Educate me on USB drives, devices

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Good evening again folks. Can some of you great folks here educate me on USB drives and devices and what they are capable of and what they do? I googled them and am not computer illiterate. Thank You all smile
 
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218
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VA
I guess it depends on what devices you are talking about. Jump drives, or flash drives, are just portable storage devices that you can plug into a USB port on any computer. You can store pics, video, documents etc. Theres many other devices that can use a USB port to connect to a computer. CD-ROM drives, DVD drives, SD card readers, Etc. For just about any given computer device, you can find a version that can be used with a USB port. They became more popular as devices like laptops got smaller. Chromebooks for example have several USB ports, but no internal hard drive to speak of. You can utilize the USB ports to connect a external hard drive, or any variety of devices that you would like. You can also connect your telephone to a computer via USB cord, and transfer files back and forth from your phone to the computer
 
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1,466
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Maryland USA
One thing to remember- the various USB standards have a transfer rate of XX-- as the standard becomes newer the speed increases. But It also depends on how fast the actual device is, and if it has some sort of buffer or cache. Some devices can deliver pretty fast transfer rates, such as SSD drives. Others might support the latest standard (USB 3.1 I believe) but the device itself cannot feed the data as fast. Slow memory cards on a USB reader are one example of a device that may not live up to expectations. USB 3.0 is pretty common over the last few years, but many really cheap devices might only support USB 2.0. Think of a nice fast road where the speed limit is 100 mph, but your car can only achieve 70 mpg at best. If you had a more powerful car, you might achieve closer to the theoretical max. USB 1.0: 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps) USB 1.1: 12 Megabits per second (Mbps) USB 2.0: 480 Megabits per second (Mbps) USB 3.0: 5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) USB 3.1: 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) I stumbled across this article which actually seems pretty good and covers Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wifi , Thunderbolt and Firewire and other network devices. One of the things I hear frequently is people complaining about "something slow"- like Bluetooth. This is mistaking the comm / network / protocol purpose, and trying to squeeze out something for which it was not designed. Bluetooth is low power, quick to connect, and cheap to implement. But it is slow and short range, and has a limit to the number devices on a segment. https://helpdeskgeek.com/networking/a-breakdown-of-file-transfer-speeds/ Wikipedia on USB https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB I was looking at the history of USB, because I can remember before USB, SATA and even ethernet were introduced (remember Arcnet, Token RIng, or gawd-hep-us something like RS-232 ?
 
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15,223
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N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted by 53' Stude
Good evening again folks. Can some of you great folks here educate me on USB drives and devices and what they are capable of and what they do? I googled them and am not computer illiterate. Thank You all smile
'53 What are you planning on doing with USB devices? Backup? Get a USB 2 min for that task if the computer /LT has a 2.0 port. Then you can just drag and drop folders of use a backup utility. I like to drag and drop for backup of passwords and logins and photos and legal docs. At least 1x per year. But I don't have a business. With that I do a cloud backup which should be free with your Internet Security Package. Stupid name "Cloud" is just likely a barracuda HDD stack somewhere inside some closet in some grimy building . No Clouds or Creator involved.
 
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15,223
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N.H, U.S.A.
I see. The first thing I did was put my wife's 1000's of photos on the thumbdrive to free up some memory - and act as a backup. a decade of Digital photos can be lost in a second in a hard drive crash. Some people keep all their music on there. A 10 buck thumb drive = 3 drawers full of CDs or a shelf or LP's. Some guys are into sound and music and there are USB devices that output high quality digital sound for headphones or for output to your HiFi system. Then you can get a Bluetooth transmitter for under 10 bucks that will local cast music to your soundbar or HiFi setup that has a bluetooth receiver. But it seems smart TV's are taking away the thuder from laptop and pC. You can watch or listen to most anything on the web on your tV. Have fun on your digital journey smile
 
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Waco, TX
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Some guys are into sound and music and there are USB devices that output high quality digital sound for headphones or for output to your HiFi system
I did not know this - thanks!
 
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39,575
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted by Linctex
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Some guys are into sound and music and there are USB devices that output high quality digital sound for headphones or for output to your HiFi system
I did not know this - thanks!
Yup, this is the external USB DAC I currently use with my laptop: [Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com] I also have this older FiiO Q1 that's a combo USB DAC and portable headphone amp: [Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com] Some MP3/digital audio players can also be used as external DACs. Majority of built-in computer soundcards have the cheapest possible poor quality DACs. If you're just listening to sound through your laptop's built-in speakers, then it doesn't really matter, but if you want to play audio through a nice sound system, a better DAC can result in an improvement.
 
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2,161
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CA
I kind of pay attention to the later generation and high speed stuff. Last time I got excited was about UASP. https://winaero.com/blog/check-if-your-usb-3-0-device-supports-usb-attached-scsi-uas-protocol/ As you may or may not be knowing, older USB standards used a Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) protocol to transfer data between devices. When USB 3.0 was introduced, the BOT protocol was retained but a newer USB Attached SCSI protocol (UASP) was defined in the spec which uses the SCSI command set and allows for faster, multi-threaded parallel transfers with command queuing. However, due to low awareness, only a few USB 3.0 mass storage devices adopted UAS. Then there was a lot of nice work done by Nathan K and Benson Leung about USB-C and PD (Power Delivery). This is using the interface to power other devices, and Benson became a bit of an expert at devices meeting the specs. I spent hours reading his material. I think the work got disappeared when Google shut down Google+ earlier this year. You can still search for their names and find articles.
 
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1,466
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Maryland USA
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Stupid name "Cloud" is just likely a barracuda HDD stack somewhere inside some closet in some grimy building . No Clouds or Creator involved.
ARCO, I wish it was that easy. It is far more complicated and larger in scale. Figure the average datacenter is at least 50k square feet, and you have to constantly provide cooling. The racks are stuffed with equipment- a rack could hold 200+ high capacity hard drives, and there could be hundreds of racks. You also need to aggregate these drives with special hardware and software, and further connect these into whatever style of storage management you are using. And that is just for basic cloud storage: high performance storage for special computing loads is a bit more complex, and costly. One of the larger data centers in my company used about $15,000 a month in electricity, and we have about 50 of them scattered around the world. One would think Canada would be great for hosting data centers, due to the lower average temps and reduced cooling load, but it turns out the higher cost of electricity negates that advantage.
 
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