Google sends out holiday schwag around this time of year. This year it was this nifty 2GB USB memory
… complete with (p?)leather holder!
When my boss got it, we immediately plugged it in to see if it had any content. Or, shall I say, we tried to plug it in. The card is really quite stylish, a duet of dashing design with masterful marketing. Except if you try, to, you know, use it. In a computer or something.
So I looked at the little swivelly part, the key (
no pun intended) to its functionality, and thought, “I’ve seen really small USB memory, er, units, on the Intarweb, perhaps all the electronic innards are contained in this tiny piece of an otherwise electronically defunct, dysfunctional puzzle. If we took it apart, maybe you could still use this little nugget for sensitive, sekrit spy information which you could then hide in any one of myriad places for building a DIY combination drink-cooling, coffee-warming 2GB mug for about an hour before you lose it.
We have a corporate ratio of about 1:1 on stuff that comes through our door when it comes to taking it apart vs. not. Naturally there was only one thing to be done:
Google Giveaway Guts
You will please excuse the over-exposure, I was trying to get the ICs’ numbers to show up (what I shoulda done was put my 25mm extension tube on). They’re virtually impossible to read with the naked Mk. 1 eyeball due to that Blue Resin of Protection. I managed to pull some detail from this shot (click for a larger version). Between a magnifying glass, a lot of squinting and HIPOTI we were able to determine that the USB controller is a Chipsbank CBM2080. The two 8GF AA chips are obviously 1GB flash RAM chips (probably multilevel cell flash, since the board says it “Support 2pc MLC Flash”). The other component is a 12MHz crystal oscillator from Yoketan Corp. The rest are resistors and capacitors; there are no markings nor components on the flip side of the board.
The guts still function properly. One of my cow orkers has brought up on more than one occasion the idea of sticking USB devices inside laptops so as not to waste an external port. This one is already stripped of its exoskeleton and ready to go should he want it.
I’ve since discovered that the pleather case holds a reasonable number of business cards, so instead of wrapping an elastic around a bundle and keeping them in my pocket at trade shows, I’ll use this nifty holder.
 Harness(ing) the Infinite Power Of The Internet