With the death of the VCR, the pager, and the cassette player in the last decade, nobody was really surprised when the floppy disk drive also kicked the bucket. Like so many other consumer products, floppies have simply been replaced by a different product that serves the same purpose in a much-improved way. Many tech-savvy individuals have been quick to adopt those ubiquitous gadgets known as USB flash drives, or USB keys. Like the floppy disk, these handy devices make it easy to take your important files with you, wherever you go. So what else can you do with a USB drive besides store pictures, music, and documents? I’m glad you asked!
Thanks to the growing capacity of USB drives, you can now bring your favorite programs with you, wherever you go! Websites such as www.pendriveapps.com and www.portableapps.com offer free downloads of popular desktop programs such as web browsers and MP3 players. These programs are optimized to run from a USB drive, without the hassle of installing them on the host computer. Now that’s handy!
It wasn’t that long ago that an emergency boot disk was a “must-have” in every PC tech’s toolbox. Today, you can forget about diskettes and replace them with a USB flash drive. Most new computers are able to boot from USB drives with the proper files loaded, which are available online for free. Nothing saves the day like performing an impromptu system repair for a friend in need.
Frequent travelers can truly appreciate the vast amount of information that can be squeezed onto a 2GB or 4GB flash drive. Whether it’s your favorite music or a library of eBooks, having your favorite files along can bring a bit of comfort to a strange place. Digital books and music can also provide entertainment during layovers, delays, and long flights.
Speaking of storage space, did you know that USB drives are great for doing regular system backups? The rugged nature of USB drives makes them perfect for storing important files such as documents, videos, pictures, bookmarks, and other custom settings for your computer. Making system backups is a good habit to get in to; a couple of times a year is enough for most users.
Building on the security of USB flash drives, there are free programs available to encrypt the contents of a drive entirely. Should the drive get lost or fall into the wrong hands, your sensitive data will be safe from prying eyes. A high-strength password can provide more than just peace of mind, but also data security.
If you need a gift for the person who has everything, consider a USB flash drive. Give that special someone the freedom to travel and take their useful files everywhere. Specialty drives like pen shaped and credit card shaped models can be appealing to the technophile in your life. Some of the more modern drive shapes can be used as a fashion accessory such as a bracelet or necklace.
Small business owners can turn to custom USB drives as a valuable marketing tool to help their image. Whether it is a presentation, lecture, software, training video, real estate photos, or something else, the possibilities for branded USB drives are endless. Customers are far more likely to hang on to USB drives than other items such as pens, key chains, and magnets.
Finally, creative and artistic professionals can use USB flash drives to make an impact on their clients and customers, as well as prospective employers. By creating a portfolio of your work, you can show your movies, photography, designs, and software to interested parties. Explore the good side of self-promotion with one of these eye-catching gadgets.
So there you have it: eight uncommon ways to get more from your USB drive. Now that’s what I call power in your pocket!