A Couple Of Things I need

There’s a couple of things I’m thinking of buying but I don’t what’s available and I don’t really feel like researching it. Or at least, I’d like to have a couple of pointers so I can then research further.

Memory Key

I’m pretty good on backups but I still think I need something else to store a few text files and various passwords. I was thinking memory stick. There’s also a software “kit” available that lets you install Firefox on it in both Windows and OSX versions, using the same bookmarks. I’d probably install that too. So the questions are; what’s the best/most interesting deal and do I have to look into something special if I want the thing to be super secure/encrypted or do I just use some kind of utility with OSX?

Audio Stuff

I have; vcr, Illico (digital cable from Videotron), little stereo system, Airport Express and a PS2. All of those are very old and well used so don’t come and rob me ;). (PS2 ain’t even here righ now)

The problem is that I like to have the sound from all of those coming out of the stereo system and, of course, I’ve run out of connections. Priority one is more room for the Airport Express so I can stream audio to it, priority two is the PS2. The vcr isn’t even connected to it itself but I only watch the very occasional taped tv show so it doesn’t matter.

So I’m looking for something, possibly a very basic stereo system, that offers loads of connections or some kind of media center oriented speaker set with amp or… something else. Needs to be pretty inexpensive and I’m no audiophile so it doesn’t need to be crazy ass sound wise and I don’t need a lot of speakers and surround and stuff because I won’t run the cables around the room anyway.

Any ideas?


aj May 31, 2006

As for the memory stick, I dunno – a shuffle’s pretty good.

As for your audio problem, aside from upgrading to an actual AV receiver, there’s a cheap little box at Amazon that might do the trick.

Patrick May 31, 2006

I’d rather the key drive fit on a key chain, the shuffle is small for an mp3 player but relatively large for just a drive.

Thx for the audio thing, might to the job, even if the design is shite ;).

mare June 2, 2006

As for security: Use Disk Utility to make a encrupted disk image and put it on the memory key. It’s quite a heavy encryption (128 DES IIRC) and will be super easy. You can even put the password into Keychain so you never have to enter it on your computer.

I use a Complact Flash card for my camera in the same way. It’s in my camera, which I have with me anyway and I can easily update its contents. A mobile phone with extra memory would probably also work.

Boris Anthony June 2, 2006

Can you elaborate why you feel you need a memory stick? I’ve never understood their use, especially for someone with a “laptop” and access to their own server…
No really, please explain, I really would like to understand this. I read this and thought “if pat needs this, why do I not feel I do?” ;)

Can you give me a scenario / example of how you would use this?

Patrick June 4, 2006

Well I keep a backup on an external drive but it’s at home and a backup on CD at my mom’s but it’s outdated. If I get burgled or there’s a fire or something, my laptop and harddrive could both “disappear” at the same time so something I have with me, like a keychain usb thing, could contain the most vital stuff like user names, passwords and such. I could do the same with an encrypted file on my server I guess. Hadn’t really considered that. Not too keen on having that info online though but it’s pretty easy to “hide” and if it’s encrypted properly I guess it’s not really too much of a risk.

As for the Firefox thing, I have some local clients that I meet in person and they don’t always have wifi or even a place to connect my laptop. Having an easily accessible browser with the proper bookmarks and the like could be useful. I could do the same with online bookmarks but there’s also something to be said in terms of fluidly showing things for having your own configured browser instead of a crappy IE with missing or too many toolbars.

Both “needs” are somewhat remote but at the price those keys are, I’m considering it. But I’ll probably just store copies on my iPod (and I like the camera memory card idea) and forget the Firefox setup.

Long June 4, 2006

Get a SanDisk Cruzer Titanium USB Flash Drive . It’s the best on the market. I have bought mine, the 512 MB model, a very long time ago when it cost 120$. I dropped it, smashed it, soaked it and it’s still working in perfect condition.

What I like most about it is its design. It’s slick and it’s just slide in and slide out, so there are no caps to lose or misplace.

Blork June 5, 2006

I’ve got a SanDisk Cruzer too, and it’s great.

I don’t use it a lot, but I’m glad I have it. I find it’s generally faster for moving files around than uploading to a server. For example, if I have a file at home and I want to work on it elsewhere (like at work, for example), I’ll drop it on the Cruzer. I can then work on it anywhere—and I don’t even have to download it onto the local machine, I just run it off the Cruzer. No downloading/uploading, no entering of passwords onto other people’s machines, no IP transfer record, no nothin’.

Even at home, if I’m moving a bunch of files (e.g., photos) from one machine to another, it’s often faster to just dump it onto the Cruzer than it is to open up FTP, navigate to the right location, upload (wait… wait… wait…), then go to the other machine, log in, navigate to the right location, download (wait… wait… wait…)

The other problem with using a server is that not everybody is online all the time. Servers go down, connections get broken, not ever square inch of the earth has a WiFi hotspot, etc. But as long as you have a USB port (and who doesn’t?), you can go live with your files with a thumb drive.

More: when you travel, you can carry things like a scanned image of your passport, traveller cheque numbers, emergency info, (etc.) on the thumb drive. Takes up no space and has virtually no weight. And if you’re stuck in some cop’s back room in the middle of Bulgaria with your passport and other papers stolen, you can at least start the process of proving who you are.

Patrick June 5, 2006

I’ve seen the Cruzer in a number of ads and was considering it, glad to see some recommendations.

Most of what you say Blork is great input but wouldn’t happen in my case. I have only one system and use only that one and don’t expect to have files to transfer to someone else’s PC. Also, most of the suff I might need also needs the internet so doesn’t apply either.

However, I LOVE the tip for the travel aspect. Great idea.

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