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(Are we selling our products at the local State Fair now?)
Apparently that's what Microsoft and SanDisk are planning on doing. I love it!
Check out this article: SanDisk, Microsoft in USB flash drive, memory deal
Imagine this... you don't need your own computer anymore to travel. You just go to a kiosk with your SanDisk drive.. plug it in to the USB port... and you have your own computing environment.
"Huh? You crazy, Kevin?"
Think about it. It can be done. Use Virtual PC, or some run-time (meaning: not installed on the host OS) version of that technology, maybe?
Take a really big USB drive and put a .VHD (virtual hard disk) and .VMC (Virtual Machine configuration file) that represents and contains an installed OS. And then have that run-time virtualization engine auto-run from the USB drive to just load that Virtual Machine into memory.
Presto! You've got your own virtual computer that you've carried with you... and it's not leaving any personal information behind.
"Oh yeah? What about keystrokes?"
Oh. Yeah... that's a problem. Personally I don't trust kiosk computers as far as I can thrown them. And they're anchored down, so they're not easily thrown. Trust me. So... until I can trust a kiosk, it's not a perfect solution.
But... if I am visiting someone that I can trust, and just need to get to my own apps or e-mail temporarily... it might be a really neat idea.
NOTE: My vision of using virtualization to do this is all just speculation on my part. I really don't know the details any more than what are written in the article as to how they're actually going to accomplish this "personal computing environment"-on-a-stick.