A Top Tech Device of the last decade: USB Thumbdrives

I saw a lot of different technologies and devices listed for the "product of the decade", but this one was missing from a most of them, the somewhat lowly USB thumb drive.

Here's an early one that I saved (all 128Mb's)

I remember going to a Comdex in Chicago in 2000 and seeing one of the first USB drives (I think it was by JMtek). It's hard to imagine what we used before the USB drives (floppy disks, zip disks and CDs come to mind). But near the end of 2000 was when some of the first USB drives were announced and introduced. However, the USB drives remained for the most part, a novelty until approximately 2005. That's when the capacities became more usable, approaching that of CDROMs and later DVDs. Their popularity also increased partly due to Apple's abandonment of the somewhat de-facto standard floppy drive from their line of computers (also earlier in the decade) and the increasing number of USB ports that became available on laptop and desktop computers.

The rest is history, with the capacities jumping from mere MBs on the earliest drives to the multi-GB models of today. The ubiquitous thumb drives can now carry portable applications, pictures, documents and encrypted data. They can also be bootable, launch apps automatically, as well play the role of MP3 players, security device and/or forensic device, and the list goes on. The thumb drive is firmly entrenched into the technology landscape of today's modern world.

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