Almost as good as a laptop.

It's far from as flashy as a laptop, but with 2GB of storage, and a very cheap price tag, it's hard to find reasons for preferring a laptop over a USB storage device. A few years ago, when somebody wanted to help education in Israel by distributing a few thousand laptops with various programs on them to pupils, a number of us suggested that a few hundred thousand disks-on-key would be more worthwhile, cause fewer technical problems, and be much more inexpensive. There are no doubt definite advantages to laptops, but it was my guess that with this particular plan, as many laptops would be stolen as used.

For myself, though I'd still love the status of a laptop, other than when I can't work in Hebrew (meaning when I'm abroad) the disk-on-key is almost always as workable as the more expensive solution. And today U3 devices allow us to carry pre-installed applications on the key. If someone makes a word processor with Hebrew capabilities available as a U3 application (for free, of course) our pockets will be able to hold close to everything we might want on a laptop.

I made use of my 2GB disk-on-key often during this vacation. With my personalized copy of Firefox on that disk it was often the preferred way for me to work. Still, it was hard to overcome the lingering fear that I might forget to remove it before we moved on to other hosts, and more than once I encountered the difficulty of crawling on my knees behind the computer in order to plug it in when the computer I was using didn't have a front-loading USB port. But even with as easy a solution as keeping everything in my pocket, accessing my cloud was even easier. Once I was logged into my gmail account I was only a click away from my Google documents as well, and since I wasn't really expecting to do much long-term writing, but instead was only jotting down thoughts or comments, or opening sentences, it was often easiest to send something to myself or keep it as a draft in my mail. And of course searching for something (and finding it) in my mail was simple.

What's more, when I wrote directly into my mail I didn't have to open a word processor and then decide where to save what I'd written on my disk-on-key.

Go to: Get into my cloud.