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World’s Largest USB Stick: 64GB From Transcend

transcend largest flash driveThis isn’t the first time we’ve reported on the World’s largest USB flash drive as that bar continues to rise.

Yesterday [Sep 23, 2008] Transcend announced their newest V20 drive is available at 64GBs.  That’s as big as my laptop from 10 years ago.  Now it’s the size of my thumb.  I put the date in here to so we can reflect back in another 5 years and laugh.

The V20 Transcend includes their value add JetFlash elite data management suite which includes:  Software that turns the V20 into a key to automatically log on to website accounts, or even temporarily lock the computer to prevent unauthorized access. Users can also browse their favorite bookmarked websites and check their email from any compatible computer with the included internet favorites and mobile email functions.

Even though Readyboost never really caught on, the drive has been thoroughly tested for it’s official support.

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USB Hack: Turn Any USB Drive Into a Readyboost Drive

Readyboost is a Windows Vista feature which uses flash memory to enhance computer performance.  The reports have varied about it’s success, but one thing is for sure – you need a Readyboost drive to use the feature – well, until now.

Here is a USB hack or work-around for turning any regular USB stick into a Readyboost drive.  First, lets look to see what Windows would like in a Readyboost drive:

  • The USB Key must be at least USB 2.0.
  • The device must be able to do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device.
  • The USB Key has to have at least 64mb of free space.

If your USB key is at least USB 2.0, but is rated slower for the random reads and writes required to use ReadyBoost, more than likely you have seen this message:

readyboost error window

If so, plug in the USB Key, and cancel Autoplay if it pops up.

Click on Start button, and select “Computer.” After Windows Explorer opens, in the right window pane find the USB Key you want to use.

Right click and select Properties, then select

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eBoostr is Readyboost for Windows XP

Vista Readyboost® has seen plenty of press over the last 18 months and although some feel it’s not all that beneficial for those who are drinking the cool aid, you can now get Readyboost for your Windows XP machine.

eBoostr works just like Vista Readyboost® where you can use additional memory, such as flash memory, to increase a computers performance.  With the newly developed eBoostr™, the booting of your OS and applications is much faster thanks to the smart caching mechanism.

eboostr readyboost windows xp

For those who use a laptop as their primary computer, the eBoostr software could really increase performance since laptop hard drives are much slower than mini-tower PCs (to increase battery life) and thus take longer to launch applications and boot up the system.

With eBoostr you have all the benefits of Vista Readyboost with the ability to use both USB and non-USB flash memory.  The eBoostr software allows you to assign up to 4 individual devices to enhance performance and each device can cache up to 4GBs worth of application data – or 16GBs total.

You can try eBoostr for free with no expiration, but the software only works for 4 hours after boot-up.  To purchase the full version would be $29.

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iMONO 39 in 1 Card Reader Makes You Want to Buy Flash

Brando is distributing the new iMONO 39 in 1 card reader. Talk about tight, Brando packed a lot of connectivity into one small USB dongle. Makes you wanna buy some more flash.

Albeit a more common trend these days, the iMONO does support the newer SDHC format which is not backward compatible. In addition you have microSD, T-Flash and Sim support.

brando imono card reader

The 39-in-1 card reader is Vista Readyboost compliant despite the fact it doesn’t do much.

imono card reader

Thanks Brando

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Internal Readyboost Saves USB Port

PQI has a thoughtful approach to USB Readyboost. Rather then sucking up a cherished external USB port PQI is taking an internal approach. Here you see a PQI 2GB memory enhancement for Readyboost via the USB header connector on a motherboard.

PQI internal readyboost

Although it might not enhance the performance of your Vista system, it is a nice internal solution. Maybe PQI knew Readyboost was a bunch of marketing hype and came out the champion to support the PC monopoly all-the-while keeping the commoner happy with the same number of USB ports.

But, putting some thought into PQI’s approach there is an advantage. One interesting possibility would be if you could boot from it, as it could make for a great companion for a media center machine if you run some kind of Linux version on it, as you don’t have to waste drive space on the OS.

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Windows Readyboost Blows

I’m just a blogger; have written about Readyboost; but never investigated it’s performance. I found an article today from PC World who took a closer look. Basically, it blows.

What is Readyboost you ask?” well it’s a feature of Vista that allows flash memory (like USB Sticks) to be used as additional RAM to boost PC performance.

vista readyboost benchmark

PC World took that claim and put it to the bench. First off, Microsoft indicates that only the best performing flash drives should be used, (3.5MBs per/sec reads and 2.5MBs per/sec writes) so although some web sites claim “use any extra flash drive for Readyboost,” that claim is a bunch of BS.

Using the best performing drives from Kingston, Lexar and Ridata it was concluded the Readyboost did improve performance, but only by 4 to 6%. So unless you had a stop watch – BFD!  My Vista upgrade is going to wait.

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