Drives Donated to Memorial Junior High

We recenlty donated 128MB drives to Memorial Junior High to use in their computer labs. Here’s what they posted on their website.

A special thank you to for their generous donation of 20 flash drives for the school Media Center for students to use for class projects.  We greatly appreciate the gift and they’re already in use by the students.  Thank you.


$2 USB Drives…

…do not exist! Time after time, we continue to receive calls about unrealistically priced USB drives ($1, $2, $3, someone even asked for $0.25). Everyone, I understand you have budgetary constraints, and limited resources, and don’t want to spend a lot on “just giveaways,” but consider this: would you drive a $100 car or wear an $80 suit to an interview? The bottom line is, if these drives existed, you wouldn’t want them (see image at the top).

To set the record straight, here’s a breakdown of components that comprise a USB drive.

NAND Flash (memory chips only) – this is sort of like lobster which carries the “market price” tag on the menu. To see what the market price is, go to DRAMeXchange and view the table on the home page titled Flash Spot Price (see image below). The capacity is shown in gigabits so you have to divide it by 8 to get the actual size (64Gb is 8GB, 16Gb is 2GB, and so on).

Case, PC Board, LED, Controller, and other hardware components – all add on to the cost. Final price is based on quality.

Freight, duties, and other landing costs – cost for these depends on origin, size, weight, and quantity.

Labor, QC, and production costs– depending on what sort of failure rates you want when your drives arrive, these factors are just as important. It is hard to put a price tag on these, however the main factors in determining cost for such services are personnel training, salaries or wages of the employees doing the QC, complexity of production, and overall time spent.

Next, we have to add printing. If printing is done overseas, cost is minimal. If we are doing a rush order and have to print in US, there is a significant increase for printing.

Next, add markup – nobody works for free. If you like your vendor you must pay for their work or you’ll have no vendor to work with.

In conclusion, if you want to give out a quality product I suggest going with a reputable supplier, one who takes the time to confirm all the details and provide suggestions based on your project. If you don’t have the budget for this, consider an alternative – a less expensive product (but not a cheap one). Just don’t settle for crap.

Boston Consulting Group RUSH Order

It was 6 PM Central Time and the meeting between the Boston Consulting Group [] and Kimberly-Clark [] officials was about to begin. In front of each attendee was a neatly stacked notepad, a fountain pen and a CustomUSB flash drive housing the BCG logo.

A few hours prior, these drives were hand-delivered by one of our employees who drove 3 hours from our headquarters in Chicago to Kimberly-Clark corporate office in Neenah, Wisconsin. Did I mention, this was a 75 piece order that took longer than expected to clear customs and arrived to us only at 12 PM the same day.

Here’s an official statement from BCG:

Thank you for everything. We really appreciate what you have done for us.

USP – That’s USB in Chinese

Ran across a Chinese “competitor” and saw the following in the specifications under one of the USB models. Pretty funny. In any case, if you want a cheaper price, I would be happy to refer you to these guys.

    1. Adopt USB1.1/2.0 connect, support is hot to put to pull out, plug-and-play. DO not need to circumscribe power supply, the direct USB connected a statement electricity.
    2. Read and write speed quickly: 2.0 connect to write in speed: 11 MBs/s / Read Speed:12 MBs/s (install with computer relevant)
    3. Use various operation terrace WIN98/SE/ME/2000/XPs, MAC OS8s.6; HIGHERs, UNIXs, LINUX2s.4. Or renewal edition (WIN98 beard the gearing drive procedure).
    4. Supporting the software encrypts, the double starts function. The electronics is saving to lie quality.Have no machine parts, the anti- vibrates, anti- electromagnetism interference.
    5. The adoption possesses singly super stability technique, the data is saving more safe. Support (not) managing person’s encrypting under the WIN2000/XP, the combination encrypt, double area space, can adjust to encrypt area capacity freely, measure a body to make to order a personal space.


Is Apple a Flash Chip Bully? (repost from

Repost from

A rather provocative article in The Korea Times claims that Apple is using its market power to bludgeon the NAND flash market. 

The claim is that Apple uses its iPod and iPhone clout to order a large amount of flash memory, then actually purchasing a smaller amount, the Times article charges [].

“Apple has asked Korean semiconductor makers to produce a certain amount of chips for its digital products, only to actually purchase a smaller volume eventually,” according to a senior industry official quoted by the Times. “The company doesn’t make immediate purchases, but waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted.”

Unfortunately for the flash industry, Apple may be treating the flash market unfairly, but not illegally. The behavior that the article describes doesn’t seem to violate any U.S. antitrust laws (I can’t speak for Korea). If anything, Apple could be characterized as a bad business partner, if you’re a flash supplier. But if I were an Apple shareholder, I would cheer Apple’s allegedly heavy-handed negotiating tactics as just good business.

There’s a reason why flash memory and DRAM are both commodities: Everyone needs them, but no one is willing to pay for them. All Apple does is bundle 8GB of flash together with a slick operating system and a visually and tactilely appealing industrial design, and sells them like hotcakes. MP3 players aren’t that hard to design, even by a chip company—just ask SanDisk.

So far, Korean antitrust agencies haven’t stepped in. If they do, Apple’s business practices will be heavily scrutinized. Until then, however, I’m afraid Apple’s partners will simply have to knuckle under.

ToyboxDX USB Nekobots Incubot Robots

Ahhhhhhh, we’re being attacked by giant robots. No wait, they’re just the new Nekobots Incubot Robot shaped USB drives designed by ToyboxDX [] and produced by yours truly.

These rubber custom drives have moving arms and head. They split at the waist to expose the USB plug. They also come with an LED on the chest that lights up when the drives are plugged in.

You can get more details: [].

Nekobots Incubot Custom USB Drive Read More…

October 2009 Flash Price Increase

So prices are going up again. Here’s an explanation.

NAND Flash, the memory component used inside USB drives is a commodity product, like gold or oil. Its price is controlled by supply, demand and various market conditions. In the beginning of the year, costs were at an all time low so to equalize the market, Samsung and Toshiba reduced output of flash which is now causing a shortage. In the last three months, costs doubled which caused the price to the end user to go up as well. Think of it as a commodity stock market; if you do not buy today, tomorrow you may have a different price.

The lesson – stop procrastinating, place your order today.

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