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The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed
by Gary Woods

In the beginning there was USB (Universal Serial Bus) 1.0. It was a protocol that was, well "universal." You plugged it into your computer and the computer recognized and it and you could move stuff on and off it like a floppy disk only way bigger. The problem was it was pretty darn slow. I once restored a hard drive from backup using USB 1.0 and it took all of 15 Hours. I could have manually reloaded the data in 2 hours.

Then, along came USB 2.0 and it was much, much faster so you could move a lot more stuff around much more quickly. But now, USB 3.0 is pushing its' nose under the tent. The protocol promises speeds that will make FireWire obsolete and maybe even E-SATA. The problem is there aren't many of those 3.0 drives around.

Recently I saw a USB 3.0 drive combined with an SSD (solid state drive) that combined two my favorite protocols, SSD and USB 3.0. The SSDs have no moving parts so they're very stable and light and seemingly are going to last for a very long time.

The drive I saw that combined these two systems is called the OCZ by Enyo ( and it can move data about 6 times faster than my old clunky 2.0 drives. There are a couple of problems however. First a 256 GB drive costs about $820 and second I don't have any computers with USB 3.0 ports. So for now I'll still be sitting on the sidelines waiting for that magic day to arrive when I can move whole bucket loads of stuff around lickety split.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc