USB keychain type Flash Drive (Disk on Key) Hot? reviews and info!

dadoftwins

Member
Nov 20, 2001
41
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0
Great product! It has many different names, to name a few
USB Flash memory Drive, USB Flash Hard Drive, IBM Memory Key (M-System DiskonKey)
Agate Tech EIWQD032, JM Tek Flash USB Drives, Pendulum
HandyDrive, Portable mini Hard Drive, Trek USB Thumb Drive
and more Manufactors are making it.

Online Venders
64MB

Handydrive $67.95 usbkeydrive $59.95
JMTek $69.99
PenDrive $70.00, HandyDrive $85.00
<a target=new class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://www.shop4tech.com/cgi-bin/shop/shop.cgi?action=specs&&item=1005862502&&choice=Computer%20Products&&subchoice_1=USB%20Flash%20Hard%20Drive&&subchoice_2=
/">PenDrive $70.00</a>
Pendrive $79.00

32MB

HandyDrive $37.95
PenDrive $40.00, HandyDrive $50.00



IBM has 8MB Diskonkey for $25.00
Dell has Diskonkey (8MB~32MB), you might want to wait for coupon and discount

Reviews:
Q drive, JMTek
JMTek
Q drive
Easy Disk
ThumbDrive
Diskonkey, ThumbDrive

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Wozster

Senior member
Feb 12, 2001
386
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Thanks, these thing are great and worth the $
Heard there were some massive versions at Comdex this year, did anyone get a chance to see those?
 

Dran

Senior member
Jul 24, 2001
303
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Great use for one of these, even an 8MB, could be for building a configurable mp3 box.

Set up a computer (plenty of cheap barebones systems around here) with a nice big HDD, install any version of Windows (i used 95b for mine), and don't install anything but the sound card drivers and Winamp (or your mp3 player of choice). Pack the rest of the HDD with mp3s, and for a system that plays from the time you turn it on to the time you turn it off, put a playlist in the Startup folder.

That much, I've done. P166MMX, 32MB FP-RAM, 13GB HDD (only 8GB recognized, but since i only have 3GB of mp3's, and 95b used less than 150MB, it wasn't a problem), Winamp, and a playlist in the Startup folder. Plays tunes for hours on end, no problems (except one... seems Winamp can only read the first 99 songs or so on this machine, on random play. not worth trouble-shooting right now, though, since that's enough for 8 hours of music (i keep the box at work)). Attach a keyboard, skip the mouse and monitor, and just use the zxcvb keys to replay or skip songs, pause, and start playing again.

But to make it even cooler, consider adding a front USB port and using one of these USB flash memory drives to change the playlist at will. According to the reviews and word of mouth, these drives pop right up as a removable drive when you insert them. That being the case, one could conceivably create a short autorun.inf file that tells the system to play a playlist that you've created and put on the USB drive.

And there you go. Theoretically (out of cash for upgrades, much less a USB drive), if you've set up the autorun.inf file correctly, as soon as you insert the USB drive into a USB port, your mp3 player should load the songs in the playlist and start playing them (randomly or in order, according to how you have it set up).

:)
 

ChurchOfSubgenius

Platinum Member
Jan 25, 2001
2,310
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Not crapping on your post Dran, but why not just burn a CD if 1 zillion MP3's and play from that? CD's cost about $0.50 on average and when you get bored of them they fly real nice too.
Keychains are cute but not really practical.
 

Dran

Senior member
Jul 24, 2001
303
0
0


<< Not crapping on your post Dran, but why not just burn a CD if 1 zillion MP3's and play from that? >>



You could. It's potentially cheaper to do it that way, unless you've got the parts lying around, like I did. However, in order to run 8 hours or more of music on a CD, you have to decrease the bitrate below 192bps (which is what many consider the bare minimum for approaching CD quality). You're also limited to a fixed number of songs, and let me assure you, after listening to the same 8 hours of music several days in a row, even on random play, it gets tiresome. And, yes, burning more discs would be simple.

But who wants to burn a new disc full of mp3s every day? I certainly don't, even though my Aopen 1232A is fast enough not to make it a time issue for me. And why bother changing CDs once a week, or day, or however often, which involves creating the playlist AND burning the disc, when you can settle for JUST creating the playlist and copying it to a USB flash disk?

I'm also a bit of a nut, in that I don't believe any hardware is ever truly obsolete. That was the original reason I turned that pile of spare parts into a mp3 box. That it works, and works so well, is a testament to the usefulness of older hardware. You can pick up an old Pentium MMX system with 32MB of RAM for pocket change these days, even cheaper than an mp3 CD player, if you find the right deals.

A dedicated mp3 box offers more variety and better quality. You can even make it remotely operated by picking up one of the ubiquitious HP remotes and downloading some freeware, and add a small digital LCD display for songs playing and queued, if you want to get truly geeky with it.

Besides, it's much cooler, too. Blows the co-workers' minds when they realize you're not listening to a radio or CD player. ;-)
 

amgc36

Member
Nov 26, 2001
51
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0
The thing that concerns me the most with things like this is compatability. Most, if not all of these "keychain drives" require some sort of drivers in order to be functional with Win98/ME/2K, which makes it a lot less convenient coz you have to have the driver disk to use the drive with a system without Internet access (or when the site hosting the drivers is not available).

 

DgtlArts

Junior Member
May 3, 2001
6
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0
Don't know about needing drivers. We've got a couple of the Disk On Keys here at work. Since it's a multiplatform environment (Mac, Win2k, & WinXP) they're great for carting files around. We don't need to use any drivers to get them to mount. In fact, from what I read, they're specifically designed to NOT need drivers. Fantastically handy, and WAY more reliable than a zip. Hehe. From what I hear, 256MB models are or will be out very soon, with 512s on the way next year.
 

WhiteMouse

Senior member
May 30, 2000
623
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They should not use special drivers instead of windows build-in. I am using my JamP3 as a 16M disk. Costed me $0.
 

dadoftwins

Member
Nov 20, 2001
41
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0
No driver needed under Windows XP, Win2000, WinMe. (I have win2000 at work). If you are still using win98 (I have it on my laptop), you need install driver once. I have heard that more features such as security, bootable, built in drivers, etc. is adding to latest product.

The 512MB, even 1GB version already in the market, however, they are way too expensive. It is also not pratical to have a capacity larger than 256MB due to the data transfer rate.

Another review on FlashDio
 

zinkpig

Senior member
May 13, 2001
670
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pardon me if i am ignorant and too lazy to read the reviews..but what advantages does this have over getting a zio CF reader and relatively cheap CF card to suit your need
 

Glich

Member
Jul 31, 2000
109
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I have a handydrive my self i love it. win me 2k and xp pops right in and 98 is a simple driver. linux is a bit fun (only got it working on mandrake so far :) paid a bit more then this for mine time to call buyers assureace for a pricematch :)

 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
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Saw two different vendors at Comdex last month showing these items off.

USB connections - no special drivers needed.

Convience usage would be parallel to using a floppy. Just as fast with more data. Universal with current Windows products that have a USB port.

Tested both on a laptop, was able to play music stored on one and the vendors HTML file on the other.
 

z0ner

Senior member
Dec 11, 2000
540
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<< pardon me if i am ignorant and too lazy to read the reviews..but what advantages does this have over getting a zio CF reader and relatively cheap CF card to suit your need >>



I've tried to save very large files (50+MB) on CF cards and even though they save properly I haven't been successful in pulling them off without CRC errors. The technology just isn't there for large contiguous file storage on CF media.

If these USB drives get pretty cheap (~$5 or so) I'd give these out with my .PDF resume package to prospective employers. Think of the impression you'll make.
 

amgc36

Member
Nov 26, 2001
51
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0
A friend of mine actually gave his USB Drive (1st version) to me to play with for a couple of days. I downloaded the driver and installed it in my W2K box. The drive works fine, but the software (driver) is kinda annoying. There's a box that pops up when you read/write to the drive. I also tried to installed it in my gf's WinME box, but all I got was blue screens.

My friend told me that this is his third drive. He mounted his first one on his HP box which has front USB ports. The box is on the ground and one day his bro kicked on it. The drive then won't function unless the drive is pushed down when inserted into the USB slot. He got it replaced. Then his second one failed to work just 3 days after he received it. It couldn't be detected at all.

I like the idea of these little drives. They are convenient, and has ample space to store medium size files. But I don't think the technology is mature enough yet. I'd rather use my credit card size CD-RW which gives me 50MB of space and I can put it in my wallet.
 

Shotgun

Member
Oct 25, 1999
113
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Since someone happened to mention it earlier in this thread, just wanted to add that I played around with one of these and no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to autorun anything. My guess is that the built-in Win2K "drivers" for this thing don't support AutoPlay. Although I suppose in a later release of the drivers from the company/ies it could be possible, although that would then sorta defeat the purpose of having the autorun in a way.
 

WhiteMouse

Senior member
May 30, 2000
623
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0
I bet XP will "autorun" it, since it tries to autorun one of my CD, which has two avi files on it!:Q
 

dirtboy01

Junior Member
Jul 11, 2001
9
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How many times have you been asked to fix someone's computer while you were at their house visiting? Never fails for me. They always need DirectX 8.1, or a service pack, or IE, etc. and they always have a 56K modem. I want one just to keep stuff like that on it, so if they need something, I'll always have the tools available, provided I remembered my keys that morning. "Oh, you just need this." and plug it in. If I do need a driver, the driver download will be MUCH shorter than IE 5.5. I can also take those Linux ISOs home that I keep downloading at work during lunch. Can anyone spare some change to buy dirtboy a 1GB drive? Tis the season for giving!
 

WileCoyote

Senior member
Aug 4, 2000
694
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0
I think CF readers are great. I remember seeing a pic of a computer that had a CF reader in place of a standard 3.5" floppy drive. I plan on getting one to replace my floppy drive in a year. I think there's a definite market for them
However, I think that these usb keychains have their use also. I'm at college and floppy disks don't hold everything I need... and I can't carry a cd-rom around in my pocket (my burner doesn't support the mini ones). It would be cool to just carry around a CF card but then again, none of the computer lab pcs have readers for them.
Maybe these usb keychains are just a fill in for when we all have something like CF readers. Damn I can't wait.
 

dadoftwins

Member
Nov 20, 2001
41
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0
Write/Read very large files on these drive (mine is handydrive) is slow, however, I do not have problem to reopen it (20+MB CAD file, 50MB+ text file).

CF reader is great and cheaper (I have a zio and just used it to transfer files from digital camera), but not as convenient as usb flash drive.

Another new face Picodisk

Price link fixed

PenDrive $70.00, HandyDrive $85.00

Pocket Disk $57.95

HandyDrive $71.00

<a target=new class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://store.yahoo.com/meritline/aphandriv16.html
">16MB for $31.00</a>