Business Tools – The USB Toolkit

One of the most effective tools that you can have is a USB key. Most people use these just to store files but their usefulness goes much further than that. This is the first post of a series I’m going to be doing on the specific tools you can use. To begin, you need a good USB key. My current model is a 512 mb off brand that I picked up 2 years ago for about 20 bucks. At the time this was really inexpensive, but prices have fallen significantly. You should be able to pick up a 4 Gb model for the same price with a little searching.

There is an initiative called U3 that markets a standard for USB drives that allows you to launch programs that meet their standards. I am making a recommendation against these particular drives. In my testing of them, I found that they require administrator rights to run on a PC and thus they are largely useless in most corporate and university environments. Also, this proprietary system has already been made obsolete by a free and open source program launcher, which I will be featuring tomorrow.

The short of it, avoid U3 drives unless they are a really good deal. If you do buy one, re-format the hard drive using the HP USB Disk Storage Utility, I suggest FAT or FAT32 file systems for ease of use and compatibility.

HP USB Disk Storage Utility

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