Shrinkage. No, not that kind…

Anytime one of my staff walks into my office and says the words, “Take a look at this”, or “You’ve got to see this”, I tend to get a little stab of excitement.

I like gadgets. I like new techno “stuff”. My staff know this. Situations like this tend to either be a harbinger of something really cool, or something that’s worth of a major facepalm.

Either way, it tends to be fun.

Today it fell into the “cool” category.

A new USB drive with a 4Gb capacity and full encryption (we need that to store sensitive medical data AND avoid a HIPAA breach, thus keeping us out of the newspapers).

Now I know USB drives are getting smaller and smaller and capacities are going up and up, but just take a look at the photo below.


Thats a pencil on my desk, a fish oil pill (I take ’em daily) and a standard paper clip.  All for scale.

In the middle is the USB drive.


Holy James Bond Batman!!!

It’s tiny!!

Said staff member showed me this and I thought it was, hell, I don’t know what I thought it was but I wouldn’t have guessed a USB drive.

It’s smaller than a pill I take!!!  Heck, I could swallow that thing with no problems.

And the price?? A whopping $6.75 each.

I don’t like to site around and play the “I remember when” game, but for a moment, I’m going to do just that.

I can remember in the early 1980s my father’s company (a software company) purchased a CompuServe computer that came with a MASSIVE 40Mb hard drive. Yup 40 megabytes. The thing was so large, you could put it on my desk today and there wouldn’t be room for the paperclip in the above photo. The drive platters were larger than LP records (anyone remember those?), and there were four of them.  I don’t even remember what the thing cost.  But even in 1980 dollars, it was expensive.


This little thing that is about the size of a quarter now holds 100 times the data of those platters, and I could stash a couple dozen of them in my coat pocket.

Yeah, this made me feel old.

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