Friday, March 10, 2006
With one Flash memory stick being pretty much the same as another, manufacturers are coming up with nice add-ons for their latest models. SanDisk introduced a new technology platform called U3 with their recently announced Cruzer Titanium and Cruzer Micro flash drives. U3 technology will benefit those who work on more than one PC, because it creates a personalised workspace on each PC you plug your U3 Smart drive into. This personalised workspace includes software programs, personal preferences, personal files and data.
When plugged into a PC the U3 Launchpad is activated. From there four pre-installed U3 programs can be accessed, plus there is a link to the SanDisk U3 website to download other tried and trusted U3 applications.
A good example how these smart drives work is the SKYPE voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software that is loaded on the SanDisk U3 drives (SKYPE is software that can be used to call to any other SKYPE user’s PC for free. For a much reduced fee you can also make calls to overseas landlines and cell phones- go to www.skype.com for more info). Instead of having to install SKYPE on each PC you work from, you only need to plug in your SanDisk memory stick and activate SKYPE on the Launchpad to be good to go. No mess, no fuss.
Apart from SKYPE three other U3 programmes are also included. With CruzerSync you can copy your Microsoft Outlook data and email and write replies to them. As soon as you get back to your PC you only need to sync the programme with Outlook and all your mail will be sent. Avast! Antivirus software ensures virus-free data on your drive while SignUp Shield manages your passwords so that you only need one password to access all your secure sites.
Die-hard Mac fanatics won’t like the fact that the U3 software only works on Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP enabled PCs, but you’ll still be able to access your other data stored on it. When it comes to storage space the SanDisk range puts other memory sticks to shame. Their new range is small and light-weight with the Cruzer Micro model storing up to a massive 4Gb worth of data. The Cruzer Titanium is recommended for those living the hard-knock life, seeing that it’s made of a Titanium alloy that is crush-proof to more than 900 kilograms. It comes in a 1Gb and a 2Gb model.
There are currently more than 67 member companies involved in creating new U3 applications, so you should see more and more of these U3 smart drives in the near future.