What's on your Flash Drive?
December 14, 2006 11:17 AM   Subscribe

What should I put on a USB Flash Drive?

As an early present this year, I got a USB Flash Drive (512MB).
And I'm not sure what to do with it.

I already have a Linux machine which is theoretically accessible from 90% of the places I'll have access to a computer, so.. what are some good general-utility things to keep on such a drive?

Right now, I only have 2 files on it:
1) putty.exe , for the obvious "ssh to home" uses when I leave home.

2) A text file, containing the WPA password for my wireless network -- so while home, I can just pop it in to any visitor's wireless laptop and allow them to copy/paste it.

What else do you recommend I put on this drive?
posted by jozxyqk to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If you wanted to be self-referential, you could put a copy of the patent for USB flash drives on it.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:26 AM on December 14, 2006

Portable Apps Suite
posted by bradn at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2006

I like neomem.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 11:41 AM on December 14, 2006



posted by utsutsu at 11:45 AM on December 14, 2006

(Someone's eager to use the new Google Patent Search for anything and everything.)

Lifehacker did a great feature about just this very topic a while back, which mentioned the Portable Apps Suite linked to above. It also has tips and links for encrypting your data and some random information that could be handy to have on a flash drive (such as you to-do list, contacts, etc.).

As for me personally, I use Firefox Portable when I'm at school and don't have my laptop. I subscribe to some of my del.icio.us tags via Firefox's Live Bookmarks, so I don't have to worry about syncing my bookmarks between computers.
posted by dondiego87 at 11:48 AM on December 14, 2006

A label with your initials or some other way of identifying it. Then when you share or receive files you can recognize your device quickly.

In my last office workplace EVERYBODY carried a jump drive on a lanyard around their neck, along with the standard ID badge. Many of the TSDs (transportable storage devices) were identical to one another.
posted by X4ster at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2006

All great suggestions so far. Thanks!
(Sorry I didn't search, utsutsu)

X4ster - no problem with the uniqueness of the thing. It's looks like this. :)
posted by jozxyqk at 12:03 PM on December 14, 2006

A good password keeper?
posted by clanger at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2006

quoting from the site's FAQ:

To qualify for TinyApps, a program must:

1. Not exceed 1.44mb
2. Not be adware
3. Not require the VB/MFC/.NET runtimes. Also, preference is given to apps which are 100% self-contained, requiring no installation, registry changes, etc.
4. Preferably be free, and ideally offer source code. Shareware will only be listed if there is no freeware alternative.

lots of nice stuff there
posted by white light at 2:20 PM on December 14, 2006

Portable firefox running the foxmarks extension.

Its all I ever use on my flash drive. Which also includes:

Portable Netmeter
The Rastabator Standalone
VLC Portable
VNC Client
a load of photos, a bit of music and whatever crap I have forgotten to delete....
posted by gergtreble at 2:24 PM on December 14, 2006

SSH keys.
posted by adamwolf at 3:03 PM on December 14, 2006

Get rid of the standard putty, which stores its configuration in the registry, and grab PortaPutty instead, which stores its config on files on your flash drive instead. Also, you might like Unxutils, which is a bunch of Unix utilities compiled for Windows that don't need cygwin DLLs to run.
posted by mendel at 4:00 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

I have one on my keychain that has many of the same apps mentioned above. Wikipedia has a comprehensive listing, by category, of portable applications. You can find it here:
Wikipedia List of Portable Applications

Also, I keep a plain text file with the subject heading, "IF FOUND"....I have my name, mailing address, email address and cell number so somebody can contact me if I lose the thing. You can expand this idea to include a plain text file labeled "IN EMERGENCY" with contact names, blood type, allergies, etc.

posted by Gerard Sorme at 5:50 PM on December 14, 2006

You could save it for ReadyBoost when/if you upgrade to Windows Vista. I'm sorry. I'm a bad person.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:12 PM on December 14, 2006

I recommend you put on it a ring and chain, so you can attach it to your car keys. That way, you'll know it's always within walking distance.
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 PM on December 14, 2006

To chime in, I also carry around a tweaked version of Trillian on my 256 stick. I'm sure something similar could be done with GAIM, right?

This keeps me from having to install messenger programs (my primary point-of-contact for home) on whatever machine I might be using, and keeping important chat logs in one place.
posted by Adelwolf at 1:28 PM on December 15, 2006

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