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Flash Memory Drives Get Smarter

Boot Camp feature for Monday, September 26, 2005

Flash memory drives…get smarter. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Some of the biggest makers of those small USB flash memory drives have banded together to create software that will make the drives even more useful. The drives, which have dropped in price and increased in capacity….are handy for transporting files from computer to computer. A company called U3, a partnership of SanDisk, M-Systems and others, is making the drives capable of running applications for browsing the Web, checking email and more. U3 VP Andrea Butter says the idea is …you plug the device into a USB port….and it transforms that PC into your personal machine…

"I carry a program that synchronizes with my Microsoft Outlook. Now I can carry my Outlook files on my smart drive. I leave my laptop at home. I go to the office with this tiny drive, I plug it into my desktop machine at the office, use my email all day, and in the evening, I take the smart drive out, take it back. Then I can sit with my laptop on my sofa, in front of the TV, and still process the same email on the same U3 smart drive."

In addition to convenience, the drives add security. You're bringing your personal files with you. In addition to Email and virus protection applications, USB drives may include software to play MP3, edit and display digital photos, and instant message. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.