Lenovo USB Compu-Stick

Written by Matt LeBoff on June 23, 2015. Posted in USB News

Computers on a stick will begin to gain popularity over the next two years. Lenovo is the most recent to offer a compu-stick. The Ideacentre 300 Stick is a 2GB of RAM computer with an Intel Atom Z3735F processor (2M cache + 1.83 Ghz) and runs Windows 8.1.

The Compu-Stick can be plugged into any computer and when you reboot, the hardware now uses the OS of the compu-stick.

compu-stick, usb

Alternatively you may connect the device to a TV and sync a keyboard and mouse and now you have a fully functioning PC with your TV as the monitor.

This is a great step in the right direction as all technology will move towards solid state memory. The Lenovo product has 32GBs of memory which is fine for a first generation product. If they can house a microSD slot in there for expanded memory, it would be an inexpensive solution to a possible data storage problem.

The only caveat left is that unless true Grade A memory is used in these devices the data retention and stability is the week point. With Grade A NAND memory you have a re-write of about 100,000 cycles. SLC memory will help this issue and improve reliability.

Reports indicate the Compu-Stick will run about $150.

Portable, Plugable USB Type C Dock Station

Written by Matt LeBoff on June 17, 2015. Posted in Apple / iPod, Networking, USB 3.0, USB Gadgets, USB Hub, USB News

With the single USB-C port of the new MacBook laptop we knew a power station and/or dock station was right behind.  Here is a Kickstarter compaign to address the single port computer and connecting all your peripheral gadgets to your new computer.

The ultimate dock station will power and charge your system using USB’s new Power Delivery specification, while providing an additional alternate mode video output up to 4K resolution, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 USB ports.  The tall slender design of the dock station packs a number of sockets to support any type of peripheral you need to connect.

In addition, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification supports a feature called “VESA Alternate Mode” which works with the built-in graphics processor on supported systems to provide video output at resolutions up to 4K.  This is particularly important given the up-tick in TVs and monitors which are being released with a 4K specification.  The other two display outputs in the Ultimate Dock are enabled by the DisplayLink DL-3900 graphics processor, which can support two additional 1080P displays at 60Hz.  The DisplayLink driver is still in development, but the Kickstarter campaign claims the driver will have a final release by the time the dock station hits full production.

The Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station supports:

Message In a Bottle, USB Style

Written by Matt LeBoff on April 27, 2015. Posted in Flash Storage, Useless Novelty

Yes, there are million flash drives in the market.  This one is a bit clever don’t you think?  Buy the 4GB drive off Urban Outfitters.  Create your own multimedia message with audio, video or text and save it to this flash drive.  Throw it into the ocean and see what happens.

Message in a bottle, USB drive

Source:  Buy from Urban Outfitters.

Infinite USB Cable, Clever Idea, Know the Details

Written by Richard Blanchard on April 22, 2015. Posted in Apple / iPod, Power for USB, USB Cables

Infinite USB is a concept which dates back five years. The concept is brilliantly simple. The USB cable design allows multiple devices to be charge from an extending USB plug, and at the same time, allow data transfer through that one original USB port.

Infinite USB

Today, Infinite USB has released a new version for the Mac computer. One which supports Apple’s Type C connector. This is a really smart move on Infinite USB’s part because the Mac computer only has one USB port. So additional sockets is very important.

Like the original design from years back, the connection is simple and straight forward.

Infinite USB, Apple

Using the original USB port of the computer, the Infinite USB creates a pass through, or extended USB port. They do this so that once the Infinite USB cable is connected, you still have access to the data transfer ability of that original Mac USB port. However, Infinite USB was ultra-clever and created a design to steam off some power form the USB buss so you can charge additional devices.

The USB connector builds upon this concept with module cables and connectors so you may continue to high-jack power off the original USB socket, while still having the original USB port with data transfer capabilities.

To be perfectly clear, the Infinite USB will only transfer data to one USB device… it will not transfer data to all the devices connected. It is important to understand the Infinity USB concepts is a creative charging station, not a USB hub.

The product can be found on Kickstarter for $20. There is only one day left at the time of this writing, after that you can order product through the company website.

Good luck guys, we love the product!

Massive 60 Target USB Charging Station

Written by Matt LeBoff on April 1, 2015. Posted in Power for USB

Brando, a USB gadget distributor located in Hong Kong, now has available a massive USB charging station.

The 60 port charging station can charge sixty devices at 1A or charge 30 devices at 2A. It is not clear if the 2A charge would require a USB Y-Cable.  The box does not support data transfer capability so don’t purchase the unit if you are looking to sync your digital device or USB data load a bunch of flash drives.

At $199 USD this is worth considering.

Imagine what kind of bird’s nest would be created with all those cables!

Source: Brando.

Large USB Charging Station

 

USB Charger, Large

USB Charger, power switch

Cannot Format a USB GPT Protective Partition

Written by Richard Blanchard on March 19, 2015. Posted in Security, USB Hacks, USB Tutorials

Sometimes you will connect a USB to the PC and get an error message saying the drive has a GPT Protective Partition and you cannot format the drive. Here is the fix to resolve the issue:

First, what is a GPT USB stick? The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is the successor to the Master Boot Record. The MBR was created by IBM back in the early 90s. The problem with MBR is the limitation to partition table sizes which is 2 Terabytes.

Since there are no 2T USB flash drives (at the time of this post), there is no need to use GPT as your partition table.

Removing the GPT Protected Partition can be accomplished through the Windows Diskpart program.

  • Determine the Disk Number for the USB GPT-protected drive. To do this, perform the following:
  1. Right-click on (My) Computer.
  2. Choose Manage.
  3. Select Disk Management (listed under Storage).
  4. Look for the drive that is identified as GPT and note the Disk number (such as Disk 1).

Format USB GPT Protected Partition

  • Now, open a Command Window. From the command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter.
  • The diskpart prompt will open.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type list disk and press Enter. A list of disks will appear in a text format. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type select disk disknumber (in this example from the screen shot above, you would type select disk 1)and press Enter. A message appears saying that the disk is selected. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type clean and press Enter. At this point the drive’s partition and signature a removed. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type exit and press Enter. Type exit once more to close the Command Window.

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