Wednesday, April 02, 2014

20 Minutes and $20 To The Ultimate Thumb Drive

I know what you're thinking, Thumb drives? Aren't those so 2005?. First off, let's get our terminology straight: when I say thumb drive I actually mean a Micro SD Card and an itty bitty USB card reader (total cost: about $20). With this setup, you've get the following:

  • A backup SD card for your Android device
  • A way of plugging your Android device's card into any old computer
  • Assuming you standardize on Micro SD cards for all your devices (and use the included free SD card adapter where necessary), a backup card for your DSLR
  • Again, assuming you standardize on Micro SD Card, a way of getting your DLSR photos onto any computer without a cable
  • You add another layer of descending redundancy: when I travel, I'll probably use a laptop for computer access. And if I don't have access to my laptop, I'll probably use my cell phone. And if I don't have access to my cell phone, I can use the apps and data on the thumb drive
  • It's highly concealable. Just think, you can store thousands of documents in a nearly invisible package

OK, you're convinced. Now let's go make a thumb drive.

  1. Install the PortableApps platform. Now, when you visit your Mother-in-Law's house, and all she has is an ancient version of IE7 running, you can kick off Chrome.
  2. Install GnuWin32 (or, UnixUtils). Now, when you're at your Brother-in-Law's house, and need to help him edit 800 files for his thesis using sed, you're all set.
  3. Install Netcat. Now, when you're at your Sister-in-Law's house, and you want to show your Nephew how the internet *really* works, you can kick off nc and show him the basics of the HTTP protocol.
  4. Walk around your house and collect important documents. Basically, anything you'd be bummed to lose. Now, snap a picture of the front and back of said documents. Store them on the drive. For bonus points, encrypt them. Now, when you're at your Uncle's house talking about the fluke storm coming your way, you can check your Home Owner's insurance policy to see if it covers flooding.
  5. Head over to Project Gutenburg and download a number of classic books. Now, when you're Niece is saying she can't do her English assignment because she forgot her book at home, you're all set.
  6. Head over to Noah's Archive and download various survival related books. Now, when you're comparing notes with your survivalist-neighbor, you can show him how uber prepared you are.
  7. Save a copy of your private SSH keys to the drive. Again, encrypt if you're feeling up to the task. Now, when you're at your Aunt's house and need to fix a busted server, you can ssh in without using a password.
  8. Save a copy of the Time Traveler's Cheat Sheet. Oh wait. If you go back in time, how are you going to read said cheat sheet? Never mind, better print this one out and put it in your wallet.

20 minutes later, all your data should be collected and organized. Now, slap that USB reader on your keychain and you're good to go.

By the way, what did I miss?

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