USB flash drives/memory sticks/ thumb drives are common storage devices that is now ubiquitous given their simplicity and the ease with which one can retrieve important documents and other files on the go. Being small, they are extremely portable and allow one to carry huge chunks of information. Did you know that USB sticks also help us to carry our personal computing environment wherever we go by saving program settings on it and can also be employed for troubleshooting and repairs? Apart from the common uses, there are other cool and quite unknown features about USB sticks that are listed below:
Lock & Unlock Your System
Haven’t you seen those sci-fi movies where they lock and unlock the computer with a physical device? Well. You can do the same too with the Predator Application. It turns your USB thumb into an access control device, such that it acts as a key for your computer. Plug in your USB stick to unlock the device and eject it when you are away from the system to successfully lock the device. Upon removal of the USB stick, the open windows will minimize and the screen will go black thus turning the system inactive-plug it back to turn the screen on.
Connect to Wireless Networks easily
Tired of typing the same wireless network’s name, password and other info across several devices? Here’s a solution. Save your wireless network’s credentials to your USB drive. You can then plug in this USB stick on other computers to easily gain access to the wireless network, saving you from the hassle of repeated password typing. You can also connect an Xbox 360 to the Wi-Fi network using Windows Connect Now option.
Run a Separate OS
If you’d like to run a different OS jus to try it or for specific purposes, a USB flash drive can come in handy. If you’re curious about Linux, for example, you can buy a USB flash drive with Damn Small Linux already embedded in the USB pen or install your favorite Linux OS using Pen Drive Linux. It’s even possible for you to boot Windows from a USB flash drive for troubleshooting and repairing purposes in the event that the PC is unbootable.
Your Favorite Applications and settings wherever you are
Most popular programs have portable versions of itself that can be run and installed on other devices via USB, without changing the receiver computer’s hard drive. Portable apps also ensures that no personal data is left behind as soon as the USB drive is plugged out. Firefox, OpenOffice portable are some popular portable programs among many others.
Install a Portable Web Server
If you’re a web developer, installing Server2Go on your flash drive will turn it into a portable web server. Server2Go includes a complete WAMPP server stack –that’s Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl. One can quickly launch the web server by plugging in a Flash drive into a Windows Computer with no installation required.
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