Reader tips on portable computing flow in

By Scott Dunn

In my Mar. 20 article, I described techniques for putting an entire Linux OS on a flash drive, which is almost like having a pocket computer that can run many of your favorite applications.

I mentioned some limitations and presented a warning, but readers have come to our aid with insights on protecting and using your diminutive computer accessory.

Backing up is a good idea, recovery is better

I cautioned prospective users to remember how easy it is to lose a flash drive.

One of the most practical suggestions we received is Jeff Weed’s reasonable proposal to identify your ownership. If an honest person finds your flash drive, you have a chance to get it back:

  • “Whenever I get a new flash device, I always store a plain text file on the root folder with the file name !Owner-Info.txt.

    “I create it with Notepad and list my name, e-mail address, and phone number along with a statement requesting anyone who finds it to contact me. Then I set the file to be read-only so I can’t mistakenly erase it. The exclamation point (!) in the file name helps ensure that the file appears at the top of the list when someone views the files with most any file manager.

    “The plain text format (.txt) helps ensure that the file can be read on any computer.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-03-27: