Congratulations, you’ve just bought a new 32 GB USB stick It’s awesome. Back in ’99 you would have sprained your back lifting this many gigabytes, and now, you hold it in the palm of your hand in all its glory. But wait… now what?
What do you actually do with your USB stick?
There are many different things to do with a USB stick. Be creative! Below is a list of the top 5 things your USB stick must have:
#1 – RETURN IF FOUND.txt
If your USB stick has important documents, pictures or playlists then a RETURN IF FOUND.txt file is a must have. Use BIG CAPITAL LETTERS so the file name stands out.
What should you write in the text document? That’s up to you. Some people write their mailing address, others leave a phone number, some offer a reward. Mine says:
“If found please contact me via http://twitter.com/deceth to arrange return. I’ll gladly buy you a brand new USB stick as a thank you! Thanks. I really appreciate it!”
#2 – Install Portable OpenOffice (or any other portable application!)
Portable applications are great because they allow you to take the software you need anywhere you go. If you’re working on different computers such as at home, at work, at university, at a library, at a café, or at a friends house, then a portable application will save you the hassle of downloading software the computer you are using is missing.
Other times, you won’t even be permitted to install software on the computer you are using! Having a portable application on your USB stick is a good way around that problem. I have OpenOffice installed as a portable application on my USB stick and love it. I’ve never been unable to open a document I wanted to work on.
Visit PortableApps.com for a whole list of applications you can install on your USB stick. With Portable Firefox your bookmarks and settings will follow you anywhere you go. With Portable Linux, you can take your whole desktop with you! Visit http://portableapps.com/
#3 – Install True Crypt for encryption
Not everyone will return your lost USB stick, especially not if they stole it. If you have important private information on your USB stick, True Crypt will allow you to encrypt it. True Crypt is open source and can be used as a portable application, meaning you can decrypt and access your files all from your USB stick, no need to install any software on the computer. Get True Crypt at http://www.truecrypt.org/
#4 – Get TiddlyWiki, a portable wiki all in a single file
TiddlyWiki is a single html file which acts and behaves like a wiki. You can add content, edit, save, tag and search very easily. It is the perfect portable tool for taking notes and organizing information. If you’re taking notes during class or during a meeting, TiddlyWiki is the perfect tool for scribbling down that first draft. Get it at http://www.tiddlywiki.com/
#5 – Install a game… like Battle City!
It’s great to work hard, but even better to procrastinate! Keeping a game saved on your USB stick ensures entertainment is always right at your fingertips. Battle City is the perfect game to save on your USB stick because its open source! If caught playing a game in class, just let the professor know you are actually performing quality assurance testing. Get Battle City at http://battlecity.org