Tiny 32 GB USB flash drive

My first engineering job was with Burroughs in the 1980s. We were making 100MB disk drives that weighed 70 lbs. A few years later I worked for Fujitsu on a 100MB 2.5-inch drive that weighed about 6 ounces. I can't remember how much either drive cost but it was probably over $1000. Earlier this week I was in Albuquerque and I saw an ancient 5MB disk drive the size of a washing machine. How many of these dime-sized 32GB flash drives ($23.61) would fit inside that 5MB drive's case?

SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ33 32GB USB Flash Drive


  1. It is just silly how small that thing is.  If you cut your fingernails too short you won’t even be able to get it out of the slot on the side of the laptop.  And don’t put anything TOO important on there.  Who knows how many washing machine cycles in your pocket it will take.

    1. Consider the possibilities. Thanks to the possibilities of cloud computing and the shrinking costs of bite-size storage solutions, it may one day be a reality where if you lose a USB drive in the washing machine, you can go to the corner store, buy a new one, and have all your crap loaded back into it when you plug it in.

      Or something like that.

      1. Why the corner store?  Couldn’t they just load all your crap back on right there at the laundromat? In fact you could just buy a new drive out of the vending machine and plug in right in to the washer and get all your data right out of the water.

        1. I don’t have much faith in laundromats, personally. And the USB slot in future washing machines will likely only operate as a hydro-electric charging station or something. Is that even possible?

          1. A wise man once told me, if Linux gets under your skin in a less than copasetic manner, upgrade to a wood-chipper. 

            I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that work-around.

            forgot to say…thanks for the laugh FoolishOwl, much obliged.

    2.  I’ve found flash drives to be quite washer and dryer resistant. Besides one of my own that went through the full cycle I have two additional drives that I found in my apartment building’s dryers. All of which still work perfectly well.

      One of those was a minor heart attack for me. Threw my clothes in, started the cycle and just about the first thing I see go past the dryer window is a thumb drive. Moment of panic because I was sure I had accounted for all of mine. Fling open the door and dig around. It was a weird mixture of relief and misplaced anger at the drive when I figured it wasn’t mine at all.

    3. No, no really. I keep my fingernails as short as possible and stuff like that still works for me. 

      Also, an USB drive is never-ever the sole place for any important data.  Which should be encrypted anyway, since even bigger drives get lost easily.

      1. These also have a little ring you can attach a clip, a piece of string, apiece of (unwaxed) dental floss, or a beard hair to.

      2.  Yeah, everything on mine exists in duplicate on my 2tb hard drive.  I might get a 3tb down the road, but there’s still plenty of space on my 2tb, by time I need to upgrade, prices will have dropped.  I paid $94 for my 2tb in 2010, shortly before the flood which caused prices to skyrocket.

    4. The first computer that I was admin for was a VAX, with four washing-machine-sized disk drives adding up to a gigabyte of storage.  The drives cost something like $30,000 each, and the removable disks were $1000.  And a year or two ago, I lost a 4GB drive that was a bit smaller than this one, presumably in the wash, and the drive had been a free handout from a vendor at a trade show with 2GB of demos and marketing on it.

      (And with terabyte hard drives under $100, storage has really gotten a million times cheaper in the three decades since I got that VAX. And the 32GB flash drive is probably faster than the 4MB RAM was, which had probably cost something like $50-100K. And the PDP we’d had before it had something like 48K of core for $16K.)

    5.  I tied a string to mine so I can pull it out of my Wii.  I bought it with my Wii in mind, so I probably won’t be carrying it in my pocket.  Plugged in, it’s barely noticeable.  In retrospect, I really didn’t need something so small, but it was one of the best rated 32gb flash drives for the price.  I paid under $20 after shipping.

  2. I’ve got two of ’em. No particular problem getting them out of USB ports unless they’re deeply inset. 

    The plastic grip is also quite a bit more firmly fixed to the metal case than most other USB mini-thumbs. Also comes with a nice little cover with a usable keyring clip, a rarity among mini-drives. Recommended.

  3. Flash drives and flash cards are one of those weird cases where bad 70’s and 80’s science fiction movies basically got it right. Toss the info onto my data-cube and I’ll jack it into my portable!

    Yeah, the future is now.

    1. Aren’t old 70s and 80s science fiction movies where they got the ideas from? The only other explanation is surreptitious introduction of advanced alien technology. Which could be the plot of an old 70s … and … 80s ….

      1. you forgot time travel. the future went into the past to make sure that the future would come to pass.

  4. I use a minithumb a bit like these (a bit bigger – a Maxell) to speed up booting on my old laptop.
    Is nice :)

  5. I have this drive.  I like it.  The little tiny “loop” on it (you can just barely see in the pic) is too small to put on a key ring, or thread some string through, so I put 3 strands of sewing thread through it, and braided them.  Makes it easier to grab and pull out of the USB slot.

    My big fear is that I’ll pull some change out of my pocket at McD’s and it will accidentally come out and fall on the floor and I’ll never find it.

    1. I’ve certainly lost an 8G one in the grass somewhere as an unnoticed side effect of such pocket-pullage. It could still be there, a year later, for all I know.

  6. My friend Tom used to have a Data General NOVA computer, found in 2005 in some trailer, unused since the eighties.  He attempted to get the 14 inch, 10MB hard disk drive to run. You can read about his experience at the link below. It will make you appreciate the 32GB USB drive all the more… no moving parts to get dirty and fail spectacularly.

  7. These are perfect for use in car audio since most car manufacturers seem to be braindead when choosing a suitable location for a USB port.
    My car for instance, the USB port is in the console between the front seats, and if you use a traditional long USB stick, then expect to break it off if you shove your coat or another item in there.
    The Sandisk Cruzer Fit’s are tiny enough to completely eliminate any worries and physical damage.

    1. Its also perfect for just plugging into the side of your laptop and forgetting about it until its needed.

      I’ve had one plugged into the side of mine for months, I’ve chucked the laptop into its bag, and my backback pretty much every day since. I’ve never noticed it catching or getting banged around or seeming like its going to break. The only time I actually remove it is when I’m loading up stuff onto another computer.

  8. Makes phone and tablets that come without expansion ports seem real dumb, especially when you see the cost of buying the higher memory versions…

  9. Having retired from a lifetime in electronics, where the largest chip was a dual RTL flip-flop, I am still impressed by being able to put billions of parts on a similar-sized chunk of silicon.

  10. My first computer was a KIM-1 8 bit micro in the mid ’70s.  It came with 4K of memory and the chips to upgrade (the 2114LS3 IIRC) cost $125 for another 4K.

  11. Hello,

    Having used similar models from LaCie, it turns out this is nothing more than a very compact MicroSDHC card reader with a MicroSDHC card installed in it.  The LaCie one was incredibly slow, Class 2 or Class 4.  Frankly, you’re better off getting a compact MicroSDHC card reader like this one for $4 from China: http://dx.com/p/kawau-world-s-smallest-microsd-transflash-tf-sd-sdhc-usb-2-0-card-reader-keychain-25558 and then installing a Class 10 MicroSDHC card in it. 


    Aryeh Goretsky

      1.  Hello,

        Interesting!  All the one’s I’ve seen so far are just MicroSDHC card readers with an embedded card.  What sort of read/write speeds do you see with yours?


        Aryeh Goretsky

  12. Why is it so attractive?

    I have a perfectly find 32gb USB key. I don’t need this. But I really want it.

    If only batteries would get smaller the same way.

  13. These are perfect to load with music and leave plugged in into your car stereo. I’ve done it with a Sony MEX-BT3600U, just in case anyone’s got one and is wondering of it’s capability :)

    1. Not quite perfect. That size forces me to make choices about what to put on. Now, a 128GB USB flash drive – that would be perfect

  14. In the early 1980’s, I used to own an Apple //e clone (yes, a clone).  At a sidewalk sale, I stumbled upon a “we have no idea if it works” Apple ProFile FIVE MB hard disk (meant for the Lisa).  I took a chance and bought it.  After some no-Internet-at-the-time research, I special-ordered an interface card and cable.  A couple of hundred dollars later, I had it up and running – running ProDos 3.3.  W00T!

    How big was 5 MB in a 360K-capacity FD era?  I never managed to use more than 60% of the drive’s capacity. 

    How much did I pay for it?  $50.

    There’s a photo of a ProFile sitting on top of a Lisa here:

  15. And really, that’s relatively large.  If you’re just comparing to disk DRIVES you should probably compare it to 32GB (or 64GB) MicroSD cards.  You could probably fit 5 or 6 MicroSD cards in that much volume.

  16. It’s a bit weird maybe, but I have grown to love this USB key. 

    Good design. Can’t lose it. Familiarity and link to my keys makes it seem more personal and emotional. It’s good design.

    In contrast: I mourn the loss of my Glif iPhone stand/tripod mount. It was about the size of a large USB stick. Lost. Similarly, my wife has a small tie clip USB stick. It kept getting lost. We determined the *only* way was clipping it to you and wearing it like jewellery. Good in theory. I think it’s lost again. 

  17. Funny, i told my six year old pretty much the same story last week ;-)

    Just with – what was the name – the big phat 40 mbs and an 8 gb usb

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