Floppies are dead. CDs are wasteful, and some files are too big to send by email. So, when you have work to take home at the weekend, what’s the most convenient way? Sonnet has something that might work for you: the Piccolo USB flash drive. It’s about the size of a Pez-sweets dispenser, and holds up to 128MB. Last summer, Macworld was awash with USB flash-memory drives. Seemingly, a far-eastern factory had been churning them out for various companies to add their labels to them. In our tests, it quickly became apparent that the hardware of the time wasn’t good enough; there were problems with drivers. There were some Mac drivers, but these were OS 9-only, and the different manufacturers’ drivers were incompatible with each other. Months later, after the idea had faded as a ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ technology, Sonnet has come up with the perfect solution. The Piccolo needs no drivers – for any system. That means that if you want to move files from an OS X machine; one running OS 9; or even a Windows box, just plug the Piccolo in, and it appears in the Finder as a hard drive. It works in just the same way, though the USB interface makes it a little sluggish. The price is still fairly high, though it has come down since the earliest models saw the light of day. Sonnet make 32MB, 64MB and 128MB versions, with a 256MB version in the offing.


If you don’t want to waste a CD every time you move files from one place to another, then this could be the answer. It doesn’t have the capacity of a CD, but it’s ideal for files too big for email.

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