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Flash Memory Puts Mars Curiosity into Safe Mode


As with any good project, there should always be a back up plan.  The Curiosity for Mars is no different.  The system has a B-Side computer in the event the A-Side computer went down…well guess what, it went down.

There is a theory that cosmic rays affected some of the flash memory on Curiosity causing the A-Side computer to shut down and reboot into Safe Mode.

JPL is currently backup up the A-Side data to the B-Side computer and should reboot by weeks end.  Configuration and data transfer can take a while, then of course the verification process of everything done right.

JPL states:

“The hardware that we fly is radiation tolerant, but there’s a limit to how hardened it can be, you can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that’s what we’re looking into.”

For updates please visit the NASA website.

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Verbatim Tuff-N-Tiny USB Drive

Verbatim has been busy these days.  On Monday we reported about the Verbatim USB Tuff Clip flash drive, and today Verbatim is announcing their new Tuff-N-Tiny USB flash drive.

tuff n tiny

At the thickness of a penny and about twice as long, the Tuff-n-Tiny USB drive is available in 4 & 8GB sizes.  It’s almost the side of microSD card.

The stick gets so incredibly small, because of it’s SIP technology which encapsulates all of the electronic components into a single miniaturized and sealed unit. As a result, the tiny drives are resistant to dust, water and static discharges.

Our comment about this drive, and any other drive which uses the same USB contacts [image below]

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Verbatim: USB Tuff Clip Flash Drive

Verbatim turned 40 this year and one of the products they have released to celebrate is the USB TUFF CLIP flash drive.  Designed for the everyday use by a teen or college student the USB TUFF CLIP is made of ABS plastic and includes a retractable USB connector.  In addition the TUFF CLIP comes with the obvious carabineer clip.

USB TUFF CLIP

The clip is the compelling part about this project, as you can pick up a 4 or 8GB flash drive just about anywhere.  The clip is well designed to fasten the flash drive to backpacks, key chains, belt loops and notebooks.  With a capless design the caps wont fall off or get lost while dangling from your person.

The 4 [light blue] & 8GB [black] drives are priced at $29 and $39 respectively.

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USB Steampunk – They Simply Get More Amazing

Back in June of 2009 I made a joke that GetUSB.info had a USB Steampunk award, now I’m seriously considering it.  Especially after seeing this new rendition.

This USB steampunk drive was made by a Russian modder.  He traveled to a local rag fair [I’m assuming street fair] to pick up old clock parts and gears.  The guy also picked up some stock brass tubing and screw rods to build a sturdy housing.  Then off the the metal shop.

USB steampunk

The source website, EnglishRussia, has the entire tutorial on how to do this crafty artwork.  It’s far more interesting than educational, so if you are curious about the

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LaCie iamaKey In The Wild

The blogosphere has been talking quite a bit about the new LaCie USB key chains, in fact, I did a post just the other day about them.  Well, yesterday LaCie sent GetUSB.info the iamaKey model.  Here she is in the wild.

The iamaKey is a beautiful drive.  Extremely solid, heavy and doesn’t scratch easily.  LaCie put a lot of effort into the design and material selection to make one outstanding drive.  I’ve used dozens of flash keys  and most end up failing and in the trash.  With the durability I see here, the iamaKey will last.

So here’s the deal…I’m going to keep the iamaKey on my keychain until it breaks.  I use USB sticks daily so there will be frequent tests.  I’ve also been known to forget my keys in my pants, which ultimately ends up in the wash…so there are many stress test opportunities.

I’ll report back when the device fails, but don’t expect an update anytime soon.

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