Carolina Torres – Special to The Southern News –
Katherine Gonzalez lost her personal poetry collection. The Spanish junior had saved it on her thumb drive and brought it to the Student Center’s computer lab to work on her poems.
After editing them and saving the results, she forgot to unplug the thumb drive and left without it. Even after asking at the information desk and searching for it in the lab, she could not retrieve it. All her efforts were in vain.
“I really try not to forget my thumb drive,” said Gonzalez, “but it just happens. I also forgot one last semester, but I could find that one again.”
Every day three to four thumb drives are forgotten in the computers of Southern’s library, said Kelsey Ciarleglio, a student worker at the library’s circulation desk. Additionally, the students forget two to three thumb drives a week in the Student Center, according to Cristin Generoso, a student worker at the Student Center’s information desk. That makes over 20 pen drives a week and more than one thousand a year – not even counting the weekends.
“People come to the library or the student center lab, print out their papers or just work on them and forget their thumb drives plugged into the computer,” said Generoso. “I think what’s also a problem is that some of the students don’t even know they can come to the information desk and look for their thumb drives.”
Every time someone brings a forgotten flash drive to the library’s circulation desk or the student center’s information desk, the student workers plug them into the computer and check if there are papers with names or contact details on it, said Ciarleglio.
“Then we try to call the students or email them,” she said. “But if we don’t find any information, we just keep the thumb drives here for a while. Sometimes someone picks it up, sometimes not.”
If no further contact details can be found on the thumb drive, Generoso said, the student workers even try to look the people up on Facebook.
Will Doggett, a sophomore accounting major, never forgot his thumb drive at Southern. But this has a certain reason: his thumb drive has an integrated red light that gleams whenever it is plugged into the computer.
“The light tells me that my thumb drive is connected properly,” said Doggett. “It blinks when I am saving a document and it also reminds me that it is still plugged in, so I never forget it.”
In order to call a halt to the oblivion of thumb drives, homepages such as Lifehacker, which offer “tips and downloads to getting things done” as stated on the webpage, came up with a new tool: a software that recalls people in form of a pop-up reminder of unplugging their thumb drive before logging out or shutting down the computer.
Gonzalez found another method to not forget her thumb drive again in the future.
“I got this just two weeks ago after I lost my old one,” she said and points on a pink thumb drive with a lanyard attached to it. “I put this lanyard on it so I hopefully don’t forget it anymore and lose important documents.”