Archive for the 'USB' Category

Why You Should Use the exFAT File System on Your Flash Drive

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Hard DriveexFAT is a file system, similar to FAT32 or NTFS, developed by Microsoft and released to the mainstream in Windows Vista SP1. It’s primarily intended for Flash drives, as opposed to magnetic hard drives, and has the added advantage that Apple Macintosh computers with OS X 10.6.5 or later support it by default (which is not the case for NTFS). Based on the linked article, you should probably use NTFS for standard hard drives and exFAT for Flash-based devices, and just completely forget about ever using FAT32. exFAT will work with Windows XP if you install update KB955704.

Thanks to Josh for this link.


Beware the Unknown USB Drive

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

USB ConnectorDid you know that the simple act of plugging a USB thumb drive into your computer will often run (AutoRun) a program that’s on the drive? So an easy way to compromise computers is to put malicious software on some USB drives and scatter them around on the ground. Quite a few people will pick up such a drive and plug it into their computer to see what’s on it.

The recent Stuxnet worm used USB drives to get inside Iranian power plants and infect their control systems. It was designed to work even if AutoRun had been disabled. Just browsing the drive and opening a folder was sufficient to infect the computer.

This type of attack can be prevented by education. Simply put, be very careful about using a USB drive from an unknown or untrusted source. And if you find it laying on the ground in your company’s parking lot, throw it away (or report it to your computer security personnel if such exist).

(via The Consumerist)

What’s New in USB 3.0

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

USBThe linked article explains what’s different in USB 3.0 (also known as SuperSpeed USB). The theoretical maximum speed has increased by about a factor of 10, to 5 Gbits/sec, and some power-saving protocols have been implemented to prevent devices from unnecessarily draining a laptop’s battery. Probably the most important item, however, is that USB 3.0 requires a different cable—the connectors are the same size and shape but have a different number of pins. You won’t be able to use older USB devices with the newer cables, and you must use 3.0 cables for 3.0 devices. Fortunately the 3.0 devices themselves are backwards compatible. They can be plugged into 2.0 ports and will run at the lower speeds. The plastic inside the tips of USB 3.0 connectors is colored blue to help differentiate between the new and old.

(via Slashdot)

The USB Power Strip

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Power StripWith so many devices using USB connectors as power/charging sources, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone created the USB power strip. A bit on the expensive side, however, and I prefer the USB-enabled power outlet for sheer geek cred.


Swiss Army Flash Drive

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

USBFor the geek in your life, Victorinox is releasing a Swiss Army Knife that includes a secure USB drive.

Link #1:…
(via engadget)

Link #2:…

USB Deciphered

Monday, January 18th, 2010

USBThe linked article explains the differences between the various USB standards and naming conventions, and also gives some general tips about USB. After reading it, you can amaze your friends with your new knowledge!


USB-enabled Power Outlet

Friday, January 15th, 2010

USBHere’s a nice power outlet that includes two USB charging plugs in addition to the standard three-prong electrical outlets. It costs $9.95, fits in any existing wall outlet, and doesn’t drain any “vampire” power. The downside is that it’s only available for pre-order (but should be shipping fairly soon).

(via Engadget)

USB 3.0: Not So Fast

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

USBLooks like the first round of products for the new USB 3.0 standard won’t come close to the interface’s maximum speed. According to the linked article, first-generation devices will run at about 150MB/s versus the 625MB/s allowed by the standard. Note, however, that this is still twice as fast as USB 2.0.

(via digg)

USB 3.0 Specification Is Now Official

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

USBAt 4.8Gbps, it’s 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Expect to see it for sale in the second half of 2009. The official name is “Super-Speed USB 3.0”.


Sawed-off USB Drive

Friday, August 1st, 2008

USBWant to make people look twice? Then just use this USB drive in a public place—although it’s probably not something you’d want to show off in an airport.

(via digg)

All Spark Cube USB Hub

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

USBThe recent Transformers movie rated about a 5.5 (out of 10) on the Chad’s News movie review list, but this USB hub modeled after the All Spark Cube is just way too cool to pass up. Unfortunately it won’t be available until late August.

(via Engadget)

Flash Drive File Recovery

Friday, November 9th, 2007

USBPhotoRec is a free utility that recovers files from corrupted flash drives, memory cards, and CD-ROMs. It can be downloaded here.

(via Lifehacker)