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Evolution of a Flash Drive Necklace

March 18, 2010
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I love technology, but it can’t be said that the feeling is mutual. I’m particularly prone to losing bits and pieces of various devices – so it was with flash drives. My first, a skinny little 1G with a turquoise case had a cap and attached to my keychain by way of a plastic loop – which broke. Then I lost the cap, resulting in a mangling of the metal drive.

For Christmas one year my uncle gave me a red 8G SanDisk Cruzer flash drive, the kind that retracts like a box cutter. I put it on my key chain. Little did I realize that my keychain (already too weighty) would pull down the drive when it was in a desktop computer. The drive got bent.

I bought a little 4G drive that swiveled in and out of its plastic case like a Swiss army knife. In the attempt to avoid repeating past mistakes, I kept that one in my pocket, though frequently I’d forget what pocket I left it in, and find myself without it. Then it was left overnight in the office one evening, and the next morning I returned to find it bricked and inoperable.

Finally I decided that the only way I was going to be able to hold onto one of the damn things was if I wore it around my neck, and I went in search of one that would let me do just that.

Any and all ‘flash drive necklaces’ I found with a Google search were usually only 2G, hideously ugly, and almost entirely bejeweled by Swarovski crystals. Apparently the world at large thinks that girls won’t buy something unless it sparkles. 

Then I discovered a design flaw in all flash drives. Any drive that was designed to hang from a keychain or a lanyard, had the loop on the wrong end. Every last one of them would have to be removed completely from whatever was holding it before use – even the ones with caps. Why weren’t any of them designed so that the cap remained attached to the keychain/necklace as a reminder that something was missing?

Which only left me one option: make it myself. I bought a silver 4G PNY flash drive from Best Buy, glued the sole survivor of a pair of moonstone earrings to the front, put a jump ring on, and hung it from a necklace – no one even knew it was a flash drive . There was still one problem: in order to put it in the computer, I had to take the whole necklace off, which meant I might still leave it behind. To remedy that, I went to my local bead store and repurposed a necklace/bracelet clasp. Now I could just unclip the drive from the necklace, pop it into the computer, eject the drive when I was finished, and reattach it. The part of the clasp that remained around my neck would remind me to rescue its other half before I left the room.

After several people told me it was a clever idea, I decided to try selling them on Etsy, with success. I’ve sold eight so far (three more were made that were given as gifts), and most to strangers, so it’s not just my friends taking pity on me. Every time I sell one, it makes my day. I designed the necklace to solve a problem I had, but now I like making them as sort of the anti-bling. This goes to a pet peeve of mine – certain assumptions made about girls and technology. I love shiny new toys, but I do not need them ‘girly-ed’ up in order to enjoy them. I haven’t painted my Macbook pink, or put feathers on my Blu-ray player. I don’t buy gadgets because they’re in the shapes of teddy bears or hearts. 

I’m just an absent-minded geek, and apparently, I’m not alone.

Flash Drive Necklaces on uGeek

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