Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Internet Freedom Disk - PUMP

Persistent USB Memory Port - P.U.M.P. Whoa! What is this? The Internet Freedom Disk has a huge shortfall. Your computer gets amnesia every time you turn off your computer. The PUMP changes all that. It is a specially configured USB memory stick that displays a synergistic relationship with the IFD.

P.U.M.P. Internet Freedom Disk - The best video clips are here

Amnesia - Greatest or Worst trait? After using the Internet Freedom Disk (IFD) and rebooting, your computer has total amnesia! This is both the greatest and worst traits of the IFD. Greatest because your computer cannot remember your surfing history or when nasty sites tried to infect it with viruses. It is also the worst trait because your computer cannot remember bookmarks (favorites for IE users), save email attachments, remember which extensions/plug-ins were installed into your browser, and it cannot remember your desktop settings. Well the geeks faced the same problem and they fixed it.

Cure for Amnesia So the geeks came along and conjured up a fix. In their normal style they made it difficult to set up unless you are comfortable typing a series of cryptic commands into a dark window. Luckily once it is set up, it could not be any easier to use.

The cure comes in the form of a specially configured flash drive which I named the "PUMP". Those tiny little USB devices that can store huge amounts of data. At the bottom of this post is directions for making one. But trust me, don't try this yourself. Get on the phone and call your geekster. Tell them you are coming over with a extra large all-topping pizza and a 6 pack of beer.....then right before you hang up you say .... "and I am bringing a flash drive for you to configure ...bye!". Or you could buy one from us for the same price as the pizza and beer. You can check them out on ebay now. ( Don't complain that we do this, it helps the noobs and it helps support this project. It is not like we don't provide great documentation on DIY!)

So now that you have your shiny new PUMP and your Internet Freedom Disk you have the latest in high tech portable computing!

HINT: If you are using a wireless network, put the SSID (name) and WEP KEY into a document and save it on the PUMP.

Time to Pump it Up!

  • Put your PUMP into a USB port
  • Put your IFD into the CD Rom drive.
  • Turn on your computer.
  • At the first screen press F6 (options)
  • Type persistent Press ENTER key

OK, now the IFD knows to look for your PUMP. Don't ask me why there isn't a choice on the regular menu, because I don't know. Geeks .... sheesh!

What good is this?

Your browser will now:

  • Remember bookmarks, without this ability the IFD may be considered worthless
  • Keep all extensions working such as Ad Block!
  • Keep all plug ins working, which if you like watching video you appreciate this.

You system will now:

  • Remember your desktop settings (wallpaper, etc)
  • You can save files you create or download from the Internet. Otherwise you could not download email attachments, video, music, images etc.
  • Files will be available to you when working in Windows.
What can't you do?
  • You can not save your wireless Internet setup. However you can save a text file on your desktop with the information you need. Then just cut & paste 2 items and your wireless is up and running.
  • You cannot remove the "Install" icon off the Desktop! Sheeesh! STAY AWAY from that thing. That will install the operating system and wipe out Windows!! If you delete it off the desktop, it comes back after you reboot. Geeks need to get smart about this icon.
Truly Portable Computing! With the IFD and the PUMP you have a highly personal portable computer that fits in a pocket! All you need is a computer somewhere with a USB port and CDROM drive. It could be at a friends house, Internet Cafe, or a hotel room.

Just think of the benefits when using someone's computer:

  • You don't have to buy a computer yourself
  • If you have a computer you don't have to carry it around all the time.
  • You will not leave bread crumbs on their computer. Things such as browser history, cached items, etc.
  • You will not have to worry if they are infected with nasty things! Ewwwww!
  • You can't get them infected.
  • You will have all your own files with you.
  • Your browser will be customized just the way you want it, along with bookmarks, extensions and plug-ins.
  • It all fits in your pocket and weighs less than a pack of cigarettes.
Do's & Don'ts
  • Don't ever click the "Install" icon! This will wipe out your hard drive!
  • Don't do banking, stock trading, or other transactions when using the PUMP! That is one place you could get infected. Just use the IFD alone for these things.
  • Don't remove the PUMP until the computer is shut down.
  • Do enjoy your freedom!
  • Do backup the data you want to keep. Flash Drives DO WEAR OUT! YES THEY DO! Using a flash drive as a PUMP puts the drive under a lot of stress. So if you have important files on the drive be sure to back them up. They wear out without warning and there is no hope for recovery. Just so you know.
  • Do make copies and give to the people you care about.

Now time for the Geekster! OK, your friend needs some help, at least we got you the pizza and some beer for your troubles. What we need to do is partition the flash drive into 2 partitions. One ext2 (or ext3) and one vfat. I typically give 1/2 the capacity to each partition but that is up to you. the ext2 partition MUST be named casper-rw, you can name the vfat anything you want.

Items in red are to be typed into the terminal window exactly as shown. Here goes:

  1. Backup the flash drive ALL DATA WILL BE LOST!
  2. Boot up the IFD or any other Linux distribution.
  3. Place flash drive into USB port
  4. Open up a terminal window
  5. If you can do a SU, if not, you will have to issue all the following commands with SUDO
  6. fdisk -l That is a lower case L
  7. Determine the device name for the USB drive. Typically something like /dev/sda1 from now on I will use /dev/sda1 but you need to substitute your settings.
  8. Start up fdisk fdisk /dev/sda
  9. p that will display the partitions, check that you got the USB drive.
  10. Now delete all the partitions.
  11. d
  12. 1
  13. d
  14. 2 You will get notification if there are no more partitions. Then you can stop
  15. d
  16. 3
  17. d
  18. 4
  19. p Show the partitions, they should all be gone
  20. Now lets create the 2 new partitions.
  21. n new partition
  22. p primary
  23. 1 partition number 1
  24. enter Select default starting point
  25. +512M 512 megabytes. Change the size for your own needs.
  26. n new partition
  27. p primary partition
  28. 2 partition 2
  29. enter select default starting point
  30. enter select default ending point
  31. t Set the type
  32. 1 on partition 1
  33. 6 to Fat16
  34. w write changes to disk
  35. umount /dev/sda1 Unmount the partition
  36. umount /dev/sda2 Unmount the partition
  37. mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n winlinux /dev/sda1 Format partition 1 and name it winlinux. This partition will be available from both windows and linux. You may change the name winlinux if you want.
  38. mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sda2 Format partition 2 and name it casper-rw This name CAN NOT be changed.
  39. If you will be connecting to encrypted wireless networks you may want to put a document in the winlinux folder that has the SSID's and WEP keys so you can easily cut and paste the information into the wireless configuration setup.
  40. All done!

Now you can test it. Read above in the section Time to Pump it Up! for how to use it.

Acknowledgments: After much research and hair pulling I found these two excellent articles that made this document possible. I had found many articles that were flat out WRONG! Thankfully I found these two, each has many authors.

No comments: