Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bootable Flash Drives--The Real Reason They Are Cool

With each passing week USB flash drives become a bigger part of my life. At work I rarely burn CDs or DVDs anymore. I digitized a bunch of vinyl LPs for my father-in-law and delivered the files to him on a flash drive. Most recently I bought some broken laptops on eBay. They have no working optical or hard drives but because of USB flash drives I won't be doing any repairs.

I got the laptops for to run music software, specifically, Mixxx, although Ardour and any number of other apps will probably run as well. As soon as I had them un-boxed I popped bootable flash drives with Linux on them and started them up. Now I can just concentrate on the software.

Above: Two "broken" laptops, my IBM ThinkPad X40 and Dell Lattitude D410, running Mixxx on Peppermint Ice Linux and FireFox on Linux Mint 9 XFCE.

For my purposes, these laptops are not broken. For less than the cost of a new netbook I now have two more systems capable of running FLOSS music software on top of Linux. With data persistence turned on in the flash drive configurations I can put audio files on the bootable flash drive or run them from another flash drive in another USB port.


lowSpec said...


What version of Mixxx are you running? I am on a X40 and Mixxx 1.10 crashes when I want to display the moving waveform. Did you encounter this issue? If yes, how did you solve it?


DJ Dual Core said...

I'm on 1.9. I have not run Mixxx on my X40 recently, but in general newer seems to truly be better with Mixxx. I think in every case upgrading has fixed problems for me with Mixxx.