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High Tech Stocking Stuffers... USB Flash Drives

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, December 18, 2003

High tech stocking stuffers. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sometimes it's hard to find gifts for tech lovers that fit within a budget. PCs, digital cameras, and MP3 players such can cost hundreds... or even thousands of dollars. Memory cards for digital cameras... or music players make great gifts... if you know the right kind to buy. But it's hard to go wrong with what are called USB flash drives. They fit on a key chain... and let users transport data easily between home, office or school PCs. Steffen Hellmold heads the newly formed USB Flash Drive Alliance...

"Well we believe that USB flash drives have seen a tremendous success already. The analyst estimates for this year are for about thirty million units to be sold worldwide. But we feel that the general consumer audience in the United States still does not widely know about USB flash drives. And we feel that further education might help to grow this market even faster."

Numerous companies are making the drives. Iomega is just out updated versions of its Micro Mini USB drives. Product manager Chris Maddox...

"What makes these different and exciting is we've taken the USB 2.0 standard, we've taken that to the mini platform and we've increased the size of this to 512 megabytes and 1 gig."

A gigabyte of data on a keychain. The higher capacity versions are more expensive. A 512 megabyte version sells for about 200 dollars. Useful 128 megabyte USB flash drives... .can be found for under 35 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred fishkin.