Waddling Past The Windows
One of the great sources of frustration — and more than a few jokes — for geeks is the legendary instability of the Windows operating system. If you've ever had to rescue a box that's crashing more often than a demolition derby car, the latest offering out of Active Media Products may help you keep your cool.
We all know that like a faithful Labrador, Linux is a geek's best friend. When it comes to recovering data from a crashed system, it's particularly friendly, providing the option to boot from a Live CD or other media and recover files. The good geeks at Active Media Products, however, have taken that one step further with the release of their new BLU — Bootable Linux USB.
AMP's BLU is a USB drive pre-loaded with the latest Ubuntu release — 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope — which allows a user to boot directly into Linux regardless of the operating system installed on the box in question. According to AMP, it is compatible with Windows 7, and makes the perfect solution for disaster recovery, as it is small, portable, and allows files on the system's hard drive to be backed up to the BLU or to other media.
Like most things involving geeks, however, it doesn't stop there. As though being a clever recovery solution wasn't enough, the drives take it a step further, melding form with function. That's right the drives are shaped like — what else? — a penguin. "[D]esigned in the likeness of an emperor penguin with exacting detail," says AMP's description, and it's environmentally conscious too, as the drive is "made of non-toxic silicone rubber" and "completely free of PVC, lead and mercury."
Perhaps best about the product, though, is that it gives back more than just your data. AMP has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund on the drives, and will be donating five percent of the retail price of each drive to the WWF — with the commitment of a minimum contribution of $25,000 annually. The company has partnered with the WWF on two other endangered-species drives, for polar bears and pandas.
The drives are already available, and come in five sizes: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. They are available from Amazon for $8.95 - $42.95, or from AMP's distributor AVC for $11.97 - $42.97. (Amazon appears to not stock the 2GB drive, while AVC doesn't list the 1GB.)
And for those in a particularly giving mood, this week's other charitable announcement provides an opportunity to double your do-gooding: Use your shiny new Tux Card from the Linux Foundation support Linux while you save penguins.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.