aNewDomain.net – A good part of my day job involves working on someone else’s computer. It might be infected, physically damaged or have any other number of maladies.
Over the years I’ve started carrying less and less equipment — and not because I’m lazy or choose not to bring things with me. It’s because I’ve been able to replace a lot of my former tools. One of my favorite equipment upgrades is moving from a binder of CDs to a flash drive.
If you’re reading this, you have a computer. And if you have a computer, you probably have a flash drive somewhere nearby. Or six. I find them scattered all over my office and in most others. That’s the problem.
As inexpensive as they are, flash drives aren’t something we think of too often. They’ve become disposable and, with that mindset, people rarely carry them. And, as high-speed, wireless, Internet access is more ubiquitous, techs are carrying fewer flash drives. They’d forget about them or, sometimes worse, forget them in a computer. I know. I’ve lost a number of them that way.
That is why I started carrying my thumb drive on my car keys. It’s no longer possible for me to use my flash drive for a client and then drive away, leaving the drive in the computer. I do still get out to my car occasionally, realizing that my keys are lodged in the back of someone’s PC. A number of companies now make metal-shrouded and even rugged flash drives. I prefer to use one of these, and I never use a flash drive that hangs from one of those flimsy jump rings – they bend or break in the first week. My last few flash drives have actually been made of metal and looked like a key. These are thinner and fit better on my key ring.
I won’t tell you what programs to keep on your flash drive – you know what you need better than I do. As cheap as flash drives are, you should have one with a decent capacity. A 32GB flash drive is affordable, and you can even use it for file transfers. You might be better at remembering your drive than I do, but why risk it? Most computer techs have those impromptu questions from friends and family. With the holidays approaching, you’re almost guaranteed to have a computer thrust upon you with a “please fix this” or “can you backup my pictures?”
It’s far better to be ready with your toolkit at all times – even if that toolkit is a single piece of hardware.
What software do you carry on your flash drive? Post the answers in the comments below. Maybe you’ll discover a great new program or help someone else with your recommendation. I’ll be watching the comments for ideas on future software picks. If I use your submission, you get credit in the article.
Until then, may all your software upgrades go smoothly.Business