I mentioned in my previous blog entry “Configuring print spooling with CUPS on OpenWRT”, that USB flash drives work as a good spool device and are quite cheap. When I wrote that, I didn’t realize exactly how cheap they were. The last one I bought was a 512m model which I believe was around US$25 after a pretty substantial rebate. I thought that was pretty good, but that was a while ago and I assumed things had gone down in price a bit.
I went down to one of the large electronics retailers in Taiwan, ç‡¦å¤3C (Cankun Electronics), to get one for the router that will go in my second restaurant so that it can be configured for print spooling too. I was intending to get a 512m model again since that’s a pretty generous size for a print spool device. Instead I ended up with a Transcend 1GB JetFlash V30 for TWD449 (USD13.60). 2GB drives were going for TWD699 (USD21.18) and up. They even had models up to 8gb in size for fairly reasonable prices. (They had 512m models still but they weren’t significantly cheaper than the 1gb models.)
This is a higher end brand at a bigger (more expensive) retailer, so it’s a bit more expensive than elsewhere (for example, the same drive is available for USD7.75 on Amazon), but it’s still a very inexpensive price. I saw that there are 16gb and 32gb models on the market, but those are still quite expensive. No wonder laptop makers are talking about replacing disk drives with flash! 16gb of storage on a laptop is plenty of room for most purposes. And a 16gb or 32gb iPod Nano would be pretty nifty.
I feel old.