Usb drive - now what?
October 7, 2006 11:48 PM   Subscribe

Just received a 2gb usb drive as a gift -what do I put on it and what do I use it for - transferring shite between work and home is not a concern.
posted by philad to Technology (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Another backup of your vital data?
posted by Busy Old Fool at 12:08 AM on October 8, 2006

Keep those programs that you would want to use on any random computer you'd use.

For example, there are builds of firefox you can put on so that you can have a browser with all your extensions wherever you go.

Other ideas would include games, pictures/video you might want to share with friends, etc.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:13 AM on October 8, 2006

I put a 1GB TrueCrypt partition on my 2GB flash drive and keep the other 1GB as FAT32 for temporary storage. I keep a copy of all my backups on the encrypted partition.
posted by aye at 12:38 AM on October 8, 2006

A copy of PasswordSafe so that your passwords are portable. You can keep a single passwords.dat file and both versions of the app Windows and Mac (Java) so that you always have your passwords handy.

Here are some other handy portable apps.
posted by laptop_lizard at 1:11 AM on October 8, 2006

Stash your pr0n on it?
posted by vac2003 at 1:35 AM on October 8, 2006

Install some Portable apps on it?
posted by kenchie at 2:01 AM on October 8, 2006

I scanned important documents that I might need in a diasaster, such as driver licenses, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. and placed them on my 1 GB usb drive. I encrypted them with GnuPG.

I live in the Midwest, so I am not worried about the next Katrina. I am worried about tornadoes, a fire, burglary and perhaps the occasional plane falling out of the sky (I live under a flight path.) Having copies of these documents can make it a lot easier to live through bad times and to get replacements.
posted by SteveTheRed at 2:08 AM on October 8, 2006 [2 favorites]

Oh I forgot: then I placed the usb drive on my keychain. It's no good to have copies if you don't have them with you when you need them :)
posted by SteveTheRed at 2:10 AM on October 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

Regift it. Put a bunch of family photos on it and give it to your parents, or a virtual mix tape and give it to your sweetie.
posted by Ookseer at 2:34 AM on October 8, 2006

I agree with kenchie on this one; during college, I would bring my thumbdrive loaded with Portable Firefox so I could use that instead of IE in the lab.
posted by booticon at 6:10 AM on October 8, 2006

If you expect you might upgrade to Windows Vista when it's released and your system is a little short of RAM, you can use that USB key to enhance your system performance.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:54 AM on October 8, 2006

I've been told, by people who know better than I do, that flash drives are poor choices for long-term storage. I'd also be extremely wary of carrying my driver's license, passport, birth certificate, and insurance policies around on my keychain every day.
posted by cribcage at 7:13 AM on October 8, 2006

cribcage - It was clearly stated in the post, "I encrypted them with GnuPG."
posted by Gerard Sorme at 10:47 AM on October 8, 2006

Lifehacker on USB thumb drives

--23 things to do with your USB thumb drive
--USB thumb drive projects
--How to install Linux on a USB drive
--Remote access your home PC with a thumb drive
--Anonymous surfing for your USB thumb drive

And much more
posted by w_boodle at 10:52 AM on October 8, 2006

I use it in lieu of a floppy drive.

I also keep a bunch of 'system recovery' type tools on it (such as the Winternals stuff), for diagnosing seriously screwed-up machines. Obviously, if you're not the one people call on to fix their computers, this isn't of much use to you.

I also keep random stuff on it that I might like to show people, such as favorite songs, funny (or family) photos, and funny videos.
posted by fogster at 4:44 PM on October 8, 2006

You could put my address on it and mail it to me! (har har)

I recommend keeping all of your digital photos and personal files (email, personal correspondence etc) on it and tucking it away somewhere safe, away from your home computer. Use some encryption software and keep it secure.

I also like the idea above of keeping fun stuff you like to show people on it.
posted by tomble at 8:01 PM on October 8, 2006

PixaMSN, Torpark, Portable Thunderbird, a few tunes, and a few tools eg. WinISO, WinRar.

Just carry it with you and see what you end up putting on it?
posted by 999 at 7:09 AM on October 9, 2006

I've got a 1GB and a 2GB flash drive. Here is what I've used them for in the past:

-mp3s to transfer back and forth between work, or to use on my XBox 360
-Current documents I may need, such as my resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation etc.
-Links or bookmarks of things I want to revisit/buy
-Important emails or contact info
-Address book
-Portable FireFox browser, (I hate using IE if I must)
-A few eBooks of some things I use in work, like I've got the Dummies guides for C++, Java, etc
-Maps or directions
-Pictures I like to keep with me or I use frequently (pics of myself for instance)
-A few small games
-A few installation files I may use frequently, like iTunes, Winamp, Winzip, Stickies

It's upto you what you want available to you, and it's different for every person.
posted by PetiePal at 10:02 AM on October 9, 2006

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