Once again I'm plagued by that old bugaboo, indecision, and his partner in crime, bad time management.
by Bill Mehlman
The urge to buy a USB flash drive has been overwhelming. They're just so incredibly cool, and now they're available with 32 gigs of memory. Of course, the entire hard drive of my desktop contains less than a gig of content, so unless I decide I absolutely must carry around the complete audio text of Swann's Way and the collected works of J.S. Bach (they run neck-and-neck in the "Never-Going-to-be-Listened-to, Not even Ten Minutes' Worth" Derby), a one- or two-gig model would suffice.
So what's the problem? For once, it's not even a financial issue; the little gadget I want (in case you're interested, it's the SanDisk 2GB Cruzer Titanium USB Flash Drive ) only costs about $25.
It's that old bugaboo, indecision. And his partner in crime, bad time management.
A logical approach to making this purchase would involve doing some research on flash drives, learning what, for example, "U3 technology" means and would I ever need it, trying to find objective reviews and gaining some sense of what features—other than the neat-o titanium case, crush-proof up to a ton—and determining the store with the best price.
Once I got past the neat-o, crush-proof case with the laser-etched graphics and the distinctive blue LED, I was dead in the water. Every day for a week I'd look at the websites of the two stores with the best prices. Check out the SanDisk website.
Think about whether I really wanted to add another gizmo to my key chain, which led to a three-day internal dialogue about the advisability of getting one of those carabiners that hooks onto my belt loop, enabling me to carry my keys, my house keys, my cigar cutter, a pocket knife, my lucky ring and a micro-mini-Maglite along with my Cruzer. Decided that it was either too nerdy or too right-wing, either one a deal-breaker.
In the end, I was forced to ask myself the single most-relevant question: what the hell did I need it for? I only use two computers, and I store anything I'm working on up at Google Docs (which I'm much less likely to lose than the little flash drive). So what actually happened was that (a) I didn't define the issue properly in the first place, (b) I didn't do the research that would have enabled me to make an intelligent choice if question "a" showed a need for it and (c) wasted a lot of time instead of doing something useful, like, f'rinstance, writing more of these articles.