Monday, September 03, 2007

Sparkly USB flash drives

Swarovski and Philips have produced a range of quite glam USB flash drives, called Active Crystals, to make storing your computer files a more sparkly experience.

There are four different models: two heart-shaped pendants on chains and two padlock-shaped ones, to be hung from a key ring. They are all made from polished stainless steel, and decorated in various ways with crystals. The hearts and padlocks open out to reveal a standard USB 2.0 memory key, with 1 GB of storage space.

Some of the pics on the Philips site show the actual devices plugged into a laptop. I thought they looked a bit chunky and seemed to obscure the other ports (sockets) slightly, but presumably they're fine if you don't have loads of other things to plug in. There aren't any prices, but they're supposed to be on the market now.

In case you get the wrong idea, I should point out that I don't like any of the designs I've just mentioned. I'm definitely not a heart fan, and the padlocks are too... well, padlocky.... but I do like the idea of sparkly diamante USB storage devices, though I wouldn't wear a bit of IT kit round my neck - bags are fine for that stuff. Still, if you've got to do something a bit boring but necessary, like backing up your computer files, it's nice if the gadgets and storage devices are a bit more desirable - glamorous or kitsch is fine!

I had to write a paper for our students last term, about sensible computer practice. I was encouraged to point out the possible doom-laden scenarios where they could lose all their precious work - laptops being lost or stolen, computers blowing up and houses burning down (believe it or not!). The point of being a techie gloom-monger was to highlight the importance of making various digital copies of work on disk, memory stick, the network and in different geographical locations (copies at home and college).

Perhaps encouraging slightly paranoid and obsessive computing back-up habits would be a bit easier if students (and staff) had storage devices they actually liked using, whether they're glammed-up and encrusted with crystals, or anything that appeals really... it would work for me!

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