Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Multipurpose Thumb drive

USB flash drives are NAND-type flash memory data storage devices integrated with a USB (universal serial bus) connector. They are typically small, lightweight, removable and rewritable. A Thumb drive or USB stick is capable of being much more than just a handy portable storage device. By using the right applications (which we will show you in a short while), it can be turned into a virtual Swiss knife that can be used on any Windows PC. The selected tools here are categorised into four groups, and not only offer convenience but also contain an easy 'Start Menu' similar to the familiar 'Launch pad' of U3 sticks.

You can always buy a U3 stick with a pre-installed Start Menu, and some programs pre-loaded on it. But a closer look at the fine print reveals all its limitations. U3 only functions with Windows 2000 or XP. Besides, compatible sticks are hopelessly overpriced and commercial programs such as 'Zoom Player' have to be purchased separately in a special U3-Version.

One would rather prefer our solution of using a standard USB stick to suffice completely for your needs. Only if you are going in for Office and Multimedia sticks, should you select the latest model that offers enough space for a complete office or a film collection.

Here, we have compile a number of applications and utilities that make up or define the type of 'stick' that you really need. Be it for general utility work, general browsing and office work as well as purely entertainment, we have it all here!

A) The Utility Thumb drive

An 'Utility Stick' allows you to look after your own system. A low-priced stick with a storage capacity starting from 15 MB would suffice for this purpose. With it, you can do the following in a flash:

REMOVE SPYWARE AND VIRUSES: 'ClamWin' Portable' is a reliable tool to get rid of digital viruses. The only disadvantage is that the automatic update does not function in the portable version of this tool.

REPAIR THE REGISTRY: 'Reg-seeker' checks the Registry for errors, removes outdated or abandoned entries and makes Windows faster with over 20 tuning settings.

CLEANING INFESTED PC: You can free your computer of viruses and bugs with 'McAfee Avert Stinger'.

CLEAN UP UNWANTED DATA: The 'General Disk Cleaner' frees the hard disk of unwanted files that decelerate -the system.

B) The Office Thumb drive

Dragging along your laptop everywhere is passé. The USB pack 'Office-Stick' co ntains a complete mobile office for every Windows PC. Since MS Office programs are larger than recovery tools and since you also want to find place for your documents, it is preferable not be miserly with the storage space here. A practical way out is to use the latest USB 2.0 stick since its programs can lead considerably faster than on the slower USB 1.1-based devices, Once you have done this, within minutes, the Office stick can:

WRITE TEXT DOCUMENTS: The interface of the tool 'Abiword portable' is similar to that of Microsoft Word. You can process or create Word documents, HTML-pages and much more.

REPLACE. OFFICE: 'Open Office portable' contains the text processing 'Writer', the presentation tool 'Impress', the formula generator 'Math', the graphics program 'Draw', the spreadsheet program 'Cale' as well as the database application 'Base'.

READ PDF FILES: 'Foxit Reader' is a free and fast PDF document viewer with a surprisingly rich feature set.

SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS: 'EssentialPIM' manages appointments, contacts and 'to-do' lists. The tool imports data from applications like 'Outlook', 'TreePad' and `Google Calendar'.

SEND SECURE EMAILS: Business correspondence should always be encoded. This is why we have selected a version of the mail program 'Thunderbird portable' that has been upgraded with the cryptography functions 'EnigfVlail' and 'PGP'.

APPOINTMENT REMINDERS: The Open Source-Calendar 'Sunbird' comes from the Mozilla foundation just like the above mentioned 'Thunderbird', hence both these programs work well together.

C) The Internet Thumb drive

The 'Internet-Stick' is especially for those who are always hooked to the Internet.

FASTER SURFING: Firefox, one of the most popular web browsers is also available in a portable avatar. 'Firefox portable' can easily be armed with convenient additional functions using plug-ins. Moreover, it occupies little space on the USE stick.

UPLOADING FILES: The FTP-Client 'FileZilla' supports data transfer over Socks 415, HTTP, SSL and SFTP along with the normal FTP-Protocol,

CREATE A HOME. PAGE: The Web-Editor 'NVU' makes this task very easy. This is a neat, scaled-down alternative to full-blown land more expensive) applications like 'Frontpage' or 'Dreamweaver.

CHATTING: 'Gaim' is nicely suited to chatting. It supports AOL, Yahoo, MEN, ICQ and Jabber messengers.

COMMUNICATE WITH EVERYBODY: 'Miranda IM' is another multi-messenger which establishes contact with users from ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk, IRC and Jabber. It can also be upgraded using plug-ins,

D) The Multimedia Thumb drive

Music, films, games—everything that entertains is packed on our 'Multimedia Stick'. If you wish to take a larger film collection with you for a vacation, you better take a bootable USB hard disk instead of a stick. This will enable you to:

CONVERT AUDIO FORMATS: 'Audacity' converts the latest audio formats such as MP3 into other formats like OggVorbis, for instance. You can even cross-blend songs or defamiliarize them with echo and sound effects. However, this does not function with DRM-supported files.

ENJOY MOVIES AND MUSIC: The 'VLC Media Player' can not only play almost all audio and video files but can also stream audio and video files of all types over a local network.

RIP CDS: 'CDex' saves audio CDs that are not copy-protected and converts them in MP3, VQF or AAC. it uses the LAME MP3 Encoder to convert between formats and this is a relatively easy task even for novices, thanks to the extensive online help available.

EDIT IMAGES: 'Gimp' allows you to edit and create images as required. It has quite a few tools and effects embedded inside this unassuming application.

SOLVE PUZZLES: 'Sudoku` brings a version of the puzzle with figures for puzzle enthusiasts who need to kill time while
traveling or during office breaks.

E) The Personalised Thumb drive

If you still find the four portable it application packs insufficient for your requirements, there's another option to avoid disappointment.

You can create your own personalised application pack. All you have to do is log on to either portableapps or portablefreeware and download the application you are looking for. Once done you need to install the 'PortableApps Suite Base 1.0' application on to your USB drive. If the file you have downloaded is of the PAF file format, you can click on the options button of the PortableApps Suite Base 1.0' main screen and select 'Install a new App' and select the path of the file.

In case the file you have downloaded is a standalone EXE file (Executable file which do not require installation), create a new folder with the same name as the application in the 'PortableApps' directory of your USE drive.

Using this second option, you just need to copy the EXE file into the folder which you have just created and your application is ready to use.

With these tools, you are now armed to enhance the functionality of your trusty USB drive, which till now might have probably been used only to transfer data from one computer to another. Do let us know which of the discussed USB packs are your favourites!


soul said...

this is why they called thumb drive..

de_kerinchi said...

yes soul, just thumb anywhere you want..heeheh

david santos said...

Fantisc blog, de_Kerinchi.

Thank you

You are master!

de_kerinchi said...

tq, david santo's... you are master too...

ritaemilia said...

A beautiful place here!
Excellent post! Thank you.
have a good day....


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