Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 10, 2008

4GB Sandisk Cruzer Titanium Plus Frequent readers of Political Calculations will recall that we recently lost all our in-work data, as the USB flash drive upon which it much of it was stored failed, and which later turned out to not be recoverable. That also meant that we also lost every project that we had started but not yet fully developed into the tools and posts that we routinely feature.

Our immediate focus following the loss of our work lay in fully recreating from scratch the tool that gives our readers the ability to design and test drive their own version of the U.S. income tax. But now, with that project now fully developed and follow on projects related to it off on the distant horizon, we find we need to return to our data needs. Namely, what technology should we use to support our development processes?

Until the only sign of life our old USB flash drive showed was a blinking light revealing that no personal computer would ever again recognize its existence, we were pretty happy with the drive we were using. It satisfied our needs to be able to quickly access and transfer data between multiple computers while being extremely lightweight and portable. Our work was secure, highly transferable, and until we found out otherwise, easily and rapidly accessible.

In looking at our unique needs, we went shopping for a similar device, but one that offers enhanced protection against total data loss.

The solution upon which we lighted is the SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus. Here's why:

  • At 4GB, we can consolidate the data from multiple USB flash drives onto a single drive with ample space in which to grow, reducing the total number of such devices needed to support our activities. Plus, it's much smaller, more lightweight, and much more portable than a number of alternative devices that we considered.
  • With an online automatic backup support service, the worse case for data loss is that only our most recent work might be lost in a similar failure to what we experienced with our previous drive. Plus, it works behind the scenes, which means that we don't have to go to any special trouble other than subscribing to the service to get the benefit.
  • Speaking of data loss, did you ever delete a file off a flash drive, then suddenly realize that you shouldn't have? The Titanium Plus' online backup stays accessible for 30 days after a file has been deleted from the physical drive.
  • At $21.99 (as of today - it started out at $59.99 when it was released earlier this year), it's a pretty good price compared to the alternatives. Amazingly, it's less expensive than the same capacity SanDisk Cruzer Titanium flash drive that doesn't tie in with the new automatic online backup service, but that's likely because it may be a bit of a loss leader for the service.
  • The metal casing can withstand 2000 lbs. Your data may not need to be crush resistant, but ours will be! If we could get it to be waterproof to 3000 meters, we'd do that too!

Why not just go fully online? The main reason: Internet access connection speed variability. Being highly mobile, we frequently move between computers where connection speeds range from tortoise through middle-aged hare (we can't afford the ultrafast rocket rabbit service!) and we despise having to wait anywhere from twenty to one hundred eighty seconds just for a simple spreadsheet to upload or download. A physical flash drive solves the time access problem and, from what we expect, the online backup storage service will simply augment it.


About Political Calculations

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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