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Rich Gates

Administator for GetUSB.info GetUSB.info started in 2004 with the concept of providing USB information for everything USB related. At the time, USB was gaining momentum and every day new products, articles and news became published. Today, the site is focused on bringing technical information, tricks and hacks to USB related products. The site does publish off topic information as well, to keep the variety up. Please visit the footer area of any page if you or your company is interested in article or product placement via purchased advertising.

USB Two Factor Authentication Dongle

Yubico YubiKey 4 appears to be an excellent device for a two-factor authentication solution. Two factor authentication means you need two things before gaining access. In this case, one piece of information is your password and the other piece is your finger print.

If you are using a password manager right now, (ie. Last Pass, Dashlane, etc) I would recommend getting this. The benefit of this device with a password manager is you can enable two factor authentication to add a new device capable of signing into your account.

YubiKey

This means if someone knows your password, it doesn’t really matter because they would also need your finger print. Understand that nearly all password managers conform to some sort of security protocol like FIDO U2F, smart card (PIV), OpenPGP, etc which in turn works with Yubikey.

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USB Condom – Power But No Data

For those in a situation where you plug devices into unknown USB ports, a USB data blocker is a good thing to have around. Or some call it the USB condom!

This is a physical device that sits between the USB host connection and your device. The data blocker enables the power pings of a USB socket, but not the data lines. This means your device will get the power it needs, but without the possibility of infection via data transfers.

For example, if you are at a client’s office and need to connect your device to a USB port and don’t want to risk anything, use the USB data blocker. You’ll get the power, but without the risk of spreading or getting a virus.

USB condom

Not much use for those who surround themselves with a trusted environment, but for those on the move, I think it’s a great product.

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Why is my USB name always CAPS?

Why is my USB name always CAPS?

The reason is fairly simple. You also have the option to make your USB name or USB volume name upper and lower case.

The all CAPS of a USB name is due to your flash drive being formatted as FAT or FAT32. Windows will not allow FAT or FAT32 devices to use lower case letters.

To use lower case letters, or upper and lower case letters, simply format the drive as exFAT or NTFS. Note; we do not recommend formatting a USB as NTFS … so better to stick with exFAT.

Here are some screen shots to help better understand exactly what to do.

# Right click your USB drive letter, select Format, and do as the images below show

USB name all CAPS

##

USB name upper lower case
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Snap Power USB Charger

You know a product is a great idea when a couple of pictures describe the entire product. With that in mind, we’ve all seen wall outlet USB charges, but the Snap Power, in my opinion, will rule them all. The design is clever. Installation is ultra-easy. Accessibility supersedes all others. Take a second and just look at it: In my mind there are three things which make this a brilliant wall charger. If you don’t mind me walking you through the obvious, here we go. Or skip the highlights and jump right over to their website: The design is brilliant. The User keeps both outlets available for normal use while a sleek looking USB port is added underneath. At the time of this article there is one USB socket, but visiting their website you can see two sockets, one on either side. They are constantly improving. Installation is very easy. Simply unscrew your current face-plate and replace it with Continue Reading

How To: Partition a USB Flash Drive in Windows

Using Windows 10, you can partition a USB flash drive into multiple partitions. The process is not difficult, you simply follow some easy steps. This tutorial will partition the drive so that your device is assigned multiple drive letters when connected to the computer.

This partition process is not done at the USB controller level; or said another way, done at the hardware level. This USB partition process, for a lack of better terms, is done at the software level. What does this mean for you? It means the partitions can be wiped off the drive and full capacity of the USB flash drive can be restored.

When a USB stick is partitioned at the controller level, or at the hardware level, there is no way to reverse the partition. The multi-partition drive is permanent. At the end of this tutorial is the solution for a hardware based partition solution.

So let’s get started.

How to partition a USB flash drive in Windows 10:

Connect the USB flash drive to your Windows 10 machine. Be sure there is nothing valuable on the USB as this process will remove all content from the drive.

Right Click the Windows icon and select Disk Management.

The Disk Management window will appear with all the connected devices. Select your USB flash drive by clicking one time. By selecting your flash drive, it will allow Windows to apply the partition to that device.

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USB Water Cooled Fan

Get ready for summer with this water based USB fan. This is a small, portable fan houses a sponge so when air is drawing over it, cooler air comes out.

I’ve seen on the web some call this a portable air-conditioner, and I think that is unrealistic. However; if you want cooler air than what is in your office or room, this will do the trick.

I’ve read a couple of reviews from Amazon about the fan it people say it’s quite and does a good job of sending a stream of cool air.

You can run the fan directly from USB, or charge the battery for portable use. For example, on a hot summer day watching your kid play travel soccer or softball.

The USB water cooled fan comes in three different colors and is available now, before the heat of summer hits! At the time of this writing the USB fan was only $15. Almost a no-brain-er just as a try.

Inside look:

Theory behind the USB water cooled fan:

Source: Amazon (click to see product)

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Pocket Sized USB DNA Reader

I won’t claim to be a science expert, but found this article very interesting about a DNA Reader just a little larger than a USB drive.

For years, Illumina Technology has the lead in genome sequencing. Their gear is good and from what I understand their gear is expensive. The MinION (from Oxford Nanopore ) is an inexpensive alternative with some great upsides.

The DNA sequencer is just over $1,000 at the time of this post. Traditionally, a DNA sequencer could only read about 200 basis. A “basis” is a nucleobasis which is a collection of biologicial compounds that make up the basic building blocks of nucleic acid… or DNA.

The MinION is impressive with the ability to read 900,000 basis. Also called “long reads.” With the long reads you get a better idea of the compounds making up the DNA. Although the longer reads are not as accurate as short reads, the trade-off isn’t bad. The amount of time and effort to construct a long read from a collection of short reads is considerable. The less accurate long reads from MinION and not that far off base, thus a bit of a break through.

It is simply amazing that 15 years ago the human genome was a global effort, yet today it can be done in a device no larger than a flash drive.

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Could USB 3.x See 40Gbps?

It could be said the top five topics for CES 2018 were robots, driverless cars, virtual reality, internet of things and drones; however, we should keep our eye on less flashy topics like our beloved USB.

We learned at CES the USB Implementer Forum is looking at the capability to increase data transfer rates up to 40Gbits/second. Translated into a more common term, that is about 5,000 MB/second.

It was reported Jeff Ravencraft, president of the USB Implementers Forum, was said this is a real possibility and the wiring currently used, is capable of such speeds.

chart of all USB connectors

Those who favor Thunderbolt because it’s speed capability will no longer have a debatable advantage over USB, because once this new specification is released the speed between USB 3.x and Thunderbolt would be the same, maxing out at 40Gbps.

It’s always nice to appreciate our past before looking into the future. With that said, here is a chart of the USB ports currently available:

USB speeds

…

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$20 USB Printer Server Amazon

Question:  Have you ever used a WiFi printer setup?  It may sound like nothing special, but trust me, once you try it you’ll wonder why you waited so long. Some printers have WiFi built into them already [Brother for only $109 >] and some printers need a wireless print server. This is where the D-Link wireless print server comes into play.

The D-Link DP-301U allows you to connect those older laser and inkjet printers to the wireless print server. Meaning everyone in your office will have access to the printers without the cables. Consider I work off a laptop and so do most others, walking around and being to print on demand is insanely convenient. You may not think so now… but that means you don’t have a wireless printer connection [otherwise you’d agree].

You can buy it from Amazon.com and includes free shipping [limited time] if you use a free shipping Amazon coupon. The unit is not refurbished.

This is indeed a great deal for everyone and you should buy it while this price is still so low.

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Morse Code Beacon via USB Board

For those into home-brew programming projects, its easy to make a microcontroller spit out some Morse code with the post shown below. What makes [pavlin’s] take on this project interesting is that it resides on a tiny USB board with an ARM processor. The design for the board is available with single-sided artwork suitable for production using simple methods like toner transfer.

The STM device has a built-in USB bootloader. It can also act as a serial port, which makes the project very simple and a bit more flexible. The only external parts are a speaker and an opt-oisolator.

The program provides a command line interface over the serial port that you can use to program the message and set other options like speed and the delay between messages.

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Sony Branded USB Turntable

CES, 2016. Sony releases a USB turntable, named HX500. Sony will provide backup- software for the Mac and PC and it connects via USB. From there, you can send the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) copies to your computer or device. Of course Sony would prefer you to play them back on their Hi-Res-playing Sony Walkmans.

The DSD audio is a lossless audio quality that will sound more full and rich than your downloaded MP3 file. Andy why not, vinyl records have been making a big comeback the last couple of years.

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