Ur-Disk 128MB USB   
 

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Review date: 22 August, 2002

    The street price on memory has been slowly working its way down lately, having a very desirable affect on the rest of the computer hardware market. Just about everything that a true wire-head could want is somehow attached to the memory market. CompactFlash™ cards and video cards are directly influenced by the going price of the Megabyte. Since their inception, the portable USB flash-ram devices have gained a good deal of attention but earned little market penetration. Now that the price of the components which go into them are lower in price, the retail dollar sign won't be as high. More to the point, what you may have paid last year for a 32Meg unit will today get you a 128Meg unit. Even the 1Gig units have become much more affordable than they once were.

     These handy key chain hard drives are the most self supportive form of portable media that I have come to know. Their next-to-nothing size makes them incredibly easy to transport. As long as you are using a Windows 2000 or Windows XP based operating system, there will not be a need for any type of driver installation. Just in case you do come in contact with any of the Windows 98/98SE/ME operating systems, a CD is provided that will include the necessary driver. Windows 2000 and Windows XP support the device through the "Safely Remove Hardware" wizard. What that means to us is, we plug the drive into an available USB port and wait for Windows to find the device and activate it. That whole process takes between 5 and 30 seconds on a typical system. After that is done, the device will be given a drive letter and can be treated just like a hard drive. Windows XP/2000 machines will see a new "Removable Drive" icon in their My Computer window.

Here are the particular specifications on the Ur-Disk 128.

  •  Size: 81 x 22 x 10 mm

  •  Weight: 13 g

  •  Erase Cycles: 1,000,000 times

  •  Data retention time: 10 years

  •  Read transfer: > 880KB/second

  •  Write transfer: > 500KB/second

  •  Acoustic noise: 0 dB (at one meter)

  •  Shock resistance: 1000 G (maximum)

  •  Suspend Current: 500uA

  •  Operating Current: <100mA

  •  Operating Temperature: -10oC~ 50oC

  •  Storage Temperature: -15oC~ 60oC

  •  Support USB specification: revision 1.1

  •  Storage Capacity: 128MB

     While most systems are still equipped with a 1.44Meg floppy drive, it has to be the most antiquated piece of hardware installed. In addition to its small storage capacity, the floppy drive is painfully slow and the media is very susceptible to corruption. How many times have you put a disk in the drive only to be confronted with read errors on a disk you worked on just that previous morning? Devices such as this take that pain out of portable data. You can take your work projects home and have them backed up quickly and reliably.

     The Ur Disk is about as simple as anything can be to use. Plug it into a USB port and off you go. For systems that have the USB ports only in the rear of the enclosure, there is an extension provided in the kit that measures just over 3 feet long. The drive has a cap which covers the connection point for protection while in transit (shown removed in the above picture.) The cloth lanyard attached to the drive isn't required, but aids greatly in transportation and locating the drive when its not installed. Kind of hard to miss that bright blue string laying on the desk, even under a mound of paperwork. During operation, a multi-color LED will inform when the drive is ready for use, reading or writing.

     Speed is something USB devices all have in common. Ease of use and device speed is the foundation upon which the entire USB bus was built. Below I have used Sandra to illustrate the speed as related to other devices in the removable class of drives in the Sandra benchmark category.

     Certainly faster than a floppy drive, squeaking ahead of the 100MB zip disk, but lagging way behind the 1Gig Jazz. However, considering that with other forms of media - you have to have that type of drive in every computer with which you want to share data. With the Ur drive, all you need is a USB port, which, is pretty much standard issue on any computer system built within the last 5 years. Solid performance, ease of transport, no drivers required! While the USB flash drives may still be a little expensive, they make a very concrete alternative to other forms of removable media. While CD-R/W media is certainly cheaper, and CDs can be read on any system, there is a higher amount of time required to wipe a disk and then write your data. You just have to ask yourself which properties are more important.

     As for us at the Club, we find these little USB drives to be irresistible. As such, I give the Ur Disk from Media West Distribution the Club Overclocker Seal of Approval.

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Copyright © 2002 Øyvind Haugland
Sist endret:  13 januar 2019
 

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