New portable applications USB hardware spec

If you are part of the geek-set, you probably already know about U3 format USB keys. These are USB drives with a special partition that has an auto-run tool used to enable specially written programs which run entirely off the USB key. This means they don’t store information in your registry. It’s handy, because you can just carry your U3 drive and have all your applications and data available on pretty much any modern Windows system. Sadly, the U3 format doesn’t work with Windows Vista for most hardware versions of these drives. So much for any modern Windows system, then (well, Vista kinda sucks and doesn’t seem so modern from what I hear, but it’s still going to infest most of the home computing market).

To rectify this, Microsoft and Sandisk are working together on new technology to let you do pretty much the same thing while still giving manufacturers more of your money to let you do what you are already doing with XP.

Microsoft is teaming up with peripherals manufacturer SanDisk in an effort to develop smart USB devices that will allow users to carry their complete personal computing environment on a device as small as a thumb drive, Microsoft announced Friday.

Under the plan, Microsoft will develop software that will let users store their applications and data on small, Flash memory-based devices that connect to their computers’ Universal Serial Bus. SanDisk will design and manufacture compatible hardware.

The first products from the collaboration will be available in mid-2008, Microsoft said.

Oh, by the way, we won’t actually have this option any time near the launch of the latest Microsoft infestation system, what with Vista already launching and the technology being nearly a year away. Still, it won’t be too long before you can pay your fees to Microsoft and others to keep doing what you just paid companies for a year or two ago when you got your U3 drive.

Might I take this opportunity to point out that you would probably be better off just buying an inexpensive USB drive and loading it with portable open source applications that usually do all the same things for far less. If you don’t like that site, well, you can choose any of numerous other such sites for your legally free portable software and not continue to pay unneeded fees every time Microsoft and others decide they need a new way to get your money.

Here are a few more sites which provide links to other portable application information, if the previous four didn’t suit your fancy.

[tags]Portable applications, Portable freeware, Windows wants more of your money, U3 format dead, New portable software pen drives next year[/tags]

Colorful Book of skulls

I’m artistically inept, but I love looking at good art. Of course, for me, good art often differs from what many others think is good (and no, I’m not talking about pr0n). As an example, I think the colorful skulls in this awesome book, Skull Project, are amazing and very artistic.

Skull Project, a book based on Skull Reference by Matthew Amey, is a collection of finished pieces created by artists from all over the world. Each artist was given a page from the Skull Reference book and asked to create a finished drawing or painting based on the unique position of the skull they were given. Skull Project is the culmination of those efforts is available here as a limited edition hardbound copy. Each book is individually numbered and comes with a slipcase to protect this fantastic collection of artwork.

I’d try to put more from the site or make all the links work, but the fuck-heads running the site put in extra “protections” (easily worked around, but I spend enough time just getting posts together to bother with that extra effort) against having their work used. I’m taking a fair use clip here to let my readers know why I think this is a project worth spending money on. If the sellers want any more help from outside, they might consider making it easier to provide enough information to my readers to drive some of them to the project.


I had to spend far too much time just to get that image so you could see why this project is worth checking out. At this point, I’m not even sure I care if anyone goes and thinks about buying. I want to buy one of the books for myself (they are $150), but I don’t even care if anyone else is interested enough to look now. I suppose in the future I should just make my HTML img tags point to their servers so I can leech bandwidth instead of assuming responsibility for my digital footprint. (via boingboing)

[tags]Skull Project, Skull Reference, Sellers who make it hard for bloggers to send visitors their way[/tags]