From paper tape to data sticks: The evolution of removable storage

Over the years, people have tried to transfer information from one computer to another in a dizzying number of ways. Here's a look at some of the best, along with others that time forgot.

From paper tape to data sticks: The evolution of removable storage prev next

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The USB Connection



Since 1998 or so, PC users have been living in the USB era. The convenience of USB plug-and-play operation makes every computer user's life easier, and that advantage extends to removable storage as well. Small, portable USB-powered hard drives (lower left) are common today; they hold lots of data and get cheaper every year. Even more popular is today's reigning removable-media champ: the USB thumb drive (introduced in 2000). In coupling flash media's rapidly growing data-storage capability with conveniently small size, the USB key is the format to beat--and it might prove to be the last removable media we'll need.

Photos: Trek/M-Systems/Kingston/Buffalo

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From paper tape to data sticks: The evolution of removable storage

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