Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What's That About USB Operating Systems? - Not Hate Mail

No, it's not hard.  I am absolutely the opposite of a geek.  If this hadn't been extremely simple and cheap, I'd never have tried it.   Anyone who can read can figure it out fairly easily, though reading is not optional. 

I've been experimenting with using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (less than $40) as a computer.  I'm thinking of trying Raspberry Pi Zero W (about $10, $14 if you get it with GPIO pins already soldered in) for some high-risk online reading.   The 3B+ and I believe the newer, slightly more expensive 4 series of Raspberry Pi computers can be run with the operating system on a cheap USB drive, the Pi Zero W has it on an SD card.  There is no hard disc.

One of the things I liked about the first computers I had was that the operating system was stored on floppy discs - there weren't hard drives, yet - and you could always have a clean back-up disc in case the one you used was corrupted or infected.  I missed that as operating systems got bigger and were stored on the hard disc.   

I'd never consider clicking on something like a Tom Metzger website or others I'd suspect of infecting my computer's hard drive, so I can't directly research such poison.   I have done that in the past and in several cases I know they infected my computer, sometimes I couldn't find the virus and the anti-malware programs didn't seem to clean all of them out.  I suspect that someone has phished one of my older computers when I clicked on links, I know in one case they seemed to get the name of the guy who owned the computer before I did - nothing like something like that happening to you to stimulate your online paranoia.  

Don't think I'll ever buy another PC, as such, since Raspberry Pi and other single-board computers can do so much more than I expected,  are so easy to set up and maintain and switch out components on.  I did have to buy a small TV to use as a screen - I felt dirty buying it - but other than that it cost me less than a hundred dollars to do it.  Most of the parts I had to buy (cords, adapters) won't likely ever break or go bad so I might never have to spend more than $40 or so to buy a new computer. 

A few Youtubes might give you some idea, I had to look up some of the terminology to get some of it.  It's not complicated.  It's so simple even I could do it.

There are plenty of websites to give you other ideas, some that have print out instructions. 

Even more reason to be glad I switched to Linux.   I have yet to regret anything about that. 

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