July 22, 2005
New USB Flash Drive Sports Bootable OS, Office Apps
By Personal Tech Pipeline Staff Courtesy of Personal Tech Pipeline
A company called FingerGear announced today the release of its $149 Computer-On-a-Stick, which is a USB 2.0 flash drive complete with a bootable onboard Linux operating system and open source office suite.
The password-protected "computer" can be used with any Windows or Linux PC with a USB port, according to the company, and will store the user's address book, emails, and office documents.
The office suite, developed by OpenOffice.org, is compatible with the most common Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
The Computer-On-a-Stick runs the Linux 2.6.x series kernel and Gnome desktop. It also includes the FireFox browser, a PDF Viewer and creator, a data compression utility, and an instant messaging program compatible with Yahoo IM, MSN Messenger, AIM, and Napster.
The device's storage is divided into a "public" and a "private" partition. The "public" partition is accessible from Windows, Linux, and Macintosh PCs, making it easy to use the product as a standard flash drive for storing files. The "private" directory can only be accessed by booting from the device and after the user enters a login password.
Software bundled on the Computer-On-a-Stick fit easily withing the device's 256 MB capacity, the currently available maximum. Higher capacities will be available later this quarter, according to a company press release.
It comes in blue, silver or clear and is available now.
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