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Staples "Relay (tm)" 4 Gb USB sticks - slow or normal (lenny)?

I keep one copy of my latest backup on usb sticks that I keep in my
pack.  Yesterday, I recreated it.  It's an ext2 ptn:

   /dev/sdb1 on /media/usb0 type ext2 (rw,noexec,nodev,sync,noatime)

That happens when I plug it in (udev?).

   drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 1024 2009-05-20 22:55 /media/sdb1/

I plugged it in at 17:13, started the copy minutes later, and it took
until 03:43 to finish, which is pretty sucky.  CD copies take like ten

(0) infidel /home/keeling_ du -sm /scratch/afio/
637     /scratch/afio/

Is it just that usb's slow, or is the box doing it wrong?  Is it my
preference for ext2?  I've tried w both usb hubs and directly into
laptop; same, same.

This's on a HP Pavilion dv4 AMD-64.

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(*)    http://blinkynet.net/comp/uip5.html      Linux Counter #80292
- -    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html    Please, don't Cc: me.

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