Here's a handy and fun use for
any USB drive. Several freely available media player software packages (such as
certain versions of Winamp) do not require registry entries to run. What this
means is that they can be effectively run off any computer without installation.
You might already use your USB
flash drive to carry music and other media files from computer to computer. Why
not carry around the program to play them with as well? Simply copy the player
and your files to a directory on the computer you have plugged into (or even run
the player from the drive) and enjoy your media files!
Here's links to a couple of
media player applications that can be run straight from their executable files,
and will thus work fine on USB drives: Zoom Player (video and music) and XMPlay (audio only). Simply download the files, unzip them to your USB drive, add
your media files and move out!
Carry a bootable, portable arcade on your USB
Bored in class? Need something
to make your off time at work pass faster but can't install games? How about
having an entire arcade on your USB drive?
AdvanceMAME is an open-source
emulator for arcade games, the kind you might have used to play in the days
before Playstation. This in itself is not novel. MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine
Emulator) and its variants have been around for ages. What is novel is that the
latest release of AdvanceMAME (2.4.0 as of this article), supports booting from
AdvanceMAME, like all MAME
versions, uses ROM files, images of the original arcade machine programs you
might have played. Generally these files are copyrighted, but you can find many
legal ROMS on the Internet. AdvanceMAME comes with three games to get you
started, and a menu system so intuitive that it's not even worth describing.
To install AdvanceMAME on your
USB key, download the latest files
from here and unzip them to a folder on your hard drive. Now
plug in your USB drive and format it (right click the drive in 'my computer' and
choose format). Use the FAT file system.
Navigate to the folder that
you unzipped the AdvanceMAME files to and double click the 'makeusb' batch file.
A DOS window will open and begin the process of installing the necessary boot
files onto your USB drive. Once the install is complete, simply boot any system
with the USB drive to load AdvanceMAME and start playing.
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