At the risk of spamming my own blog, I'll make a second post today.
This is one I've been meaning to make for some time, but have always forgotten about. In September, I picked up a 2GB Memorex Travel Drive USB stick. I'd been using a 512MB USB stick, and ran out of room, so I decided to skip the 1GB stage and go right for the most space I could afford.
Naturally, with all that space, I had to see how much of it I could fill up, so I started sticking anything and everything I could think of that might be useful. YBook went on first, along with several SF novels downloaded from the Baen Free Library. Personal files went on next, followed closely by lecture notes for classes I'm teaching and have taught in the past.
I was still woefully short of filling up the 2GB, so I went looking for an easy way to put Apache, PHP, and MySQL on the stick. I'd done it with my previous stick, but it involved editing configuration files and wasn't an ideal solution. After a bit of web searching, I found someone who'd done the same thing, but also wrote a small application that starts everything up and shuts it all down when you're done.
It's called WOS, available at http://www.chsoftware.net/en/useware/wos/wos.htm. I've been using it for a while now, and it works much better than my hacked together version. Starting WOS automatically starts up Apache and MySQL, and included in the download are both PHP4 and PHP5, the one you use easily selectable in the WOS settings dialog.
Everything's configured for relative paths, so it doesn't matter what drive letter your USB stick ends up with, it all works. About the only drawback to WOS is that it uses port 80 for the web server, which won't play well if you already have a web server running on the machine. That isn't a problem for the machines I'm typically using this on, so I haven't needed to go back into the Apache config file and change the port number.
So, now, if I find myself with a few free moments, I could either stare out the window at the snow flurries in the parking lot, or I could start up the web server and make a little more progress on those web development projects I keep meaning to finish.
So how am I doing on filling up the 2GB? Well, I also backed up a web site I run to it, and downloaded the latest JDK (just in case I found myself with time for some Java development), and a copy of Game Maker (just in case I found myself with time for game development).
I'm still about 300 MB short, but I figure I'll need some room for data files, so I think I'll stop there. At least until I feel the need to get a 4GB stick.