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USB Tutorial: Wiki On A Stick

wiki on stickToday LifeHacker syndicated a short description on how to place a Wiki on a USB stick…and I thought…hmm interesting idea. So digging into things a little deeper it seems no more complicated than putting WordPress on a stick. But I think most of you would ask, why? The reason would be for off-line edits, organizing or remote access where there is no internet connectivity or you are in a facility which limits your access (schools & gov’t agencies). Here is the web page from the MediaWiki website which gives you all the juicy details on placing a wiki on a stick. Continue Reading

More Wood For Your USB Stick

Hmm, that title came out a little weird. Anyway, Vladimir released updated versions of his USB wood drives to include some odd shapes that include, what looks like to me, a mushroom, tree stump, wooden tooth and a fluted casing.

wood usb

Wooden Jewelery is offering these for $20 [1GB] and $30 [2GB]. The wood drives come with a leather lanyard and a quality case. The line is called MEMORE and there is a full selection available with larger shapes and sizes to choose from.

usb wood drive

So what else do you get for the $20 or $30? Well, for starters you get a very unique wood USB drive perfect to start any conversation. Not only does your USB drive hold valuable data, but the wood case is valuable too. To prove that point you can explain [depending on what you get] that a Bog Oak drive has been created from wood that is carbon dated back 1,300 years. Or Yew Root drives have been carbon dated back 600 years. A quote from the creator:
…I prefer to work in wood because it is a living material… -Vladimir Levestam
Continue Reading

Multiple Widescreen Bliss With EVGA UV Plus Display Ports

EVGA is lowering the bar for USB to VGA adapters and that’s a good thing.  Traditionally you would pay upwards of $200 dollars for a USB to VGA adapter but now the UV12 and UV16 adapter from EVGA are under $80!

usb vga adapter

The UV Plus family take an existing USB port and convert that bus into a VGA/DVI adapter for additional monitors.  This is ideal for those will lower video processing power (laptops) who want two or three widescreen monitors. I spoke with Jeff, a pre-sales rep at EVGA and he did caution me against using the UV Plus family for hard core video applications such as Continue Reading

VConsole USB Flash Duplicator

vconsoleWe reported a while back on the Nexcopy, USB Flash Drive Duplicator and today VConsole announces a similar system but larger capacity and encryption technology. The VConsole appears to be lightening fast as well, with a copy speed of 91 seconds for 512MB of information.  Taking a quick visit to their site I see the 91 seconds copy speed is the same for their 21 drive system, 42 drive system and 60 drive system.  Hmm…strange how those speeds do show, even the slightest, sign of degradation in transfer speed. Putting that aside, the 128 encryption function is a nice benefit, although not included with the base unit for $8,000, it does make you wonder what the price tag is for that feature.  From what I’ve seen, most USB flash drive duplicators are used to copy content to give-away USB drives and if that’s the case, I’m not sure why you’d want to encrypt a viral marketing gadget.  However, with USB getting more popular as a distribution medium, I’m sure there are plenty of uses for the encryption function. The USB flash drive duplicator can work as a stand alone system or the user can launch a GUI interface to see more details.  Vconsole mentions they have a multi-casting technology in the works for stringing multiple units together for expanded production.  This would be of a big benefit for the guys over seas making the drives. I like the VConsole product, but I honestly see a better fit for the general market with the Nexcopy Inc, USB Duplicator USB Duplicator and with the attractive price tag of $1,299 verse the VConsole $8,000 unit, you’ll need to take a hard, close look at which system best fits your needs. Continue Reading

String Theory Applied to USB Hub

USB Fever is thinking outside the box on this one.  Going away from standard box USB hubs, this hub is all cable.  To continue along the lines of abstract thinking USB Fever includes a separate power cable to extract juice from the system bus solely for the purpose of powering up those peripherals.

usb cable hub

So we are looking at one upstream USB connection, a 4 port USB hub held together by cables along with a dedicated power line (red cap) for those thirsty gadgets. You should note, one of the four USB ports is a mini USB connection.  All this for just $14 + $3 shipping. USB Cable Hub product page Continue Reading

Wi-Fi Problems? Get The USB Wi-Spy Analyzer

wi-spyGetting odd results off your Wi-Fi network?  Maybe getting no results at all?  The boss is pissed, co-workers can’t work, what do you do? Get the Wi-Spy spectrum analyzer, that’s what you do.  The Wi-Spy is the world’s smallest 2.4GHz spectrum analyzer and is specifically designed for troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks.  The Wi-Spy records data traces over the wireless network and also plays them back for analysis. This isn’t the first version of the Wi-Spy, BUT the hardware has been redesigned to increase the frequency and amplitude resolution with an added reverse-polarity SMA adapter. Wi-Spy 2.4x is packaged with a powerful little antenna, so it’s good from the start but it’s also Continue Reading

Power Plug Looks Real, But Only Charges Via USB

Power plug that charges USB style – I thought of this idea probably two years ago, no joke, but forgot about it just as quickly.  Well, yesterday I saw Technabob do a post about this exact concept – the power plug which charges via USB [from Eneplug].

power plug usb

As you may [or may not] know, USB will become the standard for cell phone charging.  I foresee USB branching out into other electronic gadgets as the main connectivity for juicing up.  So, this obviously means the power plug which charges via USB will only become more popular. I think it’s a great idea, because as time progresses we can all use only  a single power cord to charge any device.  [For now, lets forget about the fact manufacturers need to jump on board with my line of thought]. In addition, I would think any serious traveler would jump at a device like this.  Look at how small it is.  This is all you’d need to charge your cell phone, iPod, PDA and even your laptop. Eneplug is the company which makes this device and it’s currently available in Japan, but I see it coming over to the states in no time.  Shoot me an email if you see anything here – or I’ll update this when I find a US source. Speaking of Source:  Technabob. Continue Reading

500GB Mercury Portable HHD

OWC is giving you GB hungry data hoggers some extra storage space. Their new 500GB Mercury portable hard drive is their largest [portable] edition yet. It’s got Firewire and USB connectivity to support any gear you’re dealing with. A couple concerns I have are a) it’s a 5400 RPM hard drive, which is standard for portable hard drives – but I like 7200 RPM, and since the Mercury is b) bus powered, the 7200 RPM wont see the light of day. As I’ve mentioned before, if you are looking for serious use off your USB hard drive, don’t deal with bus powered devices.

500gb hard drive, mercury

So given those two knocks, it’s still super slim for a half Terabyte of data storage, and at just $359 it’s doable, but I’ve seen plenty of options out there. Nothing posted on OWC’s site for purchase, but check their homepage and use the search function. Continue Reading

The New Yorker Hard Drive From Pexagon

I’m on the left coast, so not exactly sure on why Pexagon had the motivation to create a New Yorker USB Hard Drive [customer request], but none-the-less, it’s here and available. The Pexagon New Yorker hard drive has over 4,000 issues of the East Coast’s favorite magazine.  The Complete New Yorker gives you instant access to every poem, short story, cartoon and ad since the magazine’s inception back in 1925.

pexagon new yorker

Pexagon is known for their engraving to USB storage devices and The Complete New Yorker is no exception.  The hard drive measures 3 x 5 inches and has a brushed aluminum front with beautifully etched New Yorker logo and icon.  The magazine archive takes up a small percentage of the 80GB hard drive so the $65 price tag gets you not only storage but a great opportunity to educate yourself and become well read if you’ve been living under a rock for the past 80 years. I would imagine someone interested in this would need to be a die hard fan of the magazine, so now the question is: Are you? Continue Reading

Fuzzy USB Animals Might Bug You If You Let’em

The typical UFD sticking out of your laptop is probably nothing more than fancy shaped plastic, or possibly wood or even gold ($6,000). Today we look at the softer, fuzzier side of UFDs. Paul from Technabob uncovered these fuzzy little USB critters, created by a design artist Nifer Fahrion.

fuzzy usb gadget

Nifer Fahrion has two version of her fuzzy USBs. The one above is called Maggie the Maggot and the one below is named Gizzy the Data Worm. I’d opt for Gizzy if I had to choose.

usb animal

Honestly, I think these fuzzy guys are an example of what some kids could do on a rain day to kill some time. Grab some material, glue and let the imagination run wild. I’m tempted to try this myself and turn it into a USB tutorial, but I don’t think anyone would care or try. SO, with that being said – if I’m off base and you digg this kinda stuff, hop on over to Technabob’s post or Nifer’s site and get ready to drop your $66 on a 4GB original. Source: Technabob. As an after-thought, if you are looking for another home-project, how about turning a Pez dispensor into something interesting. Continue Reading

SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition USB Flash Drive

SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition USB Flash Drive What does a high class manufacturer of motorcycles have to do with a manufacturer of USB sticks? Ducati and Sandisk have decided to create a partnership together creating fast memory products like CompactFlash and USB Flash Drives. Well, Ducati and SanDisk believe by slapping “Sandisk Extreme Ducati Edition” and creating a 4GB flash drive with a fast 20MB/second transfer rate will be able to command $125 from consumers. Why so expensive? The flash drive was designed in an industrial look echoing “the performance, colors and lines of a Ducati MotoGP motorcycle.” I’m sure someone will buy it, but I can get a 500GB drive that would be faster (and much bigger) for about the same price! Source: Gizmos for Geeks Continue Reading

Toshiba Sleep-and-Charge USB Concept – It’s a Winner

Irvine CA based Toshiba American (Digital Products Division) announced a newly designed Satellite laptop line with sleep and charge USB power concept…and we think it’s a winner.

sleep and charge usb

The sleep-and-charge USB concepts makes it possible to charge and power electronic devices connected to the laptop without the laptop being powered-on or in sleep mode. This is a simple yet revolutionary way USB power bus technology will begin working it’s way into our life.  With USB connectivity as the #1 method for peripheral connection to laptops and computers, the sleep-and-charge USB concept is brilliant.
 “Toshiba has long been a leader of innovation, and prides itself on creating solutions that make the digital lifestyle even better,” said Jeff Barney, vice president of marketing, Digital Products Division, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. “With the development of the Sleep-and-Charge USB ports, Toshiba has developed an innovative technology that helps ensure that our digital products are ready for use at the moment we need them.”
As you know, the major shortcoming with today’s USB ports from either computers or laptops is the lack of power support while the host device is turned off. I have reported on USB surge protectors which do basically the same thing, but that requires more gear for a traveling business person, the sleep-and-charge is built into the host system. Continue Reading

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