DerekAllard.com

(Fire)foxes can hold their breath!

Remember years ago when you didn’t have Dropbox or Air Sharing and you relied on a trusty USB pen when you went somewhere and needed to physically pass files around? I do. Having spent almost 10 years doing training and going from office to office, computer to computer, it saved my life many times.

In 2007, I met one of the Mozilla guys at a conference (I think it was Benjamin Smedberg) and he gave me the last USB pen I ever owned.

Firefox USB pen

I tucked it in my backpack, and that little guy has been everywhere with me, even causing momentary confusion in Germany when a customs agent pulled it out of my bag and excitedly showed it to me. At the time I thought I was about to get interrogated by a German Jack Bauer; turns out he just was a Firefox lover. It saved my butt once again late last week, when I was in a foreign computer lab with no internet access (wireless or otherwise). I’m sitting there with my laptop, needing to get files to another computer that’s hooked up to a projector, and drawing a blank. I momentarily contemplated burning a single file to a blank DVD, but then I remembered ol’faithful. So out it came, files got moved, and I tucked it away quickly into my pocket in case I needed it later.

...And then I did something stupid…

Turns out I didn’t need it afterall, so it stayed in my pocket. Later that night I thought it would be a good idea to do laundry. Here’s what I woke up to the next morning coming out of the dryer.

Laundry day

Feeling a little stupid, I grabbed my crap off the floor and put it in my office. Just right now, I decided to plug it in.

USB pen works despite putting it through a laundry cycle

That little guy went through an entire wash/dry cycle, and came out the other end shiny and still capable. And that’s how I know (fire)foxes can hold their breath!

Comments

Michael Wales wrote on

I still have an old 2GB stick laying around that went completely unused for almost a year. I recently had to break it out and use it again (when my daughter’s laptop decided it didn’t want to work any longer) to reinstall Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

I rarely use it, but when I need it - it’s nice having it around.

Nick wrote on

Remember when we did not have trusty USB-pens and had to use untrustworthy floppy disks for our ever so important important word perfect-files?

I’ve seen enough floppy-related disasters to last me a lifetime. :-)

Roland wrote on

I had this old kingston 512 meg stick for years. I swear to god i washed and dried this little sucker at least 100 times, damn thing just kept tickin. I abused the crap outa it adn it lived. That is until i washed it that 101 time and it came outa the dryer in peices, funny though, even without it’s plasic protection, it still worked, even if it was a little flaky.

Scott wrote on

I’ve had my share of laundered USB drives too. Seems like most of them can hold their breath. :)

Stephen Smith wrote on

Its about 6:30 in the morning, ive just woken up and showered. I go to put on pants, *clack clack clack*... oh crap whats that? *jiggle jiggle jiggle* *clack clack clack*... *reaches in pocket*... shit. I washed my flash drive.

Boris Kuzmanovic wrote on

Last time I felt this kind of joy was when a floppy saved my desktop from a nearing disaster called the hard disk sound of death.

Jordan wrote on

Honestly I am still having my little friend and what it does to me is unbelievable. It fell from my office stairs and rolled all the way six stairs down but when I retrieved it I saw a broken outer cover. Instantly I thought it was the end of my Firefox friend but I was wrong….surely it does not die

David wrote on

Doesn’t everybody still have a copy of laplink around?

sophistry wrote on

Apropos of the USB stick going through the laundry… I heard that David Blaine once ate a USB drive, passed it 2 days later and it still worked!

Looking forward to hearing what you get up to next, Derek.

Marquezi Medeiros wrote on

Yeah! The old PenDrive! Where I live is hard, i need to use too much that, wire-less is good, but i don’t have =/

Donovan Thompson wrote on

USB devices are good. But since I’ve had my iPhone, it’s served that purpose. Even better, I prolly will never forget it in my pocket in the laundry. :)

I do have a USB drive that I’ve put some important info on and stored away in a safe place just incase.

chomikuj wyszukiwarka wrote on

I think that it will work fo some time but in the long term water will have devastating influence on this usb and it will finally stop working :(

Ankur Jain wrote on

These little flash drives are fairly reliable, I managed to do the same thing to an old USB key of mine almost four or five years ago and it still works!