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Clean Windows Registry of USB Drives

Here is a great tool for cleaning Windows Registry of USB drive entries. The program runs in the Windows console and removes all devices that are not currently connected.

To clean up the Windows registry of a USB flash drive, or other USB devices can make your system boot faster and run faster.

For example, each time you connect a USB printer to a different USB port on your PC there are registry entries made which associate the device with the drivers. Windows is trying to be smart and log this information so the next time you connect the device, Windows will know exactly what to do. Meaning when you connect the printer a second time, you don’t see the balloon from Windows saying “Installing Brother driver” or something, it’s just connected and ready to go.

But, for example, lets say you connect your Nikon camera to your PC and you use a different USB port each time, now you have a bunch of registry entries that can make your PC boot slower, run slower or possible give you trouble with that external device.

With all this said, if you are having trouble with a USB drive, or a USB camera, printer or scanner, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is run this Windows registry cleaner utility. Good chance it will solve your problems.

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System Requirements:
WinXP / Vista / Win7
Writes settings to:
Does not write files to host computer
Dependencies:
Administrator rights
License:
Freeware
How to extract:
Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch drivecleanup.exe either in the ‘Win32’ folder or ‘x64’ folder.

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Disposible Paper USB Flash Drive

Despite every effort for the world to go paperless, there is always one more idea or product to use it. Today we hear about IntelliPaper USB drives. This is a new technology where the parent company, IntelliPaper, is trying to raise funds for it’s manufacturing. The idea is putting a controller chip embedded between several pieces of paper. From there, USB contacts are created to transmit the electical current of the four pins required to make USB work. Granted, this wont be an 8GB flash drive, but you can autorun a website, store some basic information or embed music for an audible greeting card. The ideas do seem limitless when you watch the video off the start-up webpage at Indiegogo. Continue Reading

Burning Stove Charges Electronics via USB Socket

Biolite Stove is portable camping stove which converts boiling water into energy to charge your portable devices.  I like the symmetry already! The Biolite Stove is no bigger then a large jug of water.  It can hold up to 1 liter of water and can boil that same amount of water in [about] 4.5 minutes. The fire power, as they say, ranges between 3.4kw and 5.5kw and will charge at a continuous flow 2W @ 5volts or peak of 4W @ 5volts.  Peak power flow depends on the BTUs of the fire while it’s going…you know, the hottest the fire will get, the most energy it will create as the water is boiling at the highest rate. The Biolite Stove will charge anything via USB.  As to the efficiency of that charging process, nothing to say it’s fast or slow, but conceptually Continue Reading

USB Battery Charging – Not An Easy Task

USB devices and ports are now the most ubiquitous item one can related to a computer product other then maybe the VGA connector or Ethernet port.  With that said, it’s now the mainstream bus used to power and recharge most computer devices and gadgets.  However, just because it will charge of USB doesn’t mean it’s all that easy and efficient.  There is a lot more into charging via USB then you’d ever imagine. With some devices you get a fast charge.  With other devices you get a slow charge.  So what’s the deal? In most cases when you see a slow charging device it means the manufacturer made a digital signature that is compatible with the power charger which came with the device.  Any other USB port used to charge the product simply isn’t as efficient…and that’s by design! This post is just an appetizer for all the dirty little secrets related to USB charging devices, to get a little deeper into the details click over to Continue Reading

On Off USB Power Bar Will Save You $$$

The tech world is changing for the better.  We are seeing longer lasting batteries, devices which require less juice and smarter power management.  Good example is the PowerUSB Bar. This power bar will automatically shut down the devices it’s powering based on time of day or clock settings.  For example, why power that laser printer when everyone is away from work?  Better to power off the printer between 6pm and 7am, right?  The PowerUSB Bar can do just that. The PowerUSB Basic empowers you to put your old devices on a diet by programming when to shut off power to them. It looks like a standard 4 port power strip but 3 of the for outlets are programmable. The last outlet is always on so it’s reserved for the PC. And there’s also a 6 ft USB cord coming out of the power strip. Attach printers, chargers, speakers or external drives and let the PowerUSB Bar govern their power consumption. Continue Reading

USB Interface Board For Home Projects

Helion Microsystems has a quick and simple USB interface board designed for any home project or development project.  The PCB features the HU-320 USB interface IC chipset, and exposes all functions to the 30pin connector of the board.  The PCB also features a software switchable adjustable linier power supply for powering attached circuitry. Feature List includes: All USB interface requirements
  • 20 Digitial IO pins
  • USB-SPI Master / Slave Interface
  • TTL UART
  • USB-I2C Master Interface
  • PWM Source
  • HD44780 LCD interface
  • 8MHz buffered clock source
  • 5V USB Power supply
  • 3.3V Power supply
  • Software switchable adjustable power supply
  • Indicator LED
  • PCB measuring 58x45mm
  • Robust USB-B Connector
The HU-320 is $39.  Visit the factory website for more details.  USB Interface board, HU-320. Continue Reading

Bootable Windows 8 Off USB

Microsoft is looking to make their OS more portable.  With Windows8 one of the features the Redmond Washington company is featuring is a bootable OS.  True, we’ve seen both Windows and Linux distro’s bootable off a flash drive, but what makes this a bit different is 1)  being legal and 2)  officially supported.  This seems a very smart move to keep Microsoft positioned to as an option as virtual desktop and thin client systems continue to rise in popularity. Many power users already run virtual laptops off of USB drives enabling them to work on a single consistent environment at both home and work without fussing with a laptop/briefcase. This should cement the concept and help keep MS moving towards more secure OS options comparable to VPMs. With an official version of bootable Windows OS, IT managers could now use a USB Duplicator, such as the one from Nexcopy Inc., to mass produce their installation and/or restore media in a much faster time frame then using an old school optical duplicator. An additional caveat of the portable Windows system is the speed of the environment.  Granted, there is nothing like running off a hard disk, but running of NAND flash will be almost as smooth…and with memory performance getting better with USB 3.0 flashdrive devices, it will become two of the same. Video of Windows8 running on a MacBook Pro after the jump Continue Reading

Whos’ Got More Cash – Apple or US Government?

If you guess Apple, you are correct. The US Treasury released their cash savings numbers yesterday and it appears US has about 73.7billion in cash. Compare that to Apple’s cash in the back at 76.4billion and it’s clear who’s got more green. Just 9 years ago, Apple had several hundred million in the bank. This just goes to show you what a decade of strong sales can do for a retail product line such as Apple’s. Just last quarter Apple sold 20.3 million devices and with the minimum price of a couple hundred bucks per unit, that’s a big number. Continue Reading

Computer On A USB Stick With Processor

For several years we’ve seen many Linux guys post about bootable USB flash drives into portable operating systems like Ubuntu or simplified versions of the OS for children, like Strawberry from SugarLabs via donated USB flash drives. In the spirit of ultra portable operating systems – over the weekend – we learned of Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry is not only an operating system from a flash drive, but it includes the processor too!  This means the Linux OS is not high jacking the hardware of the host computer, but rather using it’s own processing power to boot into Linux. The developer, David Braben, are shooting for a target price of the Raspberry USB computer to be around $25.  The above prototype isn’t pretty, but hey – what prototype is?  David and his team started this project in the effort to bring ultra low cost computers to less fortunate kids who need and want computer access. A long long time ago, the One Laptop per Child was a program to get $100 computers into the hands of kids who’d otherwise never get a computer. To give you an idea of what this mini USB computer can do, here are the specifications of the prototype:
  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
If you are looking for video to spoon feed you this information, check out the video after the jump: Continue Reading

Osama bin Laden Used USB Flash Drives To Stay Current

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last 7 days, we all know Osama bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011 by US Special Forces. Reading through many articles that week, it’s interesting to learn the al Qaeda leader kept quite and under the radar for nearly 5 years by living in a solid wall compound and without direct cable access, TV access, internet access. The only direct access bin Laden had was a radio. That said, Osama bin Laden kept current with the outside world by use of flash drives. It was reported his trusted courier would shuffle USB flash drives between his compound and the outside world to communicate, send message and negotiate with the al Queda terrorist group. During the attack on Monday May 2nd the Special Forces recovered nearly 1000 thumb drives which contained all sorts of information about bin Laden and his relationship with al Qaeda organization. What is also interesting is the level of hypocrisy bin Laden had. Along with the report of flash drives – which you can only assume many of them where made by US companies – bin Laden also had Coca Cola brought to his compound as well. It seems extremely hypocritical for a terrorist who’s sworn his life to avenge all American’s, yet indulges in US products during his day-to-day existence. With the hundreds of USB flash drives now in the hands of the Special Forces we should learn a lot more about the habits, plans and leaders of the al Qaeda network. Glad bin Laden is gone from our world. Continue Reading

Windows 8 Is Looking Like USB Portable

A leaked version of Windows 8 has surfaced and there look to be some promising features for the USB lovers out there.  First and formost, check out this screen shot of Windows 8 asking if you’d like to run from a USB flash drive. USB Windows 8 Is it possible Microsoft figured out the best possible solution for longevity is letting users run their OS from a flash drive, then plug it into any PC they see fit to run their computer?  Some storage problesm with that, but never-the-less, a good starting point. Here are some other things we think might be bundled with Windows 8:
  • Run from an ARM processor
  • Multi touch gesture interface
  • USB portability
  • Ribbon user interface
  • Easy access to cloud storage
But who knows exactly what will be included until Microsoft makes the official beta version available. Continue Reading

USB Egg-Bot CNC Art Robot

The Eggbot is an open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects from the size of a ping pong ball to that of a small grapefruit. The Eggbot is super adjustable, and is designed to draw on all kinds of things that are normally “impossible” to print on. Not just eggs but ping pong balls, light bulbs, mini pumpkins, and even things like wine glasses. The egg-bot is ideal for Easter and a fun way for kids to make elaborate designs on their eggs.  The egg-bot is recommended for ages 10 and up with parent supervision at 13 and under.  In the photos, you can see just a few of the things you can do with eggs. The Eggbot chassis is made of tough fiberglass, with integrated heat sinks for the included motors. The pen and egg motors are high-torque precision stepping motors, and the pen lift mechanism is a quiet and reliable servo motor. The Eggbot kit is easy to assemble in a couple of hours, and only requires a couple of basic tools like miniature Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers. You’ll also need a computer with an available USB port (Mac, Windows or Linux). The EBB allows your computer to directly control the stepper and servo motors. The onboard 16X microstepping driver chips along with the 200 step/revolution stepper motors give a combined resolution of Continue Reading

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