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Psst! Wanna buy a cheap thumbdrive?

with 4 comments

If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.    

On a recent trip overseas, a friend bought a 500GB USB thumb drive for only AU$20! That’s only 4c per gigabyte – bargain!

Could that “500G” just be the model number? Nope, definitely 500 gigs, it says so on the back:

Even Vista says it has half a terabyte!

When he tried copying files across to it, it started to report I/O errors after around 200 megabytes (surprise surprise). A deep format revealed that it was in fact really only a 256MB thumb drive.

Given that:

  1. There is no 500GB thumb drive on Sony’s official site;
  2. 32GB is the highest capacity thumb drive available in Australia;
  3. The ridiculously low dollar-to-gigabyte ratio; and
  4. It doesn’t actually work;

this is very obviously a fake. What’s interesting is that they’ve hacked the firmware to report a higher capacity than the drive actually is. Fake or not, that’s pretty clever.

Now if my friend had a web-enabled phone, he could have done a quick search on the net and found that these were most likely fakes.  In fact, he could have bought a  3G iPhone for only AU$100 from another vendor down the street … :)

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Written by Richard

7 May, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Posted in tech

4 Responses

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  1. Hahaha! When I saw your traveller friend after his holiday, he showed my cousin and I the 500G thumb drive. He plugged it into the computer and like your diagram shows, it came up as having 500G worth of storage! Needless to say we were quite sceptical, but for $20 it seemed worth the try. Oh well…

    Mare

    8 May, 2009 at 7:35 am

    • I’m just glad it didn’t have a virus on it. Don’t let anyone stick their dirty USB drives in your computer without protection …

      Richard

      8 May, 2009 at 8:29 am

  2. The ironic thing is that in maybe 5-10 years time, you’ll look back at this post and laugh because storage like that probably will exist!

    jasechong

    29 May, 2009 at 11:16 pm


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