Immortality update (USB department)

As recounted previously here and here my doughty little 8GB USB stick has now survived two inadvertent but complete trips, two months apart, through the washer and dryer. After a day-long bath in WD40 and a thorough air-drying process, it is now back in duty... and again working like a champ!

I had been sobered by the expert view that, despite its brave initial recovery from the trauma,  the USB was already doomed because corrosion of its tiny circuits had begun. It was bound to fail in four to eight weeks. Then another expert said that WD40 could reverse the process...

It's now 10+ weeks since the first wash-dry cycle. Every four weeks or so I'll report on its health -- until I get bored, or I have to report its demise.

Meanwhile, I have received a note about a kind of "Survivor" USB stick designed to go through the washing machine -- and nuclear winter, and whatever other torture test you have in mind. I'll try to take this in the right spirit -- and not as if I were a diner in a restaurant being offered a bib after repeatedly dripping food all over myself. Thanks, I think, to Dave Proffer for the tip.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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