MPIO 1.5GB USB Storage Drive

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-11-19 Print this article Print

Bearing a startling resemblance to the Zippo lighters of yesteryear, MPIO's new Cornice-based USB key offers high-capacity portable storage at a fraction of the cost of flash-memory drives.

As our society increasingly values mobility, the need to carry data with us becomes more important as well. While we can always schlep around notebook PCs, PDAs, and even music players, sometimes you just want a tiny repository for miscellaneous bits of information. On a more mundane level, having portable storage is also very handy in moving drivers and software updates around when you cant use e-mail or networking. Of course, portable storage isnt useful without a means to transfer data to and from the device. The ubiquity of todays USB 2.0 interface – present on almost all modern Intel-based PCs and Apple Macintosh computers – has finally given us a relatively high-speed interface for data transfers. Software support has also arrived, with the latest Macintosh and Microsoft operating systems offering native support for USB drives.
This universality has given rise to portable USB storage drives. These tiny devices fit in your pocket and offer capacities ranging from a nearly-useless 16MB to a covetable 1GB. Unfortunately, that 1GB storage drive would set you back around $260.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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