Tiny memory cards offer
huge storage options
Memory in a flash
By Lisa Alcalay Klug
Michael Gartenberg has built his career age information user. He does, however, rep- puter files that can’t fit on the old-generation
on information. As vice president and resent a trend among tech-savvy consumers. floppy disks. And while a CD is much cheaper
director of research for New York–based Anyone seeking portability or simplified to burn, a USB flash drive offers greater
Jupiter Research, Costco member Gartenberg ways to back up data for computers, PDAs, portability and flexibility.
oversees the production of countless files’ digital cameras and even cell phones is find- Have a PowerPoint presentation or an
worth of research, statistics and reports. ing portable memory to be an invaluable tool. extensive Excel spreadsheet that you need to
Not surprisingly, he has drawers full of Thanks to demand as well as competition present to a client? Just download it onto a
tiny flash memory cards and other highly in the marketplace, portable memory now flash memory card.
portable storage devices, and often relies on comes in a variety of formats at relatively low “I carry a 1-gigabyte flash drive on a daily
them in a pinch. “There have been times prices. The most popular formats are USB basis with copies of my most important files,”
where a client wanted to access a piece flash drives, Memory Stick, Secure Digital says Gartenberg. “In many cases I don’t need
of research or information,” Gartenberg (SD) and CompactFlash cards. All fall into to take a laptop with me to visit clients.”
says, “and I literally had that information in the category of memory cards that allow So what format works the best? It’s a
my pocket.” users to expand storage capacity. question of which type of slot your device has.
Admittedly, Gartenberg is not your aver- As personal digital devices of all kinds Most products, such as digital cameras,
have become more popular with consumers, have slots for either CompactFlash or SD
demands for memory options have also cards. Typically, these are a little bigger than
increased. “Whether it’s the number of pic- a thumbnail or a large postage stamp.
tures you can take or the number of songs Products made by Sony or under Sony licens-
you can download, consumers are always ing agreements are usually compatible with
looking to expand the capability of their the Memory Stick format.
devices, and these memory cards serve that USB flash drives, also known as “key-
purpose,” Gartenberg says. chain drives” for their portability and pinkie-
The technology has been applied to PCs finger size, plug straight into the USB port of
too. Some memory cards work through a nearly every computer. Many of them even
computer’s USB port, creating instant extra come with a ring to attach to your keys.
storage. These cards can handle huge com- CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Costco features a variety of flash memory
products in various formats in most
warehouses. An additional selection of
flash memory cards from SanDisk and
from Lexar is available at costco.com.
Costco also features Media Center PCs
from Sony in the warehouses and from
Dell and Hewlett Packard at costco.com.
Now that’s home
Scattered in various locations in our home the emerging digital
are recorded TV shows and old movies home.
on VHS, films on DVD, music on CDs (and A Media Center
a few digital music files in the computer), a PC is a beefed-up computer with a special ver-dozen traditional photo albums, a binder of sion of Microsoft Windows XP (the Media
slides, microcassettes of recorded family his- Center Edition 2005). It operates as a library for
tories and a box of 9 mm home videos. A digital files, such as photos, music and video
bunch of different home electronics are clips. It can connect to your TV so you can
required to view and hear these things. watch and record programs. And, through an
Wouldn’t it be nice if all of these precious Internet connection, it can take full advantage
pictures, music, movies and machines could of online music and movies-on-demand ser-
be consolidated—managed in a single location vices. Here’s a look. With a Media Center PC, it’s easy to store
and readily accessible? They can, through a Television and movies. You can connect your your pictures and music, edit your home
Media Center PC, which serves as the brain for CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 movies and more.