This is a 256 Gigabyte USB flash drive. This shows how far we have come since the early days of portable storage of personal files. This will cost you US$545.67 on Amazon.com and would be able to store a huge movie collection and/or a good supply of music in MP3 or FLAC. Installing a copy of Linux Mint 13 on this would leave a huge space available for the allocated storage allowing you to have a portable Linux installation that would be able to carry large files around. In the old days there was a USB drive available that had a 64 Megabyte partition and a 1.44 Megabyte partition that stored files that came with the drive. But a 256 Gigabyte USB drive is a whole league ahead of that old thing. There is also a measly 64 Gigabyte version for only US$115.11, this would still be a good capacity for the price. The first USB thumb drive was made by International Business Machines and had a capacity of 8 Megabytes, this was in December of 2000, still far better than a 1.44 Megabyte floppy disk. USB drives up to 2 Terabytes are planned for the future, they would be quite costly though. It would be cheaper to purchase a 2 Terabyte SATA II drive and put it into an external housing and carry that around, but that necessitates a plug pack to power a 3.5 inch hard disk. Still, one can be had for AU$99.00 from Officeworks.
But that is not the point. The point of this is that a tiny fob pocket sized drive can fit 256 Gigabytes of data. That is very cool. The largest partition size tested by Microsoft with the NTFS file-system is 16 Terabytes, so unless you want a 1024 Terabyte thumb drive, an NTFS file-system on the disk would be fine. Sometimes, the USB drives are not as reliable as we would like, hopefully in the future there will be better technology that will enable more reliable flash storage. The popularity of SSD (solid state disks) shows that flash storage is the future, replacing hard drives as a fast boot drive. It could make a lot of sense if you had a very fast reliable SSD drive, to put your Windows pagefile.sys on it, this would speed up your computer noticeably. But only if the SSD could handle a large number of writes during operation. There is a new technology in the works that could replace the SSD and the conventional hard drive as well, it uses phase change memory and would be significantly faster than the relatively slow Solid State Disks and platter based hard disk drives. If this comes to fruition we could boot up our computers in the time it takes for the BIOS POST screen to show at present. As I mentioned before, having a Windows 7 installation on this type of storage would make for a very fast booting system.
And of course, Linux distributions such as Debian would be very fast to boot as well, you would get some impressive numbers with Bootchart. Debian GNU/Linux can already boot in 14 seconds with some tweaks, so you can imagine how fast it would boot up with the distribution installed on the new phase change memory chips. But once you have booted the Linux system once, you can use suspend mode to put the computer to sleep, then it will come back to life and you can start using it right away.