Why use a Flash drive?
- Flash drives are small - great for carrying around documents and presentations - but hold from 16 MB to several Gigabytes of information.
- They are cheap ($10 to $150/200 for the largest capacity drives, currently - October 29, 2007 - 4 GB.
- They work on both Macs and Windows PCs
What do you need to know about using a Flash drive?
Not much. When you insert a Flash drive, it shows up as a disk icon on your desktop (Mac), or shows up in My Computer with its own drive letter (Windows). You can double-click it there to see your files and folders and create/copy/move stuff to or from the drive.. You can make folders inside it, copy or move files or folders to it to make copies, or copy or move stuff off it to your computer. But you do need to remember to eject the drive safely - don't just pull it out of the computer. Most of the time pulling your drive out will do no harm—but it can. However, there is a way to make sure that there is no activity on the drive, and that you haven't forgotten that you have a program open that is still accessing a file on it. If you make a mistake, you can scramble all the data on your drive! It has happened! Here's what you need to do:
Ejecting your Flash drive on a Mac
Before you pull out your drive, drag its icon to the Wastebasket - which immediately turns into an eject icon. Wait a few seconds, and then pull out the drive.