Memory 101. At least, as much of it as I’ve learned. The first thing you’ll learn about flash memory from this web center is that it goes by many aliases, such as pen drive, keychain memory, memory stick, memory key, and portable hard drive.
Compact Flash Memory Benefits
There are many, many benefits to investing in a flash memory center. No course in Compact Flash Memory 101 would be complete without going over these benefits in detail, as I’ll try to do. For starters, flash memory sticks represent a giant leap ahead in convenience over floppy disks, and even zip drives.
Flash memory sticks are small, and therefore incredibly portable. They’re also far more durable than your average floppy or zip disk. They require no additional software, plugs, or wires to make them work, and simply plug into the center of your computer’s USB drive.
Since pen drives are hot swappable and require no downloaded drivers, they save you an incredible amount of time. Plug a flash memory center into your USB port, and it will be instantly recognized. You’re ready to go with a pen drive in no time at all. Honestly, these drives are so convenient that even a little taste of Compact Flash Memory 101 is likely to make you want to change over to flash memory drives right away.
Okay, I used to get very confused about the difference between the Easy Disk, or the EZ hard drive, and the pen drive. But the reality is that they’re all variations on the same thing. They’re all flash memory centers, but the Easy Disk doesn’t necessarily have the same stick shape you’ll find on a pen drive.
An Easy Disk is simply a portable hard drive. It uses flash memory as the center of its storage capacity. No matter what its shape, the Easy Disk is compact, lightweight, durable and simple to use.
As with all flash memory centers, the capacity of an Easy Disk can range. You can find USB hard drive sizes between 16 MB to 512 MB. Easy Disk offers amazing convenience, due to their size and the way they plug easily into your computer’s USB port.
The Ease of Easy Disk
There’s a reason these hard drives use the name “Easy Disk.” They truly are ridiculously simple. Easy Disks are flash memory centers that are immediately recognized once they’re inserted into the USB port. They require no installation drivers, and therefore save you a great deal of time.
External Hard Drive
How’s this for a postulate you might find in 10th grade geometry: all flash memory centers are external hard drives, but not all external hard drives are flash memory centers. In my opinion, though there are many external hard drives out there, flash memory drives are the best. They’re the simplest, smallest, and most convenient on the market.
External hard drives, like the EZ Hard Drive, are also very fast. If you want to save something onto your flash memory center, you can do so with a simple drag and drop. It takes no time, and is incredibly effective.
These days, it’s simply insane to do any computing without an external hard drive. With all the viruses around, it’s just too easy to lose saved data. And if you’re like most of us, and have your life on your computer, a flash memory center backup can be literally a lifesaver.
External Hard Drive Safety
Since you’ll use your flash memory center not only for data transport, but also for data backup, you want it to be safe. Memory sticks are far more durable than your average floppy disk. This means it’s far less likely that anything will go wrong, and you’re far less likely to lose your backed-up and stored data.
EZ Hard Drive
When looking into USB memory stick options, you might want to consider an EZ hard drive that’s password protected. USB flash memory centers are incredibly easy to use. A downside of this is that anyone could take, insert, and have access to your memory stick and the information on it.
Password protection guards against this happening. It provides you peace of mind, so even if your flash memory center is stolen, the data on it will remain safe. Look closely to make sure the USB hard drive or EZ hard drive you choose offers password protection.
Using the EZ Hard Drive
You can use an EZ hard drive in the same way you’d use any hard drive. In fact, once this flash memory center is plugged into your system, it for all intent and purpose is an additional hard drive. This means any type of data can be stored on it, erased from it, copied to or from it, or read from it.
Music files, documents, emails, pictures, and movies all can be accessed from or saved to a flash memory drive. This means that your computer hard drive no longer has to get cluttered up with items taking a lot of memory. Things like movies, which can be especially memory-consuming, will serve you far better when saved to an external EZ hard drive.
Flash Memory Drives
There are so many different uses for flash memory drives that the list is practically endless. These memory centers are also remarkably simple to use. USB pen drives are built complete with their USB interface, so they plug right in to your computer.
Most USB portable hard drives will work with USB 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0 ports. When it comes to operating systems, most available will recognize flash memory drives. Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux, and Max OS 9.0 or higher are all compatible with flash centers.
Some flash memory drives are not compatible with earlier forms of Windows. If you’re operating one of these earlier systems, it might be wise to do a bit of research before investing in a flash center. Should you not be compatible with any flash centers on the market, you might even consider upgrading your OS.
Flash Memory Drive Installation
This section is actually misnamed, because there really is no installation for a flash memory center. At least, not in the way we tend to think of installation. There are no drivers to install, no plugs, no extra hardware. You simply plug in your pen drive and go.
Portable Hard Drive
A portable hard drive is a smart way to store even the most sensitive data. With a password protected flash memory center, you make sure no one else can access your information. There are even breeds of memory stick that you can wear around your neck, for added security.
Using Your Portable Hard Drive
When you plug an Easy Disk into your USB port, an LED will light up. In this way, you know that your portable hard drive is receiving power, and is ready to be used. From there, you can easily access the files on your flash memory center, and get to work.
The LED is the simplest way to make sure you have inserted your portable hard drive correctly. On many flash memory centers, this LED will blink while you transfer data. This shows that the disk is working, busily writing or reading data.
An important thing to note is that you don’t want to unplug your flash memory center while it’s working. The LED can help make sure you don’t make that misstep. If the LED is flashing, wait until it has gone back to a solid light, and then unplug the device.
USB 2.0 Pen Drive
When you see a USB 2.0 pen drive, don’t let the name fool you. This flash memory center has all the pen drive basics we’ve discussed. However, it is specifically made to work with the 2.0 USB port.
USB 2.0 Pen Drive In Use
Like any USB hard drive, the USB 2.0 pen drive is remarkably easy to use. It is a plug and play device, with no need for driver installation. The only thing that can get a bit wonky with a flash memory center like this is if you try to unplug it while it’s working.
It is a mistake to try and unplug any flash memory center while it is working. By this I don’t mean you can’t unplug the USB 2.0 pen drive anytime the computer is on. The device is hot-swappable, and you can absolutely plug it in or pull it out while the computer is running.
The time you cannot unplug a flash memory center is when it is actually in the process of transferring data. If you unplug the device at this time, you are likely to lose data. Pulling out the pen drive while it’s in use can also lead to computer errors, which you’d much rather avoid.