What self-respecting geek doesn’t have at least a few old flash drives laying around? We’ve covered some USB repurposing projects in the past, but here are three new ones using USB versions of XBMC and ChromeOS. So! Don’t let your old USB drives go to waste gathering dust in a desk drawer, give them new life with one of these three new uses for your old flash drive:
1. Install Xbox Media Center Live
Xbox Media Center (XBMC) was started as a Media Center Dashboard for the original Xbox but has since been ported to many different systems, including the PC. With the proliferation of 1GB+ USB drives and Motherboards that support USB Booting the time is ripe to get XBMC Live running on any spare flash drive. XBMC live includes options for streaming video from your network, mobile devices, and internet sites as well as script support for even more goodies like weather forecasts and sports updates. Check out the video demo below:
2. Create a USB “Key” for Your Computer
Predator is a simple program that sets any old flash drive up as a key that is required to access your computer. When the drive is plugged in everything works like normal, but when it is removed you can set Predator to perform a variety of actions, from darkening the screen and disabling the mouse and keyboard to sounding an alarm if anyone touches the computer.
3. Install ChromiumOS (Google’s Cloud-Based OS)
ChromeOS is Google’s entry into the netbook OS market due out later this year, but you don’t have to wait that long to try it out. Using Hexxeh’s custom ChromiumOS build based on the developer pre-release you can try Chrome on any computer you’d like. The latest version includes support for webcams, more Wi-Fi cards, and better screen resolution than the version featured in our original posting.