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Don't know exactly what you're trying to do with our project, but I
looked into the U3 a while ago. . . a pain in the bahookie! Maybe
they've changed them since I was looking at them, but I didn't want all
the superfluous junk programs that came preloaded on the U3.
Check out www.udrw.com. I created a cool little program with Director
that would autostart when one of these USB sticks was placed in the
user's computer, access a database file on their hard drive, and save
any type of data back to the storage part of the USB stick that the user
wanted. Computers see both a new CD drive (which allows autostart
features) and a removable storage drive when one of these USB sticks is
plugged in. You get to decide how much of the stick is dedicated to
each purpose, and no one can access/change the CD portion of the USB stick.
“a pain in the bahookie!”
Lol, you’re not kidding, and no, it hasn’t changed. To be fair the U3 people answered our question, it turns out the program menu name is in the manifest XML and can be changed by changing two lines. As for the extra junk that comes preinstalled on the stick, that can be jettisoned but it’s an extra step when it comes time for production.
We actually started with the UDRW sticks but I was handed a U3 last week and asked to look into it. The UDRW sticks are without question easier to setup. I’ve got the same very simple project working on both sticks, the only “fancy” thing it does is read/write to an ini file that must travel with the application. The U3 offers the following advantages, although we’re not exploiting many of them and weather they’re worth the added effort to set the stick up really depends on the project…
1. The application has read/write access to the “CD” partition of the U3 stick which allowed me to protect my ini file from the user … on the UDRW stick my ini file was a hidden file on the user/data partition, but if you’re like me, you routinely display hidden files and the user could easily trash it. Our application is smart enough to replace the ini file in that event but it’s still nice to have protected space to store config information.
2. The U3 stick offers environment variables that will, among other things, give you the path to the user/data partition. For UDRW 99.9% of the time the data partition will mount one drive letter removed from the CD partition, but there’s no guarantee (our app can auto search for the ini file just in case). Unfortunately, to get access to the U3 environment variables you’ll need an xtra like GLUdll.
3. The U3 stick can automate application updates to the CD partition. This is kinda cool because we’ve written apps in the past whose data must be updated once every year or so, downloading the new app or data to the stick rather than prefs folder keeps our app zero footprint. All that having been said, I don’t know how hard this is to implement.
4. The U3 company has contracts with numerous stick manufacturers, the UDRW is single supplier at the present time.
If you just read the list you’d think I’m in favor of the U3 but I’m really not, to take advantage of the above you need to deal with a lot of overhead and a 140 page user guide, frankly, if you don’t need any of the above, the UDRW is just easier.