Since I buy a lot of flash memory, I've actually decided to write an article about making the most out of the average flashdrive.
Most of these information have been scoured from all over the web, but I'm willing to bet most of them can be found on Lifehacker. Seriously, go visit Lifehacker.
So what exactly is this guide?
This guide was/is written with the intention of encouraging an end user (you) to fully maximize your USB Memory's (Thumb Drive, Flash Drive, etc) potential.
No seriously, all most of us use them for is to put garbage on for transfer and/or backups, where's the imagination in that? Essentially this guide gives you some ideas of some totally cool shit you can do with a thumbdrive.
The USB Thumb Drive.
The first thing you need, is obviously a USB thumb drive. Or anything that holds data and can plug into (and interface with) a USB/Firewire port. Most people use Thumb Drives, but an external drive works too. It's just a little more inconvenient unless you happen to have an MP3 player that can function as one.
Finally, the interesting stuff!
1. How do i get home?
Sure we all lose these things often. What you can do is to try and make a way for your USB drive to try and give whoever found it a way to get it home.
What you do is you create a .txt file with information on how to contact you if this disk falls out of your pocket. What you can also do is make it the target of an autorun.
Go a bit further, and you can even do this (click the image):
Going even further, you can get the cheapest thumbdrive you can get, have your kid wear it around their neck, and have the necessary details for someone to be able to contact you should they decide to try and plug the USB drive in.
There's also iHound... but god knows how effective that is.
2. Extreme Wordpress.
If you seriously want to tinker with your blog's theme while on the go, or if you need to demo the program. I dunno, that's what the website says, but you can actually install a functioning copy of Wordpress into your thumbdrive.
Initially i didn't think anyone was gonna find this interesting, and then I remembered that Hiro was asking about Wordpress the other day.
Here you go. How to install Wordpress on a thumb drive.
3. My Life for Aiu~ uh... on a Flash Disk!.
Sometimes, you wish you could carry everything you have with you. And sometimes you don't want to (or can't) carry a notebook, or a PDA. Like Firefox too much and can't stand IE?
There are applications that work on Flash Drives. Hell there are apps specially written *for* them.
You can get a whole suite of stuff at Portableapps.Com. The suite comes with a wicked start menu for the Apps in your drive. It includes Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sunbird, and also Open Office, among other things.
There is also a Directory of programs that can run on a Flash Drive.
Taking this a bit further, browsers running on a pen drive tend to keep their cache on that pen drive. Yes, you totally creative bastards, it means YOU GET PORN MODE ON THE GO.
4. Where's that damn Techpriest?
Assuming you didn't download the suite above and want a start menu, this one's a little more conservative looking. It's called Portable Start Menu.
5. It's okay ma'am, I'm from The Internets!
Seriously, the genius of it. A USB PC Repair System. Load up a bunch of apps that diagnose/repair a PC and you're set.
Fortunately for us, some helpful guy has already compiled a bunch of stuff that can easily fit in 32MB, here.
6. We come in peace, Windows-ling. We are from another Operating System called Linux!
Sometimes you need another OS to do something. Like, when your HDD is damaged, and can't boot windows. Damn Small Linux is nifty that way.
Or really, maybe you just wanted to show off your E-Pen0r in computer class...
7. It's a secret. If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
Encryption. There are two ways to do this. There's Truecrypt, but that only works on PCs where you have admin rights on.
Then there's Rohos. What it does is reserve a set amount of space on your thumbdrive that acts as a virtual drive. Whatever's in there is encrypted. It's nifty for work. Totally.
Or, you can just zip everything and put a password on it. But that's not as cool, now is it?
Well that's it. We've reached the end of the guide. Hope this gives you dolts some ideas for what you can do with that Thumb Drive of yours.
Good Luck, and Have Fun