Do You Know These Other Names That Also Describe USB Flash Drives?

There are many names that people use nowadays to call the same thing – USB flash drive. Before I delve into what they are, first let’s look at what a USB flash drive is. Generally speaking, this device consists of two parts: a flash memory plus a universal serial bus (USB) interface. So that covers the first two words of the name. For the last word: drive, it is part of the name mainly because the computer treats the device like a hard disk drive.

Here’s the list of the other names:

  • Thumb drive;
  • Pen drive;
  • Flash disk;
  • USB drive (no use of the word “flash”);
  • Key drive;
  • Memory stick;
  • And more.

Many of these names were originally a proprietary name that a company develops to call their new device. For example, ThumbDrive was first promoted by IBM, and people just started calling the device a thumb drive when they are referring to a USB flash drive.

One confusing name is memory stick. It was originally made by Sony as their own edition of memory card for their gaming device. Sony made a whole series of Memory Stick including Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO and more are in the making.

The name Key Drive came from the concept of using a flash drive as a security key. For example, the bank makes its customer to use their special USB device before they can access their own online banking system. Thus, the USB device becomes like a key to open or access their security box.

Pen drive came from the look of the device itself. The manufacturer simply models the USB shell into the size of a pen and calls it a pen drive. Over time, pen drive also becomes an alternative name for the device.

Just like keeping the word drive as part of the name, the word disk also remains in use in some regions of the world. Before CD-ROM came along there was the floppy disk. Since there is no moving part in a USB flash device, some people prefer to use the term USB flash disk instead. As this is a more accurate description of the device.

As the IT hardware companies continue to develop their own model of the device, they have come up with many creative names. Kingston has a range called DataTraveler, Transcend calls their series JetFlash. As these devices become popular, they may even become another alternative name people use to call USB flash drive.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of a DVD Drive External USB

There are many advantages to having an external DVD drive, and many disadvantages to having an external drive, and we will go over both so that you can decide which best fits your needs.

The advantages of a DVD Drive External USB…

Well the first obvious advantage is that they are mobile and portable. You can very easily move them around to wherever you go or to travel to.

Another reason why these external drives have remained useful is because of the advent of the super-portable laptop. Because with these ultra portable, ultra light, super fast laptops, also came the removal of many of it’s key components. This for example may include the removal of a decent DVD-RW drive… Replaced instead with a CD-RW and DVD playback or the possibility of having nothing at all. This would thus make you purchase an external drive as a substitute. This adds a lot of flexibility because you can then take it if you need it, or just leave it behind if you don’t need it.

Another advantage of these external drives is that they can be taken from one computer to the next computer, which is beneficial in a small office business environment, as well as shared within a household.

And if you’re not tech savvy then you can very easily upgrade the external driver by simply plugging it in to the USB port, installing the software, and just like that your up and running.

The disadvantages of a DVD drive external USB…

Well for one thing external drives are more expensive than their internal equivalent. Also external drives are much slower at writing and reading discs than it’s equally rated internal counter part.

Another disadvantage is that they take up extra space and need additional cables like power cable, Fire wire cable or a USB cable (no wireless solutions as yet).

And because external drives are moved around a lot you risk the possibility of it falling on the ground or getting broken thus increasing the chances of it crashing.

So, of the two which one is best? Well, very simply it comes down to each user’s individuals needs and wants.

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Differences Between a Desktop and a Laptop Hard Drive

The HDD in any home computer is the most important storage device. It works on the principles of magnetic polarization. A metallic disk is spun by a motor and this makes sectors or parts of the disk pass under the head that reads and writes them as they move. Laptop HDDs are not any different in this sense, the only difference somebody can find is that they use less electricity and have a smaller general outer shell. These attributes contribute to their lower write and read speeds too. Notebook hard drives often use advanced power schemes to cut down on consumption and they are protected against shocks and falls. IBM notebook hard disk drives for instance recognize that the notebook is falling and put the head at a safe position before impact.

Most laptop hard drives operate at 5400 rounds per minute opposed to 7200 used by most of their desktop relatives, older models still work at 4200 rounds per minute. Regular size for a laptop HDD is 2.5″ disk diameter while desktop manufacturers tend to use 3.5″ disks. The smaller disks result in a more dense arrangement and that gives the head some extra work. For example slower rotation speeds had to be introduced so that the head can still pick up information from the disk with the tighter packed blocks. Most often used connector type for recent hard disks is SATA, which is a serial way of transferring data. As a consequence the controller chips became faster and less complicated and the old 80 wire ribbon cables could be swapped with the new thin 7 wire solution.

These portable hard drives usually have a smaller capacity, 160GB to 320GB is common, but more expensive models already have 500GB and bigger drives. Memory chip based drives called SSD are also available both for notebooks and desktop computers. These drives are way more expensive than a normal mechanical unit, but there are pros to them as well. They have no moving parts, for one, and that can significantly lowers power consumption. The technology used allows faster data access that makes reading of small scattered files faster by the magnitude. Read and write speeds on the long run also rival normal hard drives so they’re expected to take their place as soon as the price drops to an acceptable level.

A regular hard disk drive costs about $60 to $80 and as expected an SSD with 250GB capacity is about ten times as expensive as the normal version, at $698 they are still a bit steep.

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Points to Be Noted While Buying 16GB Flash Drives & 32GB Flash Drives

Flash Drives have become the most commonly used additional data storage device in the current world. Flash drives have a better edge against floppy disk drives due to the speed, capacity of storage, portability, cost etc.

It is important to know the purpose of buying or usage of your pen drive. If you think you will be using the pen drives only for back up and storage use, then it is recommended to go for a pen drive that is less expensive. At the same time, if you seriously rely on the these drives for data for your business or corporate meetings, then it is always recommended to go for a reliable flash drive or pen drive.

Based on the storage requirement, you can either go for 16GB or 32GB flash. If you decide to store huge video files, pictures, audio files, then it is better to for 32GB drive instead of 16GB drive as you can add more files any time to a 32GB drive. The cost of the flash drive is again based on the storage capacity. So, cost is another factor that you need to keep in mind when you go to purchase the 16GB and 32GB pen drives. If you find a 32GB drive at a cheaper rate, then you must also understand that the standard of quality. A 32GB pen drive that is faster, sturdy with encryption will definitely cost you more. Most of the manufactures give life time warranty for 16GB and 32GB pen drives.

Transfer rate of data is another important factor that you need to check on 16GB and 32GB flash. Everyone would prefer for the flash drive that is much faster with no second thought. However, you must again check on the cost of these flash drives with high speed. If you have huge files like video or pictures, then you must go for high speed 16GB flash drives and 32GB. If not, you can go for nominal speed transmission rate. For example, 16GB and 32GB drives will take more than 70 seconds to transfer about 700 MB data at 10 MB per second. If you go for 16GB and 32GB drives with transfer rate of 20 MB per second, then the total time taken to copy or write 700 MB of data will be only 35 seconds. When you look at the pack of 16GB drives and 32GB, if you do not find the speed in the description area, then be rest assured that the 16GB and 32GB drives is of low speed transmission only.

16GB and 32GB Drives are also available in various wacky designs. However, these drives are expensive comparatively though they come with the same speed and quality except for the design. Another important point that I would like to inform you right here is about losing the pen drive cap. Especially in cheap pen drives, the cap tends to be slow and finally you will loose the pen drive cap. Always check with people who have already bought the flash drive or you can also read the reviews on the internet to understand and know the quality of the product.

A online marketing task by Kelvin Scotts, top digital marketing agency singapore that provides full suite singapore social media services.

HR Field Guide – 5 Tips to Effective Learning Management

Tip #1: Link Employee Development To Learning Delivery

Development plans help employees improve in their current role, better prepare them for a future role of interest (which is important in the context of succession planning), or both. While employee skill, competency, and behavior gaps are typically identified during the performance assessment process (or a 360 feedback process), learning delivery is the mechanism to close the gaps.

Learning for learning’s sake is an ineffective strategy. But learning to close skill, competency, and behavior gaps and therefore improve an employee’s contribution in a current role or help the employee better prepare for a future role, is something altogether different. Therefore, development and learning processes must be seamlessly linked from both a process and underlying technology perspective. Yet only 29% of organizations have actually made this connection, with another 23% planning to within one year, according to a global survey of 300 HR leaders. [Note: this survey data will be referenced throughout the report]

The impact of linking these functions is significant. In the same survey, organizations that have linked employee development and learning delivery report:

  • Improved workforce alignment to overall strategy
  • More quickly respond to changing business needs
  • Higher revenue per employee
  • Better internal talent mobility
  • Improved workforce productivity

A few key questions to consider when linking employee development to learning delivery are:

1. Are recommended courses and programs automatically presented to users within their development plans to facilitate training and coursework?

2. Is the transition between employee development planning and learning management seamless to users (e.g., same user interface, look and feel, does not give the user the impression of a disconnected process)?

3. Is systems integration effort and cost required to tie development and learning delivery together, or do all the requisite capabilities reside on a common technology platform that natively connects the functions out of the box?

Tip #2: Align Learning Activities To Business Objectives

Part of the promise of integrated talent management is improving alignment between workforce activities and overall business strategies and objectives. This alignment is typically achieved through performance management and goals. Managers and their directs establish goals as part of the performance management process and align the goals up through the organization. Alternatively, the organization cascades goals down to the workforce. In either scenario, it is often the case that employees need specific training to achieve their goals.

If employees are not provided the proper learning resources to complete goals, the impacts can be severe:

  • Poorly trained employees who cannot achieve their goals
  • The organization is unable to complete its strategic goals and objectives
  • Turnover at all levels due to frustration and inability to complete goals

Today, only 34% of organizations have linked learning and performance management to enable training as a key component of employee goal completion. An additional 31% of organizations plan to do so by 2011.

Part of the challenge in linking these functions has been technical in nature. Many organizations continue to use multiple systems (e.g., performance system, learning management system) that are not integrated. Yet as many organizations continue to gravitate toward single platform solutions that natively connect functions such as learning, performance, and goals, the technical integration challenges can be eliminated. These single platform solutions also make it much easier to report on key metrics such as the effectiveness of learning programs on performance since all of the data resides in a centralised repository. With this data in hand, HR leaders are better equipped tomonitor and continuously improve their learning processes and programs.

A few key questions to consider when aligning learning activities to business objectives are:

1. Does your current learning system enable you to dynamically link business objectives and goals with specific learning activities?

2. Does the system natively integrate learning, performance, and goals vis-à-vis a broader talent platform? If so, does it also provide a robust reporting and analytic capability that enables you to monitor and continuously improve your processes and programs?

3. Does your learning system provide capabilities to dynamically push content to users based on their goals? Can assignment rules be easily created to support this dynamic push?

Tip #3: Maintain Regulatory Compliance

Learning management systems (LMS) are an important mechanism for managing compliance and certification training within an organization. Without a central tracking repository, and no way to report globally, organizations can quickly fall out of regulatory compliance. The potential negative impacts to this are fines and work stoppages, not to mention the high overhead and costs associated with managing compliance activities and reporting in a manual fashion.

Competencies also play a key role, especially from a quality standards (e.g., ISO 9000) perspective. A rigorous competency-based training program is a key mechanism for ensuring ongoing compliance to quality standards. As such, competency management plays a critical role in learning management strategies. The system employed, whether an LMS or a broader talent management platform, must instantiate a flexible competency library as a central component that is seamlessly exposed to all other functions within the system or platform.

A few key questions to consider to maintain regulatory compliance are:

1. Can compliance-related courses be automatically assigned to new hires as a part of the on-boarding process? Can triggers and alerts be established to automatically inform employees when they need refresher training?

2. Does your current learning system provide a library of pre-defined competencies? Does it provide tools for managing competencies, including competency categories, supporting definitions, behaviors, on-the-job activities, and development opportunities? Can you easily import your existing competencies into the system?

3. Does your learning system include robust reporting and analytic capabilities to facilitate compliance reporting? Does it come with out-of-box standard reports? And is the complexity of the reporting and analytic engine abstracted so that non-technical users can run their own reports without IT intervention?

Tip #4:Track Learning Effectiveness Throughout the Organization

Within many organizations, there is no systematic way to track the impact of learning programs on organizational outcomes. These outcomes may include workforce productivity or even individual performance. In fact, only 21% of

organizations are currently measuring the impact of training on performance, with

another 34% planning on doing so by 2011. Overall learning program effectiveness fares somewhat better, with 35% of organizations currently measuring overall learning effectiveness.

  • The impacts of not tracking learning effectiveness can be significant:
  • Money spent improperly on ineffective curricula and courses
  • Employees spending time in courses that are not effective
  • Inability to distinguish between which courses are working and which are not

Part of the challenge lies in the fact that data is spread out in various silos across the organization and there is no common employee system of record. A single, fully-connected talent platform that covers the gamut of HR functions and processes, including learning, can alleviate some of the problems since the data is all in one place. And with a robust analytic and reporting function, previously unavailable insight can be gained.

By shifting to a more measurement-oriented approach to learning, organizations can realize numerous benefits:

  • Spend the right time and resources on effective courses
  • Eliminate or change ineffective courses
  • Allocate training budgets more accurately
  • Increase employee engagement (employees are not wasting time in ineffective courses)

A few key questions to consider to track learning effectiveness throughout the organization are:

1. Does your current learning system leverage a robust and industry standard analytics engine which provides interactive graphical displays of all data?

2. Does the system abstract the complexity out of the analytics engine so that non-technical users can conduct their own analyzes via an intuitive, web-based interface?

3. Are you able to conduct reporting and analysis across modules? For example, can you easily glean insight into more strategic metrics such as the impact of training on performance?

4. Does the analytics system reduce administrative overhead by leveraging the same comprehensive security access rights and rules as the learning system so that security policies only have to be established once?

Tip #5: Create Seamless On-Boarding Plans for Employees

An effective new hire orientation and on-boarding program is essential to ensuring the long-term success of new employees. Yet employees – and their managers in many cases – often find it difficult to know which training courses to take, especially if development planning is not a part of the on-boarding process. As a result, a lot of time and frustration can occur early in a new employee’s career within the organization, which can lead to an early engagement deficit or even increased turnover.

Today, only 32% of organizations have linked learning with hiring and on-boarding to facilitate automatic scheduling of courses for new hires. Fully 46% of organizations have no plans to link the processes at all. To fully understand the impact of integrated learning and hiring/on-boarding, a global survey of HR leaders reveals that organizations that have explicitly made the linkage report:

  • Improved workforce alignment to overall strategy
  • Better internal talent mobility
  • Decreased voluntary turnover
  • Faster on-boarding (time-to-productivity)
  • Improved workforce productivity

This data reinforces the importance of integrating disparate talent functions, and the role that single platform HR solutions can play in facilitating the integration. Single platform solutions also make it much easier to report on and analyze key cross-functional metrics such as on-boarding effectiveness.

A few key questions to consider to create seamless on-boarding plans for employees are:

1. Can courses and curricula be automatically assigned to new hires as a part of the on-boarding process? This is especially important for compliance.

2. Do new hires have transparent visibility into their on-boarding plans, including learning and training activities, so that expectations are aligned from the start?

3. Does your current learning system have the capability to measure the impact of learning programs on hiring and on-boarding effectiveness (e.g., time-to-productivity, voluntary turnover, new hire engagement)?

Conclusion

To get the most out of your learning management investments, linking and aligning seemingly disparate HR and talent functions is essential. Learning, development, performance and goals, and hiring and on-boarding. All must come together seamlessly to fully realize the benefits of a learning-driven culture. Single platform solutions that natively connect all of these functions facilitate the linkages, and also provide the mechanism to measure, analyze, and relate deep analytic views across functions.

To summarize the top five tips to effective learning management:

1. Link Employee Development to Learning Delivery

2. Align Learning Activities to Business Objectives

3. Maintain Regulatory Compliance

4. Track Learning Effectiveness Throughout the Organization

5. Create Seamless On-Boarding Plans for Employees

A digital marketing blog post by Kelvin Scotts, best singapore digital agency that provides complete social media singapore services.

Why the Latest Sky + HD Box From Sky the Amstrad DRX 890 Is Very Reliable

Hi,
I'd like to tell you a little bit about the latest Sky HD box. But before I do let me give you a little bit of history regarding Sky or rather BskyB set top boxes. Over the years there has been a number of manufacturers of Standard Sky boxes, Sky + boxes and now Sky + HD boxes down the years – some better than others.

Pace, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Amstrad / Sky, Thomson and Grundig. There are no other manufacturers of Sky boxes. All have had their fair share of faults and problems down the years and again some more than others.

In 2007 Lord Sugar, sold Amstrad to BskyB – Sky for £ 125m. This was the turning point for Sky box manufacturing as from then on there was no third party manufacturing. Sky had complete control of the boxes and what went into them where they were manufactured and complete control of their software too. Because they had a decade of fault data from previous boxes to go on they were determined not to make the mistakes that had gone before in previous models. Together with that and the advancement in chip design they produced the Amstrad DRX 890 Sky + HD box. Its smaller by design and runs much cooler.

Everything about this box is well made and built to last. The capacitors which is the component that mostly gave trouble in the past are made by Rubycon. This is one of the world leaders in capacitor manufacturing – nothing cheap about Rubycon and will last for years.

The main micro processor is made by Broadcom – American I think and are world leaders in this field.

The Hard Drive is Seagate again only the best. So to conclude from somebody who has had more than their fair share of having to fix sky boxes. The Amstrad DRX 890 and Amstrad DRX 595 and Amstrad DRX 895 are very reliable and extremely well built set top boxes. I highly recommend these units and they are very future proof as they can be linked to your broadband and avail of all the online services available e. g BBC iplayer, Itv player and 4OD etc and Now TV. Some time back Sky removed the Amstrad logo and now boxes say manufactured by Sky. This you will find indented into the plastic casing on the top of the box at the back. To my knowledge the insides are still the same apart from some minute changes to the motherboards. Amstrad DRX 890 boxes I can highly recommend if your thinking of buying a Sky HD box.

A social media marketing blog post by Kelvin Scotts, best social media agency that provides complete social media in singapore services.

The Advantages Of 1TB External Hard Drive

External hard drives have become more popular in the recent past as most people get mobile in a bid to carry out their regular business ventures. The 1TB external hard drive is becoming increasingly important for people who are frequently on the move.

Information is an important part in daily life in this times and age and as such, it has become vital to ensure you have all the information you need at all times in order to facilitate the smooth flow of your regular business. Thinking of data in relation to daily life, it becomes quite clear that as much as most information can be stored online, it would be naive to assume that once you have your data backed up by some secure server in some protected place, you will always have the privilege of accessing it as and when you need it.

In reality, there are many factors that would prevent you from getting such backed up information with the most glaring one being lack of proper internet connection at some place or the simple failure of the host server at a crucial point when you need the data. This only gives any serious person one option which is having a large enough but portable hard drive to carry all important information to wherever you may go. The 1TB external hard drive is the ultimate choice in this situation.

Laptops have taken the communication devices world by storm due to the portability and convenience. The only main hindrance that one could encounter when dealing with laptops is there limited storage capacity. This however should no longer be a source of anxiety with the availability of the 1TB external hard drive which gives the user a reliable data bank in which to store more data than any single laptop can carry so far.

The 1TB external hard drives also come in many designs and models giving any potential client a variety of choices. The different designs and brands have variable features as well with others featuring hot-swap capabilities which makes them fast to plug into your USB port and retrieve information as opposed to other external drives that do not have this feature and would thus take too long to initialize before you can get access to the data in them.

A number of the 1TB external hard drives have variable speeds both rotational as well as data download speeds with some of the fast ones clocking about 7,200 revolutions per minute and the slower ones doing the same at 5,400 revolutions per minute. On average, all the brands of the 1TB external hard drives are USB accessible and have data access speeds of 60 mega bites per second.

The designs of the external drives have been informed by their intended use. While some are small in size and fit for the mobile user, others are stationary and are meant for use together with desktop computers. With many manufacturers fighting for the control of the market, it is important to note that there are many brands to choose from.

Among some of the names featured in the 1TB external hard drive brands include Seagate, Toshiba, western digital, Toshiba among many others. All these brands have their own unique features and it is up to the client to take a closer look into each one of them to determine which one fits their needs sufficiently.

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What is the Difference Between SATA and USB Hard Drives?

For those who are not familiar with their PC working they don’t know what is the difference between SATA and USB hard drive. They consider it as the same. But I must tell them that there is a lot of differences between these two…

First of all, we should know in brief what are these two.

SATA hard drive

SATA or you can say Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is a single cable which is used to connect 2 devices from point to point.  It is a storage-interface for connecting host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. This cable helps in transferring data from your local PC to hard disk or CD ROM devices. The main advantage of using this cable is this that the transfer speed of the cable starts from 150 MBPS, which is a huge one. SATA are very thinner serial cables which facilitate more efficient airflow inside a form factor and also allow for smaller chassis designs.

USB hard drive

USB drives are those drives which connects external storage devices to your PC. USB means Universal Serial Bus which provides you 1.1 or 2.0 user interfaces. USB drives has the same work as of floppy drives. But the USB are smaller, faster and a thousand times storage capacity than floppy drives. These are portable, sleek and having compact design which makes them easy to store.

Speed:

SATA drives provides higher speed than USB hard drives.

Location:

SATA is situated inside of your PC while USB is an external device.

Movable:

SATA cannot be removed from your PC and taken to anywhere while you can take USB to anywhere you want.

If you are going to market to purchase an external hard drive which is better, stronger, faster than I will suggest you to purchase Seagate 1 TB USB 2.0. why I am suggesting this one to you is because of the following features:

1) Easy to use and set up: this drive is very easy to use. What you had to do is just plug it in computer and start working on it. This doesn’t involve any installation of software to make it work.

2)Technical body: The drive is been designed sleek and portable. All painted with black color this drive provides you the capacity of 1 TB with USB 2.0 interface which store more and more movies, music, photos etc. This disk provides the 7200 rpm speed to retrieve the data from the drive.

3) Compatibility: This can easily be recognized by Windows Vista and Windows XP, you can simply drag and drop your files in the disk to copy.

4) Energy efficient: The one of the good feature of this disk is this that it is a very less power consumer. It can perform its work to the full extent with a very low burden on your electricity bill.

Editor’s rating 9 out of 10

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Hard Drive Performance Comparison

I have had many people ask me including fellow network administrators, Information Technology Consultants, College Students and Business Owners what is the difference between the Seagate ST31000528AS drive and the Seagate ST31000524AS drive?

The only real difference between these two seagate barracuda drives is read and write performance. Overall both of these drives are considered high quality and have proven to be reliable if used correctly.

I personally use and recommend Seagate Barracuda hard-drives and use them when I need reliable SATA drives. They serve their purpose well if they are used correctly in the right environment and situation.

You probably won’t notice a difference in performance between the two different drives unless you are using the hard drives on a RAID array or MIRROR array and are using the hard drives to store large amounts of data where read and write performance is important such as on a file server, database server, email server, terminal server or even a web server.

Both hard drives are in the same ball park as far as price is concerned so there is no good reason to choose the slower drive unless you are using a 3.0Gb/s bus where you would not be able to take advantage of the faster hard drive – Seagate ST31000524AS anyways.

Here is a simple comparison between the two Seagate Barracuda Drives:

Seagate ST31000528AS

Series Barracuda

Interface SATA 3.0Gb/s

Capacity 1TB

RPM 7200

Cache 32MB

Average Latency 4.16ms

Form Factor 3.5 inches

VS

Seagate ST31000524AS

Series Barracuda

Interface SATA 6.0Gb/s

Capacity 1TB

RPM 7200

Cache 32MB

Average Latency 4.16ms

Form Factor 3.5 inches

As you can see above the only real difference between the two Seagate Barracuda hard drives is the Seagate ST31000528AS has a read / write speed of 3.0Gb/s while the Seagate ST31000524AS has a read / write speed of 6.0Gb/s.

Obviously I would prefer the faster hard-drive and both are high quality and reliable for small to medium sized business and if properly configured will make you happy. 

When fellow network administrators or and small and medium sized businesses in and around Orlando Florida and Central Florida turn to me for technology advise and ask me which hard drive between the two models would I personally prefer and I would choose the faster drive because well it has a read / write speed double that of the Seagate ST31000528AS 

Written by, Chris Ondo