A few weeks ago I wanted to work on a schematic and PCB layout drawings at home, so I emailed them from work to my home address. Windows 7 would not allow me to copy those files to my working folder, it took a "Mama knows best" attitude, since the files arrived by email they seemed to be tagged as possible malicious content.
Rather than waste the evening fighting with the machine I simply waited until the next day and brought the files home on my thumb drive. No more problems...
Cloud security is an elephant in the living room, along with backups, bandwidth, latency, and outages.
Also, here in Silicon Valley, I wouldn't call WiFi "pervasive". OK, maybe at the coffee shops, but if I'm just walking around, most of the time I won't be able to find a WiFi signal I can use -- unless I'm using my MiFI, and that has capacity limits and isn't superfast, especially indoors.
A USB 3.0 memory stick still provides much faster & much more secure storage than "The Cloud", and allows you to do things like run Portable Apps or Linux on a stick. Is it a big growth market now? No. Is it going away? Not anytime soon.
I would be severely constrained if I didn't have thumbdrives. Either files are too large for our e-mail system or I need to sneakernet files between our Test and Production environments which have no connections through the network.
...even when PCs are side-by-side. Used to use an oscilloscope without a network card, all it had for screen capture was a floppy drive. Had to save to floppy, plug the floppy into an ancient machine (on its own network for political reasons) for the sole purpose of transferring the file to thumb drive, then finally get the screen capture into the lab reports on the main PC.
The technology changes quickly (USB 3.1 coming out this year will double the throughput of 3.0) but habits are harder to change. I was just setting up a friend's new computer and they wanted to transfer their old email. The first thought was to find a USB drive, but both computers were on a home network. It was easier to use the network, and it also gave me a chance to show them how to get more functionality out of their computers.
It's the same with email, cloud, or other options. We will tend to use what we have used in the past, especially when there is overlap in functionality. Young people will develop different habits but will hang onto those habits as defaults just as we old fogeys have.
most of the osciloscopes we have at work don't have network cards so they are NOT connected to the network. We use USB thumb drives to transfer screen captures all the time. The few oscilloscopes we have with network cards are a pain because you have to wait for it to boot up, use a keyboard to log in to the network then wait for the O-scope program to load before you could take measurements. It's MUCH faster and easier to transfer data via thumb drive even with the warnings I get from IS when plugging the USB drive into myPC.
I have to do the same floppy-transfer thing with my 'scope, and the only machine I have with a floppy drive is a Windows 2000 machine not connected to the Internet. In fact, none of my Windows machines are connected to the Internet -- they always hang after a random length of time.
So yes, I get plenty of practice transferring data between computers using USB flash drives. I also use them for back-up and for off-site storage. Store things in the cloud? You've got to be kidding -- what happens when your provider has an outage, or decides to go out of business entirely with no warning whatsoever? Oh where, oh where have those All Programmable Planet 'blogs gone, oh where, oh where can they be?
@betajet Store things in the cloud? You've got to be kidding -- what happens when your provider has an outage, or decides to go out of business entirely with no warning whatsoever?
A case in point - I used to have a home business website with Time-Warner Cable as the ISP. I lost the original website files on my PC with a HD crash, had not backed them up on thumbdrive because the venerable TWC had them - no problem, right?
Then TWC did an "upgrade" - guess what happened?
@elizabethsimon It's MUCH faster and easier to transfer data via thumb drive even with the warnings I get from IS when plugging the USB drive into myPC.
Another old O-scope running windoze98 kept gettting booted off the corporate network because it never did security updates. IT folks do not seem to comprehend that while an old PC can be trashed and cheaply replaced with the latest-greatest-whizbang operating system, a 4-channel 5GHz BW oscilloscope running windoze98 with only a floppy cannot be upgraded as easily - its speed is in the vertical bandwidth, not the bloatware processing. And at several tens of thousands of bucks, one does not trash this type of instrument simply because the operating system is no longer the latest.
I'm a pretty techy individual. I still use them frequently. Basically, they're just "easy". I don't have to screw with passwords and internet connectivity. I can toss one in my pocket and take files wherever, in physical form, at any time.
The only times I've found myself thinking of ditching them was when I was spending most of my time on a tablet without USB ports. I think we tend to just adjust our methods to suit whichever tech we find most convenient.
I coach robotics teams of students ranging from elementary (FIRST Lego League) through high school (FIRST Tech Challenge). All of them backup on USB drives . Since:
- There may not be Wifi (or sufficient bandwidth for pulling the whole library) when they need to restore.
- In the case of younger (<13) students they may not have access to much of the cloud storage due to their age.
- They have had accounts cracked and shared documents / source altered.
Most of them actually keep two or more drives with backups.
One team experienced why I nagged them about backups. At competition they had the laptop die in the middle of making a tweak to account for the difference between their practice field and the official competiotion one. Since they had a backup they were able to borrow another laptop, load their pre tweak code, make the change (again) in time for their next competition run. If they hadn't made the change there was no chance of them advancing. The change got their score high enough to advance.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...