A flash, jump, thumb, pen, keychain drive and even memory stick are all words to describe the same thing: a USB drive that is a plug-and-play, portable storage device about the size of a thumb.
The device will work for both Mac and PC's, and does not require batteries or an external power supply. When the device is plugged into a USB port, the computer automatically recognizes it as a removable drive and assigns it a drive letter, such as E:.
Files can be saved, copied, moved or deleted from it just as you would a hard drive. However, it is not recommended as a backup device - users are encouraged to backup their files to a CD-RW or CD-R disk.
The USB drive can store virtually any digital data media, and range in capacity from 8 MB to 2 Gigabytes. Be sure to buy one that corresponds to your present and future storage needs; for example, an art or architectural graphics student will need a lot more storage capacity than a word processing student, because graphical files tend to be so much larger.
Also note that not all flash drives are the same: depending on the manufacturer, some flash drives may require drivers to be installed on the computer in order for them to be able to be used. If you are working on public computers, drivers are not allowed to be installed, and hence you may not be able to use the drive. At Yavapai College we will install the driver for you if you find that your device is needs one to function.