Sunday, 22 August 2010

Pen knifes and memory sticks

I usually have a pen knife on me as they are useful - it is good for opening parcels and packages, has handy small scissors, and the screwdriver is exactly the right size to work perfectly on all of the screws used to assemble a PC. Being able to take the lid off a computer without looking for a toolkit is useful in my line of work :-)

Now, Victorinox are clearly trying to appeal to geeks. They have done laser pointers and USB memory sticks in the small pen knives for some time. Now they do a really cool presentation master one. It has a laser pointer, of course. It has a two button bluetooth remote which works to do previous and next page on a powerpoint style presentation and even works on my Mac (that is cool). But the expensive bit is they do encrypted fingerprint access USB memory... That is uber cool.

Well, I saw it said windows, and I am not allergic to windows, not quite, if I have to find a machine to set something up. Sadly they have really missed a trick here. Yes, windows (app is on the memory stick, obviously), and it sets up finger prints, and so on, but to actually use the memory stick you still need windows and have to run the software.

The real advantage of USB storage is it works on everything. By insisting on windows and by insisting on running code off the stick, you limit uses massively and create compatibility issues for the furture. It is horrid. How hard would have have been to make it check finger prints itself - e.g. plug in and PC sees mass storage with nothing mounted - wipe finger, and it blinks an LED to say well done, and tells PC media has been inserted and works. That would have been cool, and compatible. A portible, compatible, finger print access encrypted storage device would be cool. But sadly not. Really missed a trick there guys...

So I got a standard USB memory stick version and swapped the sticks and gave my son the geeking fingerprint one but in the normal penknife without the laser and bluetooth.

Sadly the damn thing has gone missing. I have only had it a few months. Not even had the chance to use the presentation bluetooth buttons on a real presentation yet. Arrg! I bet it is at the bottom of the washing machine but no luck yet.

So, I decided to go for something simpler this time. An ordinary penknife, and a separate USB memory stick (as they are smaller than the ones in the penknife anyway). What I have ordered is a really tiny, waterpoof, keyring USB stick. Looks cool, and may survive the way I treat them.

So, now for an ordinary penknife. Mistake! I decided to go for the proper swiss army knife. I mean, why not? Sadly, I did not note the size (111mm). It's nice. Sadly it has a blade just over 3" which means unless I am hiking or camping or some such (yeh, likely, not!) I can't take it out of the house. Really nice knife, but will have to live in the tool kit. It is a shame they do not do it with a UK legal blade which is just a tad shorter.

I'll get something smaller :-)

P.S. knives from swisstool.co.uk and memory stick from amazon.

6 comments:

  1. Had one of those little diddy USB sticks on my keyring for over a year now and it's still working perfectly. Nice bit of kit.

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  2. Nah, you've got it all wrong, you want to be buying a Leatherman Skeletool :) Carry one everywhere I go these days!

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  3. Victorinox CyberTool, if you excuse the name, is lovely. The screw driver bits are well made and a good choice of sizes. The 5-mm hex for D-sub connector jack posts is inspired.

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  4. You want a Leatherman Juice (a mini version of a Leatherman with a UK legal blade). I have one and tend to carry it around with me whatever I'm doing, as being able to just grab out a screwdriver / knife / whatever when necessary is great...

    http://www.leatherman.co.uk/products/product.asp?id=18&f=7&c=1

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  5. USB is very tight in the USB socket ion my Mac, but it works...

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  6. Small penknife is great until you put your finger in your pocket to get something and slice your finger badly.

    The proper one would not have done that.

    Blood on keyboard. hmmm

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