Removable flash memory sticks are pretty much one of the most handy little pieces of technology to come along in the last couple of years. They come in various shapes and their storage size can range from a measly 128 MB to a whopping 32 GB. And you’re not restricted by what you are able to put onto these devices either. Which got me thinking today. I am regularly installing fresh copies of Windows onto new built PCs, so I look for any way to increase the speed at which my work gets done without compromising quality, of course.

So I thought, with the speed of flash drives today, it could be possible to install Windows XP onto those PCs in a much faster time than with optical media (CD/DVD). Plus with all the motherboards I use, I always make sure that the motherboards support booting from USB as it’s a very handy feature. So I decided to look into the various guides that can be found on the Internet. Originally meant for the EEEPC, I found a guide that I was able to understand. Because of the way it was written it took me longer than 10 minutes to understand the whole procedure and I’m sure the average geek would be completely confused before they had reached the second line, simply because of the total lack of explanation on the part of the guide’s creator for those who do not usually do this kind of thing. More »

We all know that when you use a PC you leave a trail, half a mile long, in ‘log’ and ‘dat’ files and Registry entries detailing everything you’ve been doing, from the files and programs you’ve opened, to the websites you’ve visited. It’s no small concern as it can include sensitive and personal information, like passwords and PINs for example. It’s not too difficult to keep your own PC’s record keeping in check, with a free utility like CrapCleaner (see Software section) but what happens when you’ve been using someone else’s computer?

This little program, called CleanAfterMe is what you need to tidy up after you. It’s a small freeware application that you can keep handy on a USB memory stick and when you run it you have the option to delete all of the data and changes you may have left behind during the session. If you are a regular user of other people’s computers and value you privacy and security then don’t leave home without this really handy utility.

This tutorial describes how to install Ubuntu by copying the contents of the installation CD to an USB memory stick (aka flash drive) and making the stick bootable. This is handy for machines like ultra portable notebooks that do not have a CD drive but can boot from USB media.

In short here’s what you do:

Prepare the USB flash drive

Boot the computer from your USB flash drive.

Install Ubuntu as you would from a normal boot CD More »