USB and Solid State Drives

USB hard drives and solid-state "pen" drives are the new kids on the block with prices dropping over the last year or two; a 64MB "pen" drive costs slightly less than $30 and capacities up to 1GB are available for around $90. USB drives have a large capacity for their size. If your machine supports them (or if you have purchased a card reader), you can also use Compact Flash devices, which come in sizes up to 8GB in the Flash memory versions and 4GB for Hitachi Microdrives. Both USB hard drives and solid-state drives are highly portable. Support for these drives under Ubuntu is very good, accommodating these drives by emulating them as SCSI drivesthe system usually sees them as /dev/scd1. Watch for improved support and ever falling prices in the future. The newer USB 2.0 hard drives are significantly faster than the older USB 1.0 hard drives. A 100GB USB hard drive will cost about $150. The biggest benefits of USB drives are data transfer speed and portability.

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