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Old 03-23-2006, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New USB Thumb Drive question...

Hi all. I had a 128 MB Thumb Drive that my employer provided but I never got into using it as I think 128 MB is too small to be that usefull. Recently I bought a PNY 1 GB Thumb Drive. I like it a lot. It's fast, easy to use, etc. My question is; how long do these USB drives typically last? Having portable versions of Firefox and Thunderbird with all my settings intact is pretty cool.
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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your my hero, portable firefox! i'm googling it now and it seems awesome, now downloading!



the USB drives last as long as you take care of them for the most part... wear and tear might get to it, i've had two for afew years and they still work, but i dont really use them to an extreme.... you should be good on your 1gig for afew years atleast...




do you know of any good portable instant messengers? i've used miranda-im on my usb but it stopped working, and stop working all together on everything for me....



edit:

the site that has portable firefox has a portable IM on it



dude, if i knew where you lived, i would mail you like a box of cookies right now!
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Reads are essentially infinite. Writes are 1-2mil writes/block, depending on the specific chips. Really smart flash devices automatically rotate writes to prevent wearing out areas that might otherwise see many repeated writes. PNY doesn't sell that type. Do your best to make software on your thumbdrive use the environment's TEMP for scratch files. Many portable apps are modified to help in this respect. (i.e.: the JohnHaller version of FireFox: http://portableapps.com/apps/interne...rtable_firefox )
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've generally found that I lose the flash drive long before it dies.

But my 128 meg Lexar is 3 or 4 years old now, and gets heavy daily use in the car as an MP3 stick. I don't even bother taking it out of the car, so it goes through the cold winters, and the hot summers, and it's never had a problem yet. Gets new MP3's once every 2 weeks or so.

Here's hoping my 2 month old 1 gig wears out before I lose it this time
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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AquaFox, Glad you liked the portable FF. Thanks for the cookies offer, LOL. If you know of any other good portable apps, please let me know.
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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shakran, yeah, I'm worried about losing the thing, too. I've thought about wearing it around my kneck with the lanyard, but that's pretty geeky. I can't keep it on my keychain as the cap just isn't that secure. So I've been keeping it in my pocket. I don't have a lot of super secret stuff on it but I do have things that I would rather others didn't see.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I use the lanyard. Geekdom be damned Actually I admit I do cheat - my press credentials are on the lanyard and they hide the thumbdrive

Wear it on the lanyard and drop it in your shirt pocket.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My 256 meg Lexar Is over 2 years old and has been through several wash cycles.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Dad
My 256 meg Lexar Is over 2 years old and has been through several wash cycles.

sounds like my watch



timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking!
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyodiver33
... I don't have a lot of super secret stuff on it but I do have things that I would rather others didn't see.
Use something like <a href="http://www.freeotfe.org/">freeotfe</a> to encrypt all or part of the stick. It's portable friendly. The encryption is strong. Nobody short of the CIA will get your stuff without a keylogger, social engineering, or your own mistake.
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Last edited by cyrnel; 03-23-2006 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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http://kk.hopto.org:8080/wiki/index....USB_Drive_Apps

is a basic list, and should be enough for anyone (stop here if you're already frazzled) but more in depth and creepy (and if you're up for fun time) is:

http://www.dirk-loss.de/win-tools.htm

I've got me a OCZ Rally 1GB and it's sooooo sexy. I considered donning the lanyard, but it was a choking hazard for all of the jealous guys who saw that their babes were mesmerized by my sexy, dangling memory stick of doom - buttttttttttt it works much better in the pocket, and the lanyard's function is now to garrotte people in self-defense.

Uhm, but seriously, I'm starting to use the portable apps on it regularly. I was aware that writes were limited, but not 1-2 million limited! I sync this thing a lot and run a tweaked portable FF with tons of customizations - i guess that was a bad idea. :\
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a 256 meg one that i cant even read who made it anymore. ive washed it 3-4 times and had it in the dryer once to. thing still works great. the plastic case fell off of it 3-4 times and ive glued it back togther. right now i have it duck taped together. but hell it still works great. I used it a ton when i was in school. Transfering files from school to home and stuff. dont use it much anymore. mostly just to transfer gcodes.
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a SanDisk Cruzer Micro 512MB flash drive for a couple years and never had a problem with it reading or writing, I just lost it first *sigh*. Newer 1GB versions of the same thing have come way down in price since I bought the 512, so I may just have to go pick one up one of these days.
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaFox
do you know of any good portable instant messengers? i've used miranda-im on my usb but it stopped working, and stop working all together on everything for me....
There is a tutorial out there on setting Trillian up on your thumb drive. I currently have it on mine and I love it.

As for types of things you can run on it, hotdamn do I got a lot...
I've got:
  • Trillian
  • MUSHclient(not really "portable" per se, but it works)
  • mysqlcc - for the times when I gotta get into a database
  • PuTTY
  • KDEPIM - A PIM ported from KDE to Windows
  • Portable Firefox
  • Portable Thunderbird
  • Portable Sunbird
  • Portable AbiWord
  • PStart - Portable Startmenu pretty much for your thumbdrive so you don't need to navigate for them
Now most of these are crap and I don't use them but I like'm and there are actually quite a few others.
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Portable start menu???? :O

Portable FFX is great.
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSty
Portable start menu???? :O
I have to agree. Maybe for a novice moving between well-known systems, but more often than not autostart isn't even enabled. Going for production portability seems low on predictability and benefits.

-stickinthemud
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm still not quite clear on how the hell a "portable Start Menu" could possibly work.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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It's really not a start menu per se, it's just a helper application that runs in the system tray that you can open and start programs. It's useful if you have a lot of folders so you don't need to navigate through all the folders. Instead, I open the main folder, start Pstart then I can run any program that I have set up through there.
I'm not doing the program any justice in my description of it but it is quite handy if you have many programs that run from a thumb drive and they're buried in folders.
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Use something like <a href="http://www.freeotfe.org/">freeotfe</a> to encrypt all or part of the stick. It's portable friendly. The encryption is strong. Nobody short of the CIA will get your stuff without a keylogger, social engineering, or your own mistake.
To threadjack a bit, the web page you linked to appears somewhat complex, so I'll ask a question that may already be answered there.

Can this program be used on an 80 gig portable hard drive?
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magictoy
To threadjack a bit, the web page you linked to appears somewhat complex, so I'll ask a question that may already be answered there.

Can this program be used on an 80 gig portable hard drive?
yes, it can.
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I think this thread is officially hijacked by portable application questions

Relating to the Thumb Drive question, I was looking them up at the local tech store's website (Futureshop and Bestbuy) and I noticed that the 2.2 GB product is more or less the same price as the 1 GB products, what's up with that??

Hyundai 2.2 GB USB Mobile Harddrive $100
PNY 1 GB Flash Drive $90

That's not taking into account of the discount shits. I figured that a 2.2 GB drive would've been 1.5 times more than 1GB
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:42 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelgood
Relating to the Thumb Drive question, I was looking them up at the local tech store's website (Futureshop and Bestbuy) and I noticed that the 2.2 GB product is more or less the same price as the 1 GB products, what's up with that??
The Hyundai drive is a miniature hard drive, not a flash device. I just checked that page and the price is down to $59. I still wouldn't buy it.

You're right though, 2GB flash drives are ~$100. Staples has had the 2GB Sandisk cruzer at ~$95 for the past month. Everyone's moving to 16Gb components which forces price downward. 32Gb are right behind. It's an old effect, but we're in the sweet spot with flash. I wouldn't want to be juggling big inventories of the stuff.
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Finally lost my thumb drive. Picked up one of the new ones with U3 technology.

Hated the U3, reformatted and got rid of it. Were U3 something I needed, I would have tried harder to keep it, but 2 of the 5 PCs I had to use it on today didn't like the drive until I got rid of the U3 business.

Portable Firefox is about all I was using as far as applications and the regular Portable Firefox was as good for me as the U3 version.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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The capacities are getting ridiculous now.
This [b]16GB[/] flash drive is $16/gb: here

This flash drive for 8GB is the same ratio, $16 per gigabyte
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I run linux on my thumb drive
http://pendrivelinux.com/

and corsair gives their thumbdrives a 10 year warranty... so if it does develop problems you can just send it in, and they should take care of it.
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Portable Firefox... that's bloody genius. Thanks for the link.

-Tamerlain
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:10 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerchamp76
The capacities are getting ridiculous now.
Yep, it's crazy. I just picked up a "little" 4GB drive at Officemax this week for $63. The 1GB drives are nearing tongue depressor status.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:32 AM   #28 (permalink)
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And to think I bought a 128mb drive 4 years ago for around $50!
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Other people have mentioned this, but using encryption is a good idea. I've used truecrypt/
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