Monday, February 6, 2006


Portable USB Keychains

Is this cool or what? Bring everything you need with you on a USB key; OS, configuration, e-mail, music etc:

Portable USB Keychains - The Future?
One idea involves running a virtual machine directly off of the keychain, which brings up some really neat possibilities. I can totally grok the idea of bringing your entire "OS" and applications with you - similar to the way that Portable CE works, but imagine that for a full Windows installation. Since I don't want to deal with breaking any EULA's, I won't post instructions, but it's pretty straightforward to use a Virtual Machine, such as QEMU, load it up with Windows XP and run XP-Lite on it to get your OS image down to around 500mb. Other VM's, such as Virtual PC or VMWare Player are a bit more complicated to run from a keychain, since they have device drivers that need to be installed, etc.
One one hand, I really like the concept of portable VM's. With them, you can pretty much use any application you want in the VM and not have to worry about machine configuration (it'll always be the same), and you can handle "non-portable" applications easily (i.e., its like it's own real machine). On the other hand, I'd rather have the ability to have 'richer' experiences from the USB drive - imagine having a small portable MP4 enabled video player (no codec hell) stored on your iPod Video. Plug it into any PC and you could watch your videos on it through the mass storage interface.

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