Monday, February 13, 2006

USB Stick Goodness

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 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.


Anonymous said...

At least until I feel the need to get a 4GB stick.

I am all kinds of amused, considering that one of the machines I support is old enough that it has 4GB disks.

Phloyphilai Wongsangiam said...

Hey, i am just checking out your blog and just want to say hi.

Jay said...

Hah! Yes, more and more it seems like things are moving in the direction of taking our environment with us. I've seen USB sticks that allow replicating your Windows desktop on another computer.

Pretty soon, we'll have 60GB USB sticks, and be back to 4GB hard drives.

Phloyphilai Wongsangiam said...

thank you for your comment about my french poem, I had to write it for my french class. (in my poem said that i liked french but it's not true) don't tell my french teacher though. lol

Phloyphilai Wongsangiam said...

hey thank you for checking out my blog. i wrote the poem for my french class. in the poem said i liked french (well it's not true)
don't tell my french teacher though!!

Phloyphilai Wongsangiam said...

hey thank you checking out my blog. that's blog is really for my french class, 5 points for the poem.