thumb-driveMy mind is on my thumb drive.

Not that I’m thinking about it, but that I’m thinking about. At least, my creative mind.  Everything I’ve written and drawn in the past couple of years is contained on this ridiculously tiny little device (it would only make me sad if I mentioned how little space that data takes up on the drive.)  It also holds the comics that entertain me during lunch.  In a very real way, it stores my imagination.  I carry it with me just about everywhere.

Granted, I’ve got it backed up in a couple of places, but there is something very nice about being able to pull up a story I’m working on any place I happen to be that has a computer with a USB port and Microsoft Word.  While I’ve had a problem or two, namely a few times when I’ve tried to update something and instead of saving I got an error and then the original file got erased, but that’s likely because of the security at my job and not any fault of the drive.  By the way, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of staring at a screen and realizing that something you spent hours writing and will never be able to reproduce is completely gone.

And this device is impressively tough.  I’ve dropped it several times and it’s never cracked or lost any data.  It’s been knocked around with my keys and my phone in my pocket and it’s always been fine.  About the only thing I’m afraid of is bending the port interface while it’s inserted in the computer, thus making the data inside inaccessible, a disaster that has happened to someone I know.  All unlike the floppy drives I’ve used in the past which were all too easy to bend and seemed to get corrupted at the drop of a hat.

This little piece of technology is one of my favorite possessions and the other day, I washed it.  Not on purpose, of course.  I didn’t realize this until I opened the dryer and saw it sitting there.  Apparently, I’d forgotten to take it out of my pants pockets before tossing them into the washing machine.

Imagine my dread as I carried my precious thumb drive to the nearest computer and the nervousness that rose while I had to wait through the five minutes of startup that powering it up takes.  Surely, an electronic piece of equipment couldn’t stand up to being submerged in water for the twenty or so minutes it takes for laundry to go through a full cycle.  And if it could, it was certain that the heat of the dryer would ruin it.  I tried to remember the last time I’d backed it up and my only bit of relief was that, at worst, I’d only lost a few days worth of data and would have to go through the annoyance of putting everything on a new thumb drive.

After putting the drive into the port, I was relieved to find that the computer still recognized it.  When I opened it up, I was even more relieved to discover that all my files were still apparently there.  It was almost anti-climatic when I opened up a file and found that it was perfectly intact.

That’s right, a thumb drive is, apparently, robust enough to go through the water, soap and agitation of a normal wash cycle and the heat and tumbling of a dryer and still work just fine.

So, while I don’t advise it as a viable way of cleaning your thumb drive, any of you out there who are absent minded like me should take heart in knowing that it will survive such abuse.

Ain’t technology grand?

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