USB keys

How Can I Share Videos With Family?

YOUTUBE

Episode 1713

Ed from Santa Maria, CA

Ed converted a bunch of home movies into digital format on a USB key. He wants to share them with family, but he has to convert them. What does he do? Leo says that as long as the USB key is formatted for FAT32 or ExFAT, it should be compatible with both. NTFS won't work for most macs. Then there's the video format. If it's WMV, Macs can't play it back. But MP4 is modern and ubiquitous. What if the person he's sharing with has a mobile phone? Leo recommends sharing them on YouTube. Set videos to private and then send them a link to share. That's the easiest way.

Can I Run Linux on a USB Key?

PopOS

Episode 1665

Glen from Florida

Glen wants to know if he should create a USB Key with Linux on it and boot to it. Leo says he can. It's called a Live Distro and just about every flavor of Linux does it. Leo likes PopOS. But understand that it will be a bit slower running off the USB key and eventually, it will wear out the USB key. But by then, you can decide if you want to install it or not, and they will probably offer that option on the distro. Will he still be able to see his Windows desktop? Leo says no. He will see the internal drive, but won't' be able to run Windows programs within it.

How can I tell if a USB key I found is safe to use?

Episode 1310

Lex from Virginia

Lex uses Windows Defender, but he came across a thumb drive and wants to check it to see if it's safe to use. Leo says he really can't. If he plugs it in, and it's infected, it will compromise his system. Firmware can be modified on a thumb drive to contain malware as a payload, and it's undetectable. The worse part is not one USB drive manufacturer has done anything to correct the bug. Wired has a story on it.