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Disposable Memory Stick

The cheap thumb drive that permits you to write data once.
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
  [vote for,

For years when I would save data on a floppy disk or a CD-ROM, it was for the purposes of transferring the information from one computer to the other. So if I had to download a driver or something and burn it to a CD so that I could install it on another computer, I would throw the disc away afterwards. In the age where everyone is using a USB memory stick or a flash card of some sort, even burned CD's are less common for small file data transfers. When everyone was using a CD for this purpose, I could burn it for them, mail it out and let them keep the disc. Being that thumb drives aren't cheap, mailing one out without the possibility of getting it back can be worrysome.

So I suggest the disposable memory stick that can hold 256MB or 512MB of data which is comparable to what you could burn on a CD. This would be useful if you need to carry around your files and if you happen to lose it or leave in someone's computer, no big deal. If you need to give someone a copy of your document, put it on a disposable memory stick and let them take it and never be concerned about getting it back.

Jscotty, Feb 15 2007

memory stick advertising Memory_20stick_20advertising
[Ling, Feb 17 2007]


       flash memory is cheap, but i can guarantee it will be never as cheap as the piece of plastic and foil that is a CD. you don't need nanofabrication equipment and a giant clean-room manufacturing plant to make a CD. (in case you didn't get the hint, you need all that for a simple flash memory stick).
Agamemnon, Feb 15 2007

       //but i can guarantee it will be never as cheap as....// Bet?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 15 2007

       by its very nature there is no point to using flash memory in this way, making it cheap is OK but even made cheap it is still usable as a rewritable medium.
jhomrighaus, Feb 15 2007

Dub, Feb 15 2007

       how long does information stored on flash memory last? 5 years, 10 years?   

       It seems to me that PROM type memory would be more 'time stable'.   

       So the idea is good, but for archival purposes rather than cost.
xaviergisz, Feb 15 2007

       So your invention is "throwing away memory sticks"?
pydor, Feb 16 2007

       interesting idea. it would have to cost pennies of course, but if accomplished could make an excellent give-away item for promotions etc., and backing up info like you suggested.   

       i'm imagining a foil-like plastic strip, resembling a piece of mylar. it would be induction powered, like an RFID chip, and have a set of micro-fuses that would "blow" the first time it was programmed, indicating a 1 or 0 in memory.   

       something like this might indeed cost pennies to manufacture, but there's still the issue of a writer/reader.   

       these... memory strips, would have the advantage of a very long life, being write once, read many (WORM). they'd also be waterproof, fingerprint-proof, light-proof, and not terribly toxic to swallow.   

       to erase one, set the induction writer to simply blow all the fuses, and the data is irretrievably lost.   

       the I/O electronics needn't be overly complicated. each time the strip is read, the entire contents would be placed on the host computer to then be read in RAM or off a HDD.   

TIB, Feb 16 2007

       I've seen some stick drives for $5, and a few of those bare chips that fit into a USB port, but don't have the metal collar or a case on them--they must be even cheaper.   

       Get a large company to make the cheapest chip, emblazoned with their company logo. Fill it with pop music and fun ads, then use it as promotional material as [TIB] suggests. Vary the entertainment material in each chip, so people want to trade them, and make damn sure that everyone refers to them by the name of the company. [+]   

       (Practically, I'd burn a CD if working by mail, and only put stuff on a stick if the person was standing in front of me handing over their own.)
baconbrain, Feb 16 2007

       If hundreds of millions were being manufactured, for promotional material, I would expect the cost to be minor. Probably more important would be the postage and packing. I think a micro SD card, or memory stick type format would be easier, but, unfortunately, readers are not always present.   

       See my related idea for read only promotional material buried on an otherwise standard drive.
Ling, Feb 17 2007

       Saturn (or General Motors) mailed out thumb drives to advertise the Saturn Sky. They were smaller than the ones commonly available in stores at the time, and I'll bet they didn't cost much. Still, when you're selling a $25000 car, investing a couple bucks in a customer who already expressed interest is a much better wager than investing $0.03 plus postage for a customer who may already be satisfied with their current ISP (or who may already be an AOL customer).
kevinthenerd, Feb 22 2012


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