September 2012 Archives

Win an 8G Flash Drive Free!

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USB Media Company is hosting a giveaway on our Facebook page!! See below for how to enter! 

"Like" our Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/USBMediaInc

"Like" and Comment on the Status below: 

Wondering what people did before they had flash drives? So do we. Like our page and comment below on how you use your Flash Drive either for work, school, or just everyday life for a chance to win an 8G usb flash drive!

GOOD LUCK!! :) 

How To Run Applications from a USB flash drive

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If you find yourself regularly having to use computers that aren't your own, a number of irritations and practical difficulties can mar your computing experience and make you a lot less efficient. 
You may find the applications you like to use aren't installed and you're forced to use substitutes that you don't understand very well or don't like.

Even if your preferred applications are installed on 'alien' machines, they might not have the preferences set the way you like them. This can cause friction, stopping the smooth flow of your work as you check or reset settings and make a note to set them back again when you are done.

The solution to these problems is to use portable applications. Portable applications run without having to be installed on a PC. You simply carry them around on a USB drive or even a memory card (provided the computer has a compatible reader) and run them from there.

These portable applications can be set up with your personal preferences so they always look and work how you expect them to. They can also retain data you put into them. For example, a web browser can retain bookmarks you've saved so you can take these from computer to computer.

You can also carry around your favourite fonts, avoiding the pain of having to use a substitute.

Portable applications can run from their own separate menu that launches when you plug a device into a host PC. This makes it easy to locate the apps quickly. Plus, you don't have to dedicate an external device solely to portable applications. Just like any other storage medium it can have folders storing whatever else you need to take with you, from documents to videos, music to presentations.

Granted, you won't be able to use every favourite program, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, but there are portable versions of a surprisingly large number of applications. Browse to www.portableapps.com to see what we mean. From Google Chrome to Dropbox, 7 Zip to OpenOffice, most bases are covered.

There's another big advantage of portable applications. Because they run from a removable device they don't install anything to the computer you are working with. They leave no footprint. That means you can use a remote computer once, leave it for ever, and be sure you've left no trace behind. Perhaps the best thing is that portable apps are all free.


Learn how to install and run the Portable Apps software here.



How to Password Protect your USB Flash Drive

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A USB flash drive, also knows as a pen drive or a thumb drive, is a portable storage device. If you have sensitive datastored on your USB flash drive you should consider password protecting the data or the device to prevent unauthorized access. 


There are two common ways to protect your data on a USB flash drive. You can either use encryption software to protect the data, or you can buy a special encrypted flash drive where the encryption algorithm is implemented right in the hardware.

If you already own a generic USB flash drive, and do not wish to buy a new encrypted flash drive, you can always go with option 1! There are several encryption programs available out there. In this blog post, we will discuss how TrueCrypt, an open-source disk encryption software, can be used to protect a USB flash drive.

Requirements:

Before you proceed you will need to install the encryption software; make sure that the following items are handy:

  • A computer with the Windows® operating system
  • A working USB port
  • Administrative rights on the PC
  • A copy of TrueCrypt installer. (Download the recent version of TrueCrypt here.)
Getting Started

Source: Support.com

Install Windows 8 From USB Flash Drive

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Now that the new windows 8 OS has come out most of us are planning on using this new operating system. When it comes to windows the best way to install the OS quickly is by way of a bootable USB drive.

Most motherboards today support boot options with USB's so here in this tutorial I'll show you how to make one. There are free software's one can use to make these drives but most of them do not work properly. We shall be using this hassle free, effective command prompt method to create said USB.

Procedure To Install Windows 8 From USB

You will need the following:

# Windows 8 ISO file or DVD

# 4 GB+ USB flash drive

# A PC with Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 OS


Once you have the mentioned items continue to Techmell and follow the steps! 

Lanyards!

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We recently had a school come to us for a quote of 100 x 1G. However, even with the educational discount we offer, they were unable to purchase custom flash drives for their fundraiser. Just when she thought she had to come up with a new fundraiser idea - we offered our custom printed lanyards as an alternative option. 

Our lanyards come in a variety of widths and colors, and can be easily screen printed with a school or company logo. They are very inexpensive and great to hold keys, a school or work ID, and/or a flash drive! 

Not only does it still promote school spirit, but we were able to stay within her budget. We try to work with everyone to stay within their budget requirements whether it be a school, corporation, individual, or start up. 

For more information about our products or to get a quote please email sales@usbmediacompany.com

School Fundraiser

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We understand, that many schools have a limited budget to work with. Fundraiser ideas can become difficult when working within a tight budget. Therefore, we offered our client an alternative option - Custom Lanyards! We are so happy to help schools raise money for prom, new uniforms, a new club, field trip, or to help a non profit. 

Our lanyards come in a variety of colors and widths, so you have a choice of what type of lanyard you wish to purchase. They are screen printed just like our flash drives and web keys, but are a must less expensive alternative. And they are great for fundraisers! Lanyards are used for so many things now, including holding your keys, usb flash drive, or your work and/or school id.

In college, I used a lanyard, I had gotten from my school to hold the key to my building, dorm room, and my usb flash drive on it. That way everything I needed was all together in one place! Plus my lanyard helped me find my keys faster in my bag full of books, food, water bottles, and who knows what else... Any college student knows how that is... 

Anyone interested in learning more about our custom print flash drives please email sales@usbmediacompany.com! 

Motivational

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Found this great blog posting on ExpoInfoTools Blog. Creating opportunities is what makes businesses and individuals successful in this world. As a start up company, we are always looking to help and inspire other start ups as well as established businesses that have been around for years. We use technology to communicate, grow, and market through our custom and often preloaded flash drives and web keys. How are you creating opportunities? 

"Opportunities don't happen, you create them." Chris Grosser

Perspective can be defined as a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance.

Perspective is what causes two people to see the same situation in completely different ways. One person will look at a closed door and take it as a  sign that it's not meant to be. Another person will encounter a closed door and immediately begin to look for an open window. As an employedpreneur, you will often find yourself not only looking for an open window, but sometimes you may have to be prepared to open the window yourself.

How Schools Use USB Flash Drives

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Flash Drives are essential to both High School and College students, and now even some Middle Schools are adding the USB Flash Drive to the list of "Things You Will Need This School Year" list. Below are just a few ways school's use flash drives... 
For more information email us at sales@usbmediacompany.com.

School Fundraiser
School's are always hosting fundraisers, whether it be for prom, a school trip, or to help raise money for a non profit organization. Custom Flash Drives with the School logo printed or etched are a great fundraiser tool, as flash drives are useful for all industries, but especially for students and teachers. 

School Teacher Appreciation Gift
Teachers are continually creating lesson plans to teach and engage the class in new material each week. A great way to save these lesson plans is on a flash drive, so that teacher's have them at all times. Why not give them a custom printed flash drive with their school logo on it? Not only will they be able to use this year round, it will help them stay organized and is beneficial to your child's learning. 

School/ College Stores
Schools and Colleges have on campus stores that sells everything from tee shirts to number 2 pencils. Included in this mix is a variety of flash drives in all capacities. Since USB flash drives are now a requirement for most High School and College students, why not make them readily available and offer them at a competitive price to that of other stores like Staples and Office Depot? We offer special educational pricing to all schools, so that students have the necessities easily available to help them learn and succeed. By offering custom print flash drives, students will not only be more organized and do better in class, but will be promoting school spirit! 

College Orientation for Incoming Students
It's always great to get a pen, cup, and maybe even a key lanyard on Orientation day.. but who keep this stuff? It usually gets lost by Move In day. Why not give a more valuable freebie to incoming students that they need and will use all school year? Giving a flash drive on Orientation day, is like scratching one item off that "To Get / To Do" list. Which let's face it, when it comes to college... that list is quiet long! A flash drive will be the most valuable item you could give them that day to help them succeed the rest of the school year. 

Some History for you....

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What was the first USB Flash Drive called? 
Answer: ThumbDrive

While it certainly feels like the ubiquitous USB flash drive has always been around, the first commercial USB-based flash drive didn't appear on the market until 2000.

Introduced by Trek Technology, a hardware firm based out of Singapore, the original flash drive bore the name ThumbDrive and sported a whopping 8MB of storage-a little over four times the storage capacity of the 3.5″ floppy drives the ThumbDrive sought to replace. Later that year IBM released their own flash-based USB storage key known as the DiskOnKey.

Despite the best efforts of both companies to defend patents and control flash drive production, the market was quickly flooded with unauthorized knock-offs. The previous king of portable storage, the floppy disk, was quick driven into retirement.

Source

Extreme Makeover - Work Edition

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Reflect for a minute. Just one minute, on how much has changed since you began your professional career? We used to have stacks upon stacks of folders filled with forms, rolodexes and Post-It notes covering our desks. Even further, remember when we didn't even have computers at our desks?

I come from a generation that will have always had the Internet in their homes. We have had cell phones since we've been driving and to us Google is the encyclopedia of 20 years ago. That has also translated over to the workplace.

Hardware
Let's take a look at some of the hardware changes that you may find useful in this advancing workspace.

Dual Monitors are something that I've been using for quite some time now, although at one point I am sure I was convinced that was excessive. However, I've discovered in this increasingly digital documented world, having the extra screen real estate is rather nice. I can have my email and my social media feed running on one screen that is always open, and I use the other as my workspace. Definitely something to consider if you spend anytime monitoring, or maintaining social media or have heavy email traffic.

USB Flash Drives were starting to be something I thought I would be using less, between "The Cloud," NAS drives and FTP I assumed that there would less and less use for them. I was mistaken. I am still not 100 percent behind allowing everything, especially sensitive information, out into the Cloud, so I use Flash Drives now to cart around the files I don't want at risk.

USB Power Strips are something I have now decided I can't give up. Increasingly we've seen them installed into homes, outlets that have a USB port to charge your devices with, eliminating the need to carry the block part of your charger with you at all times. Now you can get them in the form of short power strips and have multiple functionality -- charge your mobile devices and keep your workstation powered.

Wireless Peripherals like keyboards, mice, speakers, etc., are all much more commonplace than even a couple years ago, and they are fantastic! You can't tell by looking at my desk, but by integrating more wireless components, my workspace is definitely less cluttered than it was. Using bluetooth, or wireless, components also gives you the freedom to move things out of your way for larger projects that you want to lay out -- just don't forget which part went where.

Software
Software is the other component to bringing your workspace up to speed and when you combine it with quality hardware you can really see a difference.

Cloud Storage as I mentioned above, is something I have increasingly become a fan of using. There are tons of options out there: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Apple's iCloud, and AirFrame from Piston Cloud, which allows you to DIY a Cloud of your own. The options are seemingly endless. I personally have found myself using primarily Dropbox and Google Drive. Both have Desktop applications that allow me to access them on my home computer, web interfaces for access anywhere, and to me they seem to have the best mobile integration. I have actually written each of my columns using Google Drive to store my drafts so I can work on them from multiple places. It may not be the be all end all (yet), but Cloud Storage is definitely worth checking out.


For the full article click here.

September Trade Shows

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September is a very big month for trade shows in all major cities and for all industries! Months of preparation go into exhibiting at a trade show or convention including which shows to attend, what kind of marketing efforts are being done to advertise the show, reaching out to attendees, booking flight and hotel information, purchasing any and all booth displays including banner stands and lighting, and possibly even a raffle? in addition to freebies and promotional items. 

In most cases, especially with large industry shows, there are hundreds of exhibitors and booths, many who are probably your direct competitors. Therefore, it is safe to say, that the potential customers that visited your booth, also visited theirs. So how do you make your company stand out? How do you get them to remember YOU and not your competitor? In addition to following up after the show (too many people don't do this & many times it is a missed opportunity so FOLLOW UP!), you can make your company stand out by through engaging in conversation - not just about your product and services, great eye grabbing graphics, and a key promotional item... a USB Flash Drive. USB Flash Drives are not only inexpensive to purchase but can be custom printed with your logo and loaded with all of your company information. This includes your contact information (everyone is handing them business cards - make sure your's doesn't get lost in the mix), products and/or services information as well as any brochures and pricing that you would normally hand out or email to those who visited your booth. 

Think about it for a second, when you attend a trade show (which you should have attended many if you are exhibiting at one - research is key to success!), everyone is handing out pamphlets, business cards, price lists and more. At the end of the day, there are few people/ booths that you remember or stood out out of the ones you visited. What are some key things that stood out? Below are a list of ways to stand out at a tradeshow. Some might seem idiot proof but you wouldn't believe the number of people exhibiting, that don't do these simple and easy tasks. 

1. Engage: Do not sit behind your table and wait for people to come over and start asking questions, you and your team should look professional and happy to help attendees. Be standing, and eager to help anyone who seems interested in what you have to offer. 

2. Communicate! Don't just sell: Yes this may be a sales opportunity for your team, and may be the whole reason you spent thousands of dollars to exhibit, but aggressive sellers are intimidating. Start a conversation with a potential client, once you have a better understanding of the reason they are at the show, their target audience, what they are looking for, and their price point, it will be easier to decipher if what you are selling will fit their needs. In addition, you are building a relationship with this person, for all you know, they could become your best client. So don't just have a sales number as your end goal, engage and communicate to learn more about your customers. If you do so, those numbers will come a lot easier and quicker. 

3. Freebies: Every table usually has promotional items whether it is a pen or key lanyard - something usually with the company's logo on it. Smart companies provide freebies that coincide with their products or services, although this can be difficult depending on what you have to sell/ offer. That's why using Flash Drives as a freebie is a great way to go. As we said above, they can be easily printed as well as preloaded with any documents you might want to hand out at your show. This keeps your papers, business cards, brochures, etc. from getting lost in a pile of other exhibitors handouts. Not to say you shouldn't also have print outs and business cards with you (you ABSOLUTELY should - there is no excuse not to) but in case they lose it, or cannot remember which company you were with, your name, or whatnot, they have their flash drive with all information neatly in one place. In addition, it will help you stand out from the crowd. Papers are easily taken from tables from passer-byers. Handing out a Flash Drive takes more effort on your part, and encourages you to get to know the person interested in your business and vice versa.
 
4. Visuals: SO SO SO IMPORTANT! Especially now, every booth has a banner, whether it is a table banner, table-top stand, or full out banner stand - you must have visuals and graphics that stand out. Most companies will just put their logo or company name on a banner, but that is not enough. The point of a graphic banner is to showcase your products or services. If you just launched a new product, put it on the banner! Make sure your banner is colorful as well, nothing dull or boring. It might feel a little unprofessional (we've heard this before) but it's not and it will get you noticed. Boring doesn't mean professional. A professional is by definition, a person engaged or qualified in a profession. In other words, someone who knows their products and services, can answer any and all questions their clients may have, and conducts themselves in a certain way. 

Keep these little tips in mind when planning your exhibitions in the coming months. You can thank us later ;-)

How To Securely Erase Your USB Flash Drive

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Did you think using Erase was simple? Roadkil's Disk Wipe is even easier, and it works just fine on USB flash drives as well as traditional hard drives. Simply download, unzip, and boot the itty-bitty application, and then select a drive and type in the number of passes you'd like the program to make. (Again, we suggest at least three.) Choose to either wipe the disk or fill it with junk data, click Erase, and you're done. Roadkil's Disk Wipe hasn't been updated in years, but it hasn't needed to be--it just works. Be sure to select your operating system when you downloading the utility.

How to Securely Erase Your Hard Drive

A note on whole-disk wiping software:Wiping entire drives requires slightly more complicated solutions than the easy-to-use apps mentioned previously. Since you'll be deleting the data from the drive that likely holds your PC's operating system, most tools that wipe whole drives require you to move the program to a flash drive or create a bootable disc from an .iso file.

To ensure that things run smoothly, you should also dive into your BIOS settings and make sure that your drives are set to IDE mode.

For more information on securely erasing your hard drive or flash drive click here

The Many Uses for USB Flash Drives

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One of the most frustrating things that can happen is when someone loses computer data.  Whether it is due to equipment malfunction, computer virus, or other cause, losing data is a constant threat in today's computer age.  One easy way to insure that data stays safe is to save it on an external storage source.  There are many large external hard drives available, but many times people need something  that is more portable.  For maximum safety, convenience, reliability, and portability, many people consider wholesale flash drives.  Computer data can simply be saved on the flash drive (which plugs into any standard USB sized port), and be safely transported to wherever that data is needed.

The wholesale flash drives that are currently available are much different that the ones that were available.  When they first started becoming commercially available, they were very uiltitarian.  They all looked pretty much the same, and could hold only a small amount of data (usually much less than 1 GB).  Due to modern technology, the storage space in a flash drive has increased exponentially.  Now, USB flash drives are available with many gigabytes of storage.  This means that they can hold many word processing documents or spreadsheets, hundred of songs, or even several minutes of video tape. 

The design of flash drives has also modernized considerable.  Rather than just being house in simple black housing, they now come in a multitude of colors and designs.  A person can now carry a USB flash drive in whatever they choose, from red to purple to neon green to gray.  USB flash drives can also be color coordinated to organize the data itself.  For instance, one may want to storage their music on a black flash drive, their Power Point presentations on a blue flash drive, and their spreadsheets on an orange flash drive.  USB drives also make great stocking stuffers or small gifts.  They now come in so many styles, that one can be chosen that matches their personality.  For instance, a person can give a gift in the shape of a favorite cartoon character, a musical instrument, or even personalized with their own name.  Personalization also offers many options for businesses to purchase wholesale flash drives, personalize them with their own name, and give them as promotional gifts.  

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