Computer: Storage: Drive
Stackable Memory Sticks   (+24)  [vote for, against]
Connect them together

Anyone who uses memory sticks(or thumb drives) and has more than one has invariably found that the file they need is on the other stick than the one that is in the port so you need to close out swap the sticks and get what you need.

I propose memory sticks with a male connector as normal but with a female connector on the other end so that additional sticks could be plugged in without removing the first stick or other USB devices could be connected through the drive(IE I like to use a trackball so I could install my drive and then connect my track ball in a single port)

An additional feature combined with the Memory stick display idea would be to allow you to connect the sticks to each other and transfer files or create a backup copy(ie combine contents of several small sticks into one larger one)
-- jhomrighaus, Feb 15 2007

A nice illustration of this idea. http://gizmodo.com/...-concept-228386.php
I'd call it a case of the Newton vs. Liebniz [daseva, Feb 15 2007]

Modular USB flash drive http://www.engadget...ay-to-sort-your-da/
[xaviergisz, Nov 24 2011]

somewhat similar PenDrive_20chit-chat
[simonj, Dec 07 2011]

Memory stick death star Memory_20stick_20Death_20Star
similar? [bungston, Dec 08 2011]

Well, (half)baked. (linky)
-- daseva, Feb 15 2007


:-)
-- BJS, Feb 15 2007


I think this is a great idea. Interesting drivers may need to be used, just so that the computer doesn't get all confused about what drive it's actually accessing. Maybe the drive that is plugged in directly gets labeled "E:\" or whatever, then the next drive is added as a folder in that 'virtual' drive, like "E:\F\". I know very little about windows addressing, so I have no idea if this would work, but it's an idea.
-- Agamemnon, Feb 20 2007


how does it tell them apart now?
-- jhomrighaus, Feb 20 2007


Do they not have unique identifiers anyway? I've always just assumed that they did, but never really needed to find out. Good idea though.
-- Noexit, Feb 20 2007


With regards to the drive lettering, each drive is a separate usb device and would be recognised as such by windows. What is effectively being proposed is a two-port USB hub with one port permanently connected to the thumb drive and the other port connected to a socket on the exterior as normal. Very bakeable.
-- K o R, Feb 20 2007


Lego thumb drives!
This here special croissant has a female connector on the back end so you can plug the next one {+{
-- methinksnot, Feb 20 2007


Yeah.. any USB device (thumb drives included) has a unique identifier. Theoretically the USB standard can accept up to 128 devices on a single PC. So if you connected 4 separate 4-port hubs to a 4 port hub and then stuck a thumb drive into every empty slot, it would recognize all 21 devices.
-- Jscotty, Feb 20 2007


I thought this was going to be an idea for connectable mirroring RAID usb sticks. For example, attach two 1 GB sticks so you can store your 2 GB file across them.
-- ironfroggy, Feb 20 2007


Why not do that with them as well?
-- jhomrighaus, Feb 20 2007


Not sure if flash disks can be made into dynamic volumes (needed to enable spanning). Alternatively just compress into a spanning zip file, though this won't be evenly spread across the disks.

Edit: I checked, no, usb disks are "removable" type, no option to convert to dynamic.
-- K o R, Feb 21 2007


//So if you connected 4 separate 4-port hubs to a 4 port hub and then stuck a thumb drive into every empty slot, it would recognize all 21 devices// As I was going to St. Ives.....

[+] I think this is a bloody good idea. I wonder if there are other stackable options. How about stackable light-bulbs (40W + 60W = 100W)?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2007


[MaxB] Just get some metal, wires, duct tape and a fire extinguisher.
-- K o R, Feb 22 2007


I believe there is a hardware limitation that prevents one from creating a long string of hubs, but this idea is doable if you don't go overboard. A nice idea. However, keep in mind that in general the goal with flash drives is to make them as small as possible with as much space as possible, so in practice it would often mazke sense to just buy a bigger flash drive.
-- aguydude, Dec 11 2007


Wireless drives would be better, [MaxB]thats a bloody old language u use.
-- skybw, Dec 11 2007


//[MaxB]thats a bloody old language u use// In what bloody way?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 11 2007


Good idea, in fact one of the original premises of USB, was that you could chain devices together.

//Interesting drivers may need to be used, just so that the computer doesn't get all confused about what drive it's actually accessing//

Each device on a USB chain does *not* need it's own hub, however, so there's nothing complicated about just stuffing another connector on; afaik the OS would just see the new device as "another device on USB1" and handle it accordingly.

//I wonder if there are other stackable options. How about stackable light-bulbs (40W + 60W = 100W)//

err... like (for CF's) one set of electronic witchery that plugs into the mains, and then separate 20W thingies (that are just bulb, contact wires and pass-thru), that plug into that (and each other). Neat, but I think finding an uncomplicated way to dim CF's would be more practical.
-- FlyingToaster, Dec 11 2007


//In what bloody way?// as in old English.
-- skybw, Dec 11 2007


It wouldn't be so easy to get them to talk to each other for file transfer, though, as they would both be "slave" components without a "master". Firewire could be better in that situation. Or, as someone else said, wireless eg. bluetooth.
-- TheLightsAreOnBut, Dec 12 2007


This is a nice idea. I'm not sure though how many daisy-chained USB devices can be powered from a standard USB connection - someone who knows more about USB than me might be able to answer this.
-- hippo, Dec 12 2007


//In what bloody way?// as in old English.//
"Bloody" is alive and well as a moderate swear word in English. If anything, it's more of a class thing than a period thing.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2007


//Bloody ... a period thing//
-- marklar, Dec 13 2007


+1
-- po, Nov 24 2011


//Firewire could be better in that situation.// I would go slightly further, and suggest that firewire already does this better than USB ever could; firewire allows direct data transfer between devices with far less overhead than USB, and is inherently suited to a daisy-chain topology.

This idea is trivially bakeable (I have an external HDD enclosure with 2 female USB ports), but is perhaps not in the spirit of USB - USB peripherals should be cheap and simple, so it's better to add a hub if you run out of ports, rather than lumber peripherals with their own hub.
-- spidermother, Dec 07 2011



random, halfbakery