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Kulverstukas

Flash drive usage in 2017

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Hello forum. I was thinking the other day - with cloud computing at this time being so widespread, we all know the benefits. And we all (or most of us) remember carrying our documents in floppy disks, after that - flash drives. But now I'm seeing very few occurrences of people using flash drives to store stuff.

I have noticed this on myself as well - I always carry a flash drive in my backpack that is encrypted with a password, but come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I have plugged it in :P

So do any of you feel the same and how did you manage to live without flash drives today?

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I still use flash drives to take stuff to untrusted computers -- for example, when I take something to the print shop to be run off in large format. These types of places (print/copy shops, library, et c.) don't run a primary business of having safe, secure computers, and they let you plug in and run pretty much anything, so I will typically use a flash drive to take files, then nuke it when I get home. I don't log into anything on those computers, I've seen people at the print shop logged in with their cloud storage, email, whatever. Seems like a great way to get keylogged or your session cookie swiped or something.

 

For moving stuff around between computers I trust, yeah, I don't really use flash drives anymore. Ironically I do still use floppies -- but that's only because part of my business is legacy systems repair/maintenance.

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Mainly for booting Linux and repair utilities. Never bring them to work anymore unless they are property of my employer. Too much crossing lines with corporate computing policy. 

 

For moving stuff around between computers, an Android phone with a web-based file browser is the way to go at work, IMO. Never need to plug into a computer and is ok by most any corporate computing policy with employee wifi

My last job as a sys admin, actually locked USB Storage in Group Policy for all but two or three privileged security-groups. Too much can go wrong, and if I saw someone who was not authorized plugging in a thumb drive, it was mine to interrogate for security including: virus, illegal downloads, or any other illegal activity or violating policy defined by corporate computing policy. Event Viewer would tell me who and where these were being denied by GPO as well.

 

For personal use. I do always have a low-profile 32GB thumb drive plugged into my laptop, though. Gives another 32GB of storage that can be faster via sneaker-net than most crappy WiFi networks.


Agree 100% with glitch on using non-trusted computers. Also, bonus points if those are 5" floppy disks. 

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Everything said are valid points. It's exactly what I do if it comes to that. Normally if I want something special printed out, I make an order through email. The most common way I use flash drives today is to watch movies from it on my dumb-TV.

It was a long time since I went on a public computer for stuff... sometimes, if it's a small file, I would upload it to my website :P

Heh more often than flash drives, I use external hdd drives to store data and backups though.

 

@tekio: it sounds like you had some really strict rules :P didn't people bust your balls for that? because you know... inconvenience?

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Yeah, I'll drop stuff on my website sometimes, as well. The thing with the print shop is, they have *horrible* Internet to start with, so you may or may not be able to download a file if it's more than 1-2 MB. I'm usually printing large electronic schematics in 11x17" tabloid format, so the flash drive is advantageous there.

 

I don't really use them for booting much anymore, though I will load Slax (Slackware based live distro) on a drive for testing now and then. Mostly I netboot stuff for new installs, it's faster and you don't have to mess around with iffy embedded BIOS USB boot implementations.

 

6 hours ago, tekio said:

Agree 100% with glitch on using non-trusted computers. Also, bonus points if those are 5" floppy disks. 

 

Sometimes 5.25", sometimes 3.5"...but I also have a few systems that are still using 8" floppies :D Some of it is hard sector too, where the sector start boundaries are marked by a number of physical holes punched in the disk.

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14 hours ago, Kulverstukas said:

@tekio: it sounds like you had some really strict rules :P didn't people bust your balls for that? because you know... inconvenience?

 

No. Before my tenure the entire company was down for 48 hours due to cryptolocker from a ThumbDrive. That was inconvenient for the owner who lost 48 hours worth of business. Of course Managers, Owners, IT people, and senior sales staff received training from IT and were in allowed security groups.

 

Honestly, it worked out great for end users and IT. They had reliable systems for work  and IT was able to provide better IT services w/o needing to worry every time Randsomeware was headlined.

 

 

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I remember turning in my final 286 assembly program to my high school programming teacher on a single 360KB 5 1/4" floppy, with a tag containing my name and a description of the program stapled (gasp!) to the upper-left corner (arrrrgh!) of the disk jacket (A BIG FUCKING NO-NO ANYPLACE ELSE!!!!!!). That was around 1993 or 1994 (it was when Workgroups 3.11 and MessyDOS 6.22 were considered current) and the last time I ever touched any form of assembly language. I might actually still have it somewhere but Allah only knows if it's still readable (probably not).

I remember they had an XT in the corner of th lab with external 8" drive that nobody ever used. You could tell the computer hadn't been switched on in at least a decade from the layer of dust. I wonder what ever happened to that machine.

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