The beauty of a Live CD is that it gives you a chance to access your computer or a batch of alternate applications without actually having to load up your operating system. You only need to pop the CD into your optical drive and boot it up from your BIOS -- this self-contained environment runs independent of anything that's located on your drive partitions, even though you can still perform a variety of tasks that manipulate the data on your drives.
For example, you can test our new Linux distributions using a Live CD, saving you the time and hassle of blanking an entire partition just to see if it's the right distribution for you. You can also manipulate the partitions of your drives using a Live CD, expanding and creating volumes to create alternate locations for new operating systems, files, or whatever it is you'd use a separate volume for. Live CDs are great for troubleshooting your system (or saving your data) when your primary operating system won't boot, and they can also be used to break through Windows installations that you've lost the password for.
All that functionality... and you don't even have to install a single program on your machine! Click the link to check out some of the best Live CDs that you should have sitting on your desk.
Here's one you don't see every day, and have probably never seen before: A man with an embedded USB drive in his prosthetic finger.
After being involved in a motorcycle accident last May, Jerry Jalava was half a finger short of having all five digits on his left hand. On the advice of his doctor, who learned that Jalava was "a hacker," Jalava opted to have a USB drive attached to the fingertip of his prosthetic finger, instantly earning himself several hundred geek cred points. And if that weren't enough, Jalava earns a geek merit badge for carrying around a Billix Linux distro and the Freddy Got Fingered movie on his USB key.
On his blog, Jalava clarified that the prosthetic finger is removable, allowing him to detach and "just leave my finger inside the slot" until he's finished.
Gadget lovers have a device for everything. We often have 15 different ways to check the weather, 10 for email, and at least 5 with built in cameras. What we don’t have is an unlimited supply of USB ports, and we often struggle to keep our army of doohickey’s charged and ready to go. This can become an even bigger challenge when we’re on the road.
That's why we were so enthusiastic when we stumbled across the Super Travel A/C USB Wall Charger. This $25 adapter can power up to 5 devices at once with the 4 built in female ports, and sports an additional 5 pin male connector for smartphones. I just ordered one for myself, and devices like these remind us why we here at Maximum PC are such big fans of devices that charge via USB.
As in previous surveys, respondents recognize that people are both an organization’s greatest asset as well as its weakest link. But security vigilance is even more important in hard economic times, when the increased stress levels can lead people to behave in atypical ways.
If all you want a secondary display for is to keep track of your IM conversations, stock quotes, emails, and other tasks of that nature, Buffalo may have just what you're looking for with its new 7-inch display.
As the model number suggests, the FTD-W71USB LCD display plugs into a USB port and offers an 800x480 resolution, 300 nits brightness, a 500:1 contrast ratio, 25ms response time, and a wide viewing angle (vertical: 120 degrees, left and right: 140 degrees). Buffalo says you can rotate the display for either vertical or horizontal viewing, and can also be attached to a tripod stand for use with digital cameras by removing the stand.
If you really want to go hog-wild, Buffalo says you can use up to six units at the same time, making it possible to devote an entire display to every Skype conversation you might have going or, well, whatever else you might require six pint-sized displays.
What’s a USB key good for? Carrying files from one computer to another? If you think that’s all, then you’re missing out. USB thumb drives can be used in almost all the ways a regular hard drive can, including storing all sorts of useful apps. We think that this presents a great opportunity for savvy PC users to keep their favorite programs at hand, no matter what computer they end up using.
In this article we’re going to show you a number of different loadouts for USB “tools.” With these on hand you’ll be able to do everything from checking your email to recovering data off a damaged hard drive on any computer you find yourself sitting in front of. We'll also show you a couple of cool tricks, like how to run a virtual, encrypted drive from a thumb drive, so gather up some of those spare USB keys you have lying around and read on.
It's usually not too difficult finding a power outlet no matter where you're at, but that won't do you any good if your juice-deprived gadget needs to sip on a USB connector for a refill. Travelmate's USB Power Adapter seeks to solve this problem with not one, but two USB ports on a single plug-in device.
Not only does it come with two USB ports accessible via a retractable USB cable, but a bevy of connector tips and charging plugs keeps you covered in most situations. Tips include an iPod/iPhone, Sony Ericson, Motorola HTC/Dopod, and two Nokia tips (one standard, one small), along with a car cigarette plug.
There's been a lot of buzz on the internet in the past few days about the speed of USB 3.0. Some sites are reporting that recent tests of the new standard are producing slower-than-expected results, and many readers are confused about how realistic the touted theoretical bandwidth of 5000 megabits/sec really is. We spoke with Jeff Ravencraft, President of the USB Implementer's Forum, (who also gave us our first look at USB 3.0 back at last year's IDF conference) to set the matter straight and get a demo of the latest SuperSpeed hardware in action.
Read on to find out what speeds you can really expect from USB 3.0!
eSATA ports are starting to become more mainstream in mid to low end motherboards, and OCZ thinks the time is right to start adding on non hard drive based peripherals. Its new lineup of memory sticks will do just that and come in 8, 16, and 32GB capacities. The new drives will both communicate and receive their power from the eSATA port. To ensure backwards compatibility they have also included a rear mounted mini USB connection which will allow users to plug the device into laptops or other USB only machines.
No official benchmarks are have been taken by us, but the company is reportedly boasting read speeds of up to 90MB/s, and writes speeds as fast as 30MB/s. No comment has yet been made on pricing, but it will likely be in the same ballpark as its USB brethren.
It certainly is an interesting idea, but I can’t help but wonder if this type of device is really necessary with USB 3.0 right around the corner. USB 3.0 has a maximum theoretical throughput of 4.8Gbps which would easily max out most flash memory keys several times over.
Would you be interested in an eSATA flash drive? Hit the jump and let us know.
"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes speeding down the highway." - Andrew Tanenbaum
Western Digital's bringing back the sneakernet with a media player that displays video, audio, and photos from your USB devices on your TV - no networking required.
In fact, the WD TV HD Media Player doesn't have any networking capabilities at all. Instead, this little device plays files from your WD Passport (or other USB devices, although WD would love it if you used their portable hard drives) on your TV screen, in glorious 1080p resolution.