It’s not often that a product makes us go “but why?” then “oh I see” and then “but why?” in such rapid succession, but the HP USB Floppy Drive Key has managed it. At first glance a standard USB memory stick, and available in both 1GB and 256MB capacities, the Key shows up as both a memory stick and as a USB floppy drive on whatever PC you plug it into.
If you’re at the “but why?” stage, here’s how you get to the “oh I see” part. The USB Floppy Drive Key is intended to make BIOS updates and other technical tasks – which often require you to boot from the floppy disc drive that went missing from your computer years ago – easy; put the boot files in the floppy partition, and flick the switch to “boot from floppy”.
Now for the second “but why?” stage. HP want $79 for the 1GB version or $49 for the 256MB; that’s expensive for a flash drive, especially when you can pick up a real external USB floppy drive for under ten bucks.