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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Staples has a sale on the Sandisk 8 gig Cruzer flashdrive for $30 (non-rebate). There's some coy mention of U3 on the packaging (haven't opened it yet) and that led me to check U3 out.

    It s a proprietary method of taking your software with you from computer to computer; most of the google posts I found kinda damned it with faint praise and then discussed how to remove it- altho this seemed to be mostly back late in 2006.

    My biggest single peeve about email is that there is no software equivalent of the filing cabinet, much less the 'bankers box'. There is no searchable, seeable 'Picasa for email' that I know of...

    Putting something like Thunderbird on an annual flash drive might be a good way to store old documentation, such as ebay email, etc. The USB format seems the most survivable into the future, given the number of devices using it.

    Anybody actually using the U3 system?
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    I like the Sandisk USB flash drives.

    If you don't want U3, use the U3 removal tool found on the U3 website to format the the flash drive.
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  3. Man, I hate that U3 crap!

    http://www.u3.com/uninstall/
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  4. Man of Steel freebird73717's Avatar
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    I have a u3 sandisk drive and the first thing I did was download the removal tool and reformat the flash drive.
    Donadagohvi (Cherokee for "Until we meet again")
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  5. Member
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    I always remove U3. I picked up an 8GB Sandisk a few months ago and found that they now include the removal software on the drive itself rather than making you hunt for it.

    From http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Default.aspx?CatID=1450 :
    "Can I remove U3 technology from my USB drive? Yes. To remove the U3 technology from the drive, simply go to the U3 Launchpad and, under Settings, select U3 Launchpad settings and click Uninstall. This will completely remove the U3 Launchpad from the drive."

    The same page tells you how to reinstall it if you change your mind (you have to go to their website and download a file to do it).

    There are a lot of good "portable-ized" programs at portableapps.com that work fine without U3, including Thunderbird and Firefox.
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  6. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by stiltman
    Man, I hate that U3 crap!

    http://www.u3.com/uninstall/
    Yeah, it's just another gopher hole you can step in, and do some damage.
    I avoid the SanDisk line because of it. (Just give me straight storage, and
    stay the Hell out of my way !) It is proprietary . . . but I think they are
    not the only mfr. to do something like this.

    A Fry's salesperson told me that there are only about 3 sources for the
    components found in nearly all memory sticks. (That may or may not be
    true, but it sounds plausible.) If so, the quality should be pretty even across
    the board, and it would only make sense to look at price-per-Gig. Ativa and
    PNY seem to have good prices, and skip the B.S. Some have ways to
    dispense with the end cap, though I think SanDisk may have sneakily cornered
    a patent for the retracting connector. What's up with many of these no
    longer giving you the lanyard ? It must save them about 15 cents, but I think
    it can help avoid losing the stick. And you don't have to attach it if you don't
    want it.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  7. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squash
    ................... To remove the U3 technology from the drive, simply go to the U3 Launchpad and, under Settings, select U3 Launchpad settings and click Uninstall. This will completely remove the U3 Launchpad from the drive."
    Thanks for the reminder. I was going to remove U3 when I came back from vacation, but I forgot all about it.
    I just removed it the way Squash recommended...thanks
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  8. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    thanks guys, but this pretty much echos what I found elsewhere-

    most people remove it on principle, apparently before ever trying it.

    I noticed Avast now has a flash drive version specifically to protect these promiscuous lil buggers, but I'm wondering how protected the machines they access are these days?
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  9. Member
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    If so, the quality should be pretty even across the board, and it would only make sense to look at price-per-Gig.
    I expect your salesbod was talking about mfrs of NAND-flash chips, so yes there are probably only a few of those. However there is more to these things than just the flash. There will also be a USB chipset, and the internal architecture matters too. Some of the cheaper devices are very slow, and speed becomes more important as capacities increase.

    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    though I think SanDisk may have sneakily cornered a patent for the retracting connector.
    I know that Sony's Microvault Midi range of USB flash devices have retracting connectors. Of course they could be paying SanDisk a patent license.
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  10. Member
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    ahhaa,

    I tried U3 a few years ago (shortly after it came out) and didn't care for it. I saw no advantage whatsoever to using U3. That whole deal with the two drive letters, the fake CD drive, the propietary, buggy U3 driver. I just didn't see the "advantages" of it.

    But more to the point, U3 is doomed. It's being scrapped. Sandisk is teaming with Microsoft to create its replacement, "TrustedFlash", which will address the security concerns which kept Microsoft from backing U3 originally. Products are supposed to be available late this year. On the bright side, there'll probably be a lot more good deals on U3 drives in the next few months as they try to get rid of their inventory.

    For more info:
    http://www.betanews.com/article/SanDisk_Microsoft_Join_to_Replace_U3/1179158853

    I haven't read anything about this recently, though (the article is from last year).

    Sandisk used this same TrustedFlash name a few years ago to try to sell pre-loaded music on SD cards but I think it sank without a trace.

    For current USB needs, I like the Portableapps.com programs. They're up-to-date and designed to keep all settings local to the USB drive. They've already got Portable Virtualdub 1.8.5 up a day or two after the main program went up on Sourceforge. Likewise for VLC, Audacity, the GIMP, OpenOffice, TrueCrypt, etc. And it has a handy menu program. I've used them all on computers at work with no problems. Being on a corporate network, though, I wasn't too worried about picking up any trojans.

    Also, portablefreeware.com has a much wider range of programs available. Browse through them and you might find something to fit your needs. There's probably a bunch of other good sites out there, too.

    As for searching old emails, I've always used the free Copernic Desktop Search. If I need to find my original Anydvd registration email from 4 years ago, I can just type "Anydvd registration", click on email, and there it is. I mostly keep it turned off, letting it update its index when I want it to, so it's not always prowling the hard drive. I've never used it with a flash drive, but I imagine you could plug a USB drive of old emails into your PC, let Copernic or somesuch index it, then you'd be set for quick searches the next time you plug it in.
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  11. Man of Steel freebird73717's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squash
    That whole deal with the two drive letters, the fake CD drive, the propietary, buggy U3 driver. I just didn't see the "advantages" of it.
    Exactly. I kept U3 and tried it for a while. Quickly removed it and downloaded apps from www.portableapps.com like Squash mentioned.
    Donadagohvi (Cherokee for "Until we meet again")
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  12. Member Xylob the Destroyer's Avatar
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    I love my SanDisk flash drive.
    After about a day the u3 was removed... Bad stuff there.
    "To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research." - Steven Wright
    "Megalomaniacal, and harder than the rest!"
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  13. Member
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    If all you want is mobile applications, ie. application on a memory stick with no dependencies on the host PCs registry, hardware, or drive letters - then ISTM a Virtual PC is a good answer. You do need to install the Virtual PC app on the host PC, and that PC needs to be a recent one with good specs (Dual Core, 1-2GB mem), but after that you can run any application except for things like high end 3D gaming, you are not limited to a small range of purpose made apps, nor need to use some unfamiliar interface.

    The brief description I just read of portableapps.com's offering doesn't seem to make it any more attractive than U3.
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  14. Member
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    Portable apps leave too many traces on PCs, U3 is cleaner in that respect. The U3 launcher is annoying though, so it's a trade-off that you have to make up your own mind on. Don't let people who claim they removed it before trying it make your decisions for you.
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  15. Like most everyone here and everywhere else, I find the U3 concept revolting and promptly remove it from any thumb drive I buy. Its launcher is intrusive and it creates annoying ghost volumes if you move between Windows, Linux and Mac. The sneaky way U3 operates is creepy and I don't like not knowing exactly how something is tampering with my Windows. To be fair, roughly 10% of users like U3 and find it very convenient and useful. I've never met one of those people but they seem to lurk on Amazon and other consumer review sites. BTW prices on thumb drives are so low right now its ridiculous: if anyone needs some, this is the time. I just picked up a half dozen 2-GB PNY drives for $6.99 each at a local Dell/Apple showroom. Transferred a huge stack of old Zip disks to em and got rid of the bulky Zips and their drives.
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