A capacity of 512 MB might well be considered pretty small for a USB memory stick these days, but back when I first got my Iomega Mini, which if memory serves would have been around 2006, it was still considered to offer a fairly large amount of space - and it had the premium pricing to prove it! These days, you can pick up a stick like this for a few pounds on eBay, but since there are sticks several times larger available for very little more, you should ask yourself carefully whether buying the Iomega stick is really your best option.
I remember that when I first got this particular stick, having come a little bit late to the USB revolutionary party, I was amazed by how small it was, considering the amount of data that could be squeezed on to it. Times change, though, and from a 2010 perspective the Mini doesn't really live up to its name. When set beside the likes of the teeny tiny SanDisk Cruzer Micro, for example, it's immediately apparent that the Iomega stick is half as big again in every direction. On the plus side, this extra size does mean that I'm less likely to lose it than I am a Cruzer - and believe me, in my case that is not a minor consideration!
The design of the Iomega Mini is fairly straightforward: the main stick is silver, with a useful recessed area on one side where you can slide in a piece of paper with a label written on. The USB connector does not push back into the main body, but instead is protected by an old-fashioned cap. To the cap is attached a fairly chunky metal loop which I suppose is intended for attaching to a belt, though it seems a bit big to be comfortable for this usage. Clicking the clip on and off the main stick has much the same effect on those nearby as constantly clicking a ballpoint pen, so beware of crazed colleagues who just can't bear it any longer!
There isn't a lot to say about the actual operation of this stick, because it works very straightforwardly, in the way that most other sticks do. There's no clever-clever security software like you get on some SanDisk models (it's called "U3" there) but to me that's a plus; I tend to ignore such software anyway, as it's generally more trouble than it's worth. Having tried the stick on both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux, I haven't had any problems with the computer failing to recognise it as soon as it's been plugged into a USB port, and transfer speeds have seemed unremarkable (either way) for a USB 2.0 stick like this.
Of course, the very fact that I still have this stick today points up one welcome feature: its reliability. I haven't always found older USB sticks to be quite as long-lasting as their manufacturers would have liked their users to believe, but perhaps paying that little bit extra for a solid brand name in Iomega was worth it in the end. Probably most people would want to look for something a bit more capacious if they were buying a memory stick today, but if you do have one of these knocking about, you might as well hang on to it, as it doesn't do anything wrong.