Who would have "thunk" it? SanDisk is now offering mini-applications designed to run directly from a "U3 smart" portable USB Drive. Known by many names -- thumb-drive, flash drive, USB drive, portable drive -- these handy little devices haved saved my skin in many situations. Before our campus IT department opened the network to sharing off-campus computers, I carried my digital life in a tiny 256 mini-cruzer. Now, I can carry 8mb or more and Life is definitely Good.
While some U3 apps are available for purchase, others are free, including programs to run Evernote, OpenOffice, Firefox, WinAmp, and Skype. I have been running Evernote and like the easy portable access to the program. Hopefully, more developers will develop mini-versions of their programs to run from a USB drive. My wish list includes mini-iTunes and Adobe Reader.
To install the U3 applications, either 1) plug the USB flash drive into your computer and follow the onscreen instructions to view, select, and download applicationa; or 2) download applications from the SanDisk U3 website.
Users can also choose to delete the U3 application launcher and use the portable USB drive strictly for portable storage, but as netbooks grow in popularity, but not necessarily hard disk space, mini-applications can expand the device functionality or provide a mobile access to favorite programs.
What's on your U3 smart drive?