Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Word Of Advice About Thumbdrives

I keep a thumbdrive on my keychain, so that I can access files that I use most wherever I am.  It has come in handy more times than I can say.  From writing stories on computers I usually don't use and being able to save them onto my keychain, to bringing audio files to other places to work on them for the show.  I feel a little lost without my keychain thumbdrive.

Unfortunately, the stupid design that SanDisk has for their thumbdrives means I have to replace them relatively often, despite the fact that the inner workings are still in tip top shape.  Because the thing you attach the key ring to is made of plastic.  And, in the course of removing my keys from my pocket and putting them back in, the strain inevitably cracks the plastic and the thumbdrive falls off the key ring.

Here's my most recent keychain thumbdrive:

You can see the cracked plastic bit there at the bottom of the picture.

Well, I've been buying and replacing these thumbdrives for years now.  When this one broke, I thought I needed to change something up.  This problem with the plastic breaking could be remedied if I could find a thumbdrive that had metal there instead of plastic.

I went searching, and quickly found this:

You can see that at the point where the key ring attaches it is a metal ring.  It should be perfect.  Now, granted it was pretty small, but that shouldn't matter, right?

So, I bought myself one, transferred all my files off my old thumbdrive to this new one, and attached it to my keychain.  That actually took some doing, because the attachment thing is really small.  The keyring that my old thumbdrive attached with was too big.  I had to get a thinner ring for it.  Luckily, my wife had one that I could use.

But was it luckily?  Probably not.  Here's my keys now:

That thin ring on the tip with nothing on it is the one that once had my new thumbdrive attached to it.  It fell off at some time, and I didn't see it happen, or notice.  You would think it would probably turn up, but it's so small that I will probably overlook it if it does.  It's so small that it likely will get thrown away with the other specks on the floor when it gets swept up.  It's so small that it will probably just get vacuumed up instead of noticed on the carpet.

I've looked everywhere I might have lost it, and found nothing.  And the worst part is, I've been very lazy in backing that thing up and making sure the files that I want to keep from it are saved somewhere beyond that tiny portable drive.

I looked on my home computer to see which stories I might have lost.  Rish got me in the habit of putting the stories I wrote in folders labeled with the year they were written in.  On my home computer, I don't even have a folder for 2012, let alone 2013.  Luckily for me, I've been super lazy at writing, so I probably haven't lost much.  But I do know for a certainty that unless I find that itty-bitty chip of a thumbdrive, the work I've done on "Sunny & Gray" is gone, as well as my TWSC story called "The Wrong Ingredients".  The version of "The Wrong Ingredients" that I turned in for judging is still in the email, but the longer version from before I hacked and slashed it down to fit the word count is gone.

And I don't know what more is gone besides that.  I suppose, there will come times when I think that I have something, and then I go to look for it, and discover that it's nowhere to be found.  Could be next week, could be years from now.  Will probably be both.

Now I walk around, looking at the ground, getting hopeful any time I see something small and black on the ground where I think it might possibly have fallen to.  I'm like one of those guys in a sad movie montage.  I'm still hopeful it'll turn up.  You never know.

So, anyway, my advice to you is don't buy a thumbdrive that is so small that when it falls of it immediately disappears into the ether, because when it does, you'll regret the files you've lost.

1 comment:

  1. Big, what the heck are you doing keeping important files on your thumbdrive!!! Skydrive is free with a free or email account, and it is extremely easy to use. Not only is there an application you can install that makes it look like another folder on whatever computer you are on, you can also log in from the browser and access and even edit your files. There is even android and iphone apps. Do us all a favor and start using a more reliable means of file portability! When you lose the next great story you're working on, we miss out don't you know! :) Seriously though, look into these type of free options and you won't regret it.