Those little USB keychain flash
disk things finally got cheap enough so that even my penny-pinching ass
would buy one. I got a 64MB model for $25, which seemed pretty
reasonable. I love the thing. It's truly tiny, and holds over three
times as much data as the first hard drive I ever owned (which probably
retailed for $500 new.) It also, wonder of wonders, is truly plug and
play. I plugged it into my Mac's USB port, and an icon showed up in my
Finder window. I copied an album I'd encoded earlier that day onto it.
Then I unmounted it from the Finder's menu and physically unplugged it
from the USB port and placed the protective cap over the USB connector.
I brought it to work this morning, and plugged it into my FreeBSD
machine. I wasn't even sure if USB mass storage support was compiled
into my kernel, but I figured I give it ago anyway. I created a mount
point and executed the
mount command, and (whee!) there
were the files I copied from the Mac. I deleted the files with
umounted the volume, then did a
camcontrol eject and removed the device from the port. I
walked the device over to my Windows 2000 machine, plugged it into the
USB port, and it mounted the device instantly, without any driver
installation. Cool, plug and play, on three different OS platforms.
It's kinda nice when things actually work.
Come, every frustum longs to be a cone,
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze:
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.
— Stanislaw Lem, “Cyberiad”