The other day, when I popped my USB flash drive into the USB slot on my computer, I got to thinking. You can tell how old someone is by the way they listened to music when they were kids. If youâ€™re over 40, you used to listen to records. Over 30, and you used to listen to tapes. Over 20, it was CDs. Anyone younger, iPods. If you think about it, the same can be said of how you stored your important files on your computer. Over 40, and it was â€œwhat the hell is a computer?â€ Over 30, and it was huge 8â€ or 5.5â€ floppy disks (no really, children). Over 20, and it was 3.5â€ floppy disks. And of course now, anyone younger has never known anything but the USB flash drive. But the USB stick is not only more efficient and useful than its predecessors; it has also become the coolest and most stylish. You can get a USB stick that looks like just about anything these days, whether your goal is to keep your secret files hidden where no one would suspect, or just to impress your cubicle-neighbors at the office. Hereâ€™s a look at 13 of the coolest, most unusual USB drives aroundâ€”some of which are slick mass-produced gizmos, while others are easy do-it-yourself creations.
13. Eraser Drive How-To
Hereâ€™s a cool little how-to video. It shows you how to turn an ordinary store-bought USB stick into a pink eraser USB stick. The final product isnâ€™t really that sharp, but you get the idea and could certainly improve on their craftsmanship. Also, once you see how to safely remove the USB memory board from the casing, you can apply this lesson to any number of random household objects to make a USB flash drive out of whatever your heart desires.
Just imagine the great reactions you could get from your co-workers with this baby… â€œomg nancy yer a riot! how come theres a nail coming out of yer computer?!?!?â€ Or, â€œHey, Bill, thatâ€™s a great USB stick! Why donâ€™t you come by my office later and weâ€™ll talk about where you see yourself in five years. You really have the right stuff, and I think maybe itâ€™s time you got a promotion.â€
11. Bottle Opener
Honestly cannot think of an occasion when I was like, â€œdamn, I wish I had a flash drive AND a bottle opener right about now.â€ Still, I would probably carry this around with me, and I would probably use it for both its functions. Just probably not on the same night.
10. Wine Cork
See, hereâ€™s a USB drive you could make yourself with the same methods demonstrated in the eraser how-to video up at #13. This wine cork USB drive would be the perfect stocking stuffer for the spy in the family who needs to hide his or her stolen super-secret government documents where no one would possibly think to look: stuck in the neck of a wine bottle in the back of your liquor cabinet.
Another USB drive for spies. However, before actually using one of these to hide your top-secret data, I would maybe cut the casing off a Duracell or something and wrap it around this thing, so it doesnâ€™t look to obviously fake. Have you ever seen a battery with a plastic cap before? No, me either.
8. Cassette Tape
Speaking of ways old people used to listen to music… With this USB drive you could make your girlfriend a playlist with your favorite songs, then put it on this drive and give it to her, calling it a mix tape. (For you kids: a mix tape is what we used to have before playlists. We would cue up a cassette tape, then record songs onto it one-at-a-time, in a specific order, from the radio, another tape or, later on, a CD. Ridiculous. It was such a long, painstaking processâ€”involving serious mathematical calculations, evenâ€”that the gift of a mix tape became the ultimate sign of affection for young star-crossed lovers.)
I donâ€™t know if these are actually made by whoever owns the rights to the real Transformers, but you can buy one of these sweet 4 GB USB sticks on Amazon for twelve bucks. Then you can use it to store your pirated copy of whatever the latest Transformers movie is called.
6. Uzi Drive
L.A. rap group Get Busy Committee was looking for a cool way to distribute digital copies of their latest album, Uzi Does It, and this is what they came up with. If this were the early 90s, old white politiciansâ€™ wives would be outraged and demand the Supreme Court issue an injunction against the distribution of this offensive item. Itâ€™s the early 10s, though, and weâ€™ve pretty much given up on todayâ€™s youth. Do whatever you want, kids.
This one is kinda cute, and also a little messed up in a totally awesome sort of way. Also, it looks super easy to make yourself at homeâ€”just rip of the head of a small teddy bear and jam a USB stick down its neck.
4. Sawed-Off USB Cable
This novelty USB flash drive is one of my personal favorites. You can buy these things on the internet for $45, but you could also make your own if youâ€™re crafty enough. More detailed instructions can be found here. (http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/usbkey)
3. Lego Biker
Not exactly sure where to find this exact Lego Biker USB drive (which is pretty sweet), but there are all sorts of Lego USB drives for sale out there on the intertubes. So if you want one, just have a look around and Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll come across it (or maybe one you like even better).
2. Humping Dog
A USB stick shaped like a dog…that humps your computer? Whoever thought of this is a genius, and I hope he or she is rich beyond his or her wildest dreams.
1. Rocky Balboa
I know this one looks kind of gross, but trust me, this little USB stick is also pure genius. It uses power from your computerâ€™s USB drive to make Rocky Balboa and company perform actual sit-ups. While its basically the same concept as #2 applied to different subject matter (a mechanical USB drive, only characters from Rocky instead of dogs humping), this one gets bonus points and the #1 spot because you can buy a whole set. However, Iâ€™m not forking over any money for these until they add Rocky IVâ€™s Ivan Drago.