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StartKey From MicroSoft – So That’s What They Did With U3

GetUSB reported a while back about the partnership between Microsoft and U3 and it turns out they’ve created the StartKey, a similar approach as the U3 drives. The biggest difference is Microsoft using StartKey as the key component to logging in and booting up.  In addition, you can store personal computer settings and privileges, applications and data files on the StartKey itself.

startkey microsoft

Microsoft is looking past the ultra popular USB stick, and will incorporate the StartKey technology to nearly all types of flash media. Continue Reading

U3 Software: 8 Ball & 9 Ball

u3 software game, 8 ballHaving a couple good games in your U3 drive is always a plus when looking to kill some time. The U3 MyPool 8 Ball fits the bill. With on-line features it’s easy to play against family and friends for a real-life [not really] experience. The U3 8 Ball software includes the ever popular 9 Ball as well. So do yourself a favor [if you are still a fan of the U3] and download MyPool – if that isn’t your style than try the addictive Drops or the fast paced and addictive ZACK. Continue Reading

U3 Software: NT File Recovery

ntfs file recovery softwareThere have been plenty of moments in my computer life I’d like to turn back time. Especially those Vista Upgrades or even the minor events like accidentally deleting files. For the last [mentioned] brain fart, there is some U3 Software which can help; NT File Recovery. The file recovery software is designed to recover any deleted file from a NTFS system. Many USB file recovery software packages only support files and folders, but this package includes support for getting back applications and media files such as wmv and mpeg files. Another point worth consideration, is the convenience of running the software from your U3 drive as to eliminate the risk of overwriting your data from the PC you’re try to salvage data from. This U3 application is absolutely free, and ready for the taking. U3 Software NT File Recover download page. Continue Reading

Registry Analyzer for U3 Flash Drives

Albeit U3 claims no trace of U3 software remains on the host PC it doesn’t hurt to run a registry analyzer package just to make sure. While in the midst of doing this USB gadget research, I found the following free utility. Ntechnologies has a U3 specific reg analyzer to aid in the registry clean-up process.
u3 registry analyzer software
Whenever hardware or software is added to a PC there are registry changes. The registry also provides a window into the operation of the OS kernel, exposing runtime information such as performance counters, currently active hardware, software and utilities. Even using the U3 uninstall software might not leave your PC 100% clean. You can download the Registry Analyzer for U3 here. Continue Reading

U3 Software: UltraEdit Text Editor for Any Web Enthusiast

Sure Notepad is basic and free for a text editor, but if you’re a webmaster worth your salt, Notepad wont do. UltraEdit has been around for years and is now available to launch from your U3 flash drive.
u3 software text editor
Running UltraEdit U3 Software from a UFD is ideal because this powerful program installs once, doesn’t mess with registry files and is 100% portable. UltraEdit is a text editor and offers much more…
…configure it for your favorite preferences like syntax highlighting, code folding, basic or advanced menus/toolbars, add your macros, scripts, user-defined tools, and/or FTP/SFTP account information—all in a “digital briefcase” no larger than the size of a stick of gum.
The trial version is 45 days and full price of the software is $49. A small investment for the web guru. Grab the free trial at U3 headquarters or click the publisher IDM Computer Solutions. Not sure what U3 is? Read this. Continue Reading

IOCELL With U3 Like Launch Pad

IOCELL introduced their version of the U3 launch pad – I like the name better – very direct with “USB Computer.” U3 might have gotten more traction with that name.
iocell castella
IOCELL created a launch pad to provide the user with an easy-to-use interface for launching portable applications. Really, the same thing as U3, the difference being IOCELL gives you the ability to make any application portable for storing and running off your UFD.
COB technology
It appears IOCELL (like U3) uses a micro-controller (chip logic) to confirm the drive is a “USB Computer” version and thus launches the IOCELL interface without seeing the default Windows screen “What do you want Windows to do?” question. IOCELL is calling this COB Technology (Chip-On-Board). To get the IOCELL with COB Technology look for the Castella brand name. Available from 1GB to 4GB sizes. Looking to install U3 on a regular flash drive? It won’t happen and this is why… Source: IOCELL Continue Reading

U3 Software – Clean My Registry

A few days ago I posted 55 Portable Applications to Make a USB Super Stick, well this one should have been included. Clean My Registry by Smart PC is a free registry maintenance utility.
clean my registry u3
Clean My Registry is for Windows operating systems and ideal for loading on your U3 flash drive. A great house cleaning tool since the registry can get fragmented and cluttered with everyday use this is nice to have. Download the U3 Software Clean My Registry for free (2MB) Continue Reading

55 Portable Apps for Making a USB Super Stick

Update: This post has been amazing and generated a lot of interest.  To make things easier, I have compiled a USB Super Stick for you.  If you are interested in a 1GB drive with all the apps [below] for $20 – shoot me an email: gmo<at>getusb.info and I’ll send you more details.

55 portable usb apps

USB flash is not (yet) a portable PC whereby any USB KVM monitor is your work station – but it will get there. In the mean time, making the most of your USB stick and creating a portable software suite isn’t hard – you just need a little guidance. So… for you road-warriors or super geeks the following list of 55 portable applications are worth taking note. With 2GB, 4GB and 8GB drives readily available at extremely cheap prices making a portable software suite and creating a Super Stick is quite easy.

When building your Super Stick there are numerous programs designed to run specifically from a USB drive. Best of all, almost all these programs are free, so put that Amex back in your wallet and lets start downloading. Here’s a list of 55 of the most useful USB programs around.

Continue Reading

U3 Software – Freeware Data Recovery

Smart PC Solutions certified their Smart Data Recovery Software (like there’s a dumb version) for the U3 portable UFD platform.
u3 data recovery software
The data recovery U3 software supports FAT and NTFS drives and easily recovers data from any flash type for use with any USB powered gadget like; hard disk, digital camera, UFDs basically any flash memory. What you may like about this package is the ability to recover files of any type and even when the partiation table is lost!
flash recovery software
Continue Reading

The Next Generation of U3; a Microsoft Version

The announcement of Microsoft developing a UFD platform to replace U3 could turn into a similar battle we saw 25 years ago between VHS and Betamax.
microsoft u3
Major suppliers have already dropped the U3 platform because of high royalty fees (around 5%) to bundle less expensive software which does the same thing. As these suppliers, like Kingston and Memorex, begin to choose the alternate like Migo Software, a heated war could surface between flash drive manufacturers. Originally SanDisk partnered with M-Systems to develop the U3 solution, but as time went on, SanDisk bought out M-Systems and the evolution of U3 continues with this most recent partnership. Microsoft is developing the software platform and SanDisk will continue offering their hardware for a total solution (yes, it’s a hardware/software thing). In addition, SanDisk and Microsoft will bundle in the TrustedFlash security technology developed by SanDisk.
“The U3 platform was established with the vision of giving customers a consistent and portable computing experience. The existing 20,000 U3 software developers that joined us show the potential for smart flash memory devices,” said Yoram Cedar, executive vice president of the mobile business unit and corporate engineering at SanDisk.
“We expect this relationship with Microsoft will raise the overall experience for consumers given Microsoft’s unique software expertise, and grow the momentum given the large community of 3rd party companies capable of utilizing Microsoft’s technologies.”
The migration process for the 20,000 U3 developers is a straight forward and simple one – Microsoft puts the pressure back on you to make the migration. Microsoft did say there will be tools to ad in the process, but the bottom line is U3 developers better get cracking if they want to see the light-of-day come mid 2008. Continue Reading

U3 Software: Xion Audio Player with Advanced Skins

Xion Audio is now available for the U3 flash drives. This portable application is for the music enthusiast and is advanced enough for those wanting to fully customize their player. Xion is setting a new standard in skin players. Their approach is to read directly from a Photoshop .PSD file to be used as the skin. The support is advanced enough to tag different layers within your .PSD file and properly display graphics on your player.
xion audio player
What is especially nice about this player is that skin files (which can get very large) can be zipped and Xion will extract on-the-fly to create your skin. This approach decreases the amount of memory needed to run the mini-application. Continue Reading

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