What is the point of U3?

Any other tech-related topics

Do you use the U3 capabilities of your drive?

Yes, all the time, it's cool.
2
7%
Yes, sometimes.
5
19%
No, never.
9
33%
No, can you tell me how to get rid of the damn thing.
2
7%
My drive doesn't have U3, but I'd like it to.
0
No votes
My drive doesn't have U3 and I have no interest in it whatsoever.
9
33%
 
Total votes: 27

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Darkbee
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What is the point of U3?

#1 Post by Darkbee » Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:56 am

I really don't understand the purpose of U3, the "digital universe in your pocket" mobile platform standard. I see lots of marketing jazz on the website that says that I can plug my USB device into any computer, do my stuff, then unplug it safe in the knowledge that I haven't left any traces behind; but I can do that now! Moreover, I can do it they way I want to without some standard telling me how I should do it.

I can maybe (and it's a big maybe) see how standardizing is good for hardware/software developers BUT software developers are perfectly capable of ensuring that their products are portable, without the U3 standard (as this website attests to). So what else does the U3 standard bring to the table? I'm either completely stupid or drastically missing the point here. I find it ironic that there are discussions on forums out there on how to disable or bypass the U3 software on a recently purchased drive. Isn't that a sign that it is not adding anything important or interesting to the world of portable computing?

Call me cynical, but it just seems like a marketing gimic so that manufacters can say "ooh, but our drive supports the U3 standard, what does your drive do?". My response is, "So what! How about more important features like speed, reliability and cost?"

Please feel free to share your thoughts.
Last edited by Darkbee on Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fluffy
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#2 Post by Fluffy » Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:25 pm

OK, keep in mind that it's very, very warm here and I'm not in the most cheerful of moods because of it.

1 - She's never visited portablefreeware.com.
2 - Notice how freakishly huge her Winamp is and how little viewing area she has on her Firefox. Apparently this wonderful drive is incapable of changing monitor resolutions, which poses problems. Since this aims to be a "complete" experience, I'd expect it to function as such (hardware permitting).
3 - PORTABLE FREAKIN' FREEWARE.COM! Skype, yeah that's already doable. Firefox and winamp? Gee, lookie here, they're in the database too. I couldn't get a close look at her Office app but if it's OOo then that's just laughable, as it's also portable. Outlook is the only thing I'm not sure about, but apparently she likes security holes anyways so it makes sense that she'd cling to outlook.

Had another thing I'm tempted to mention, but I'm going to hold off and just giggle to myself about it. :)

Darkbee
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#3 Post by Darkbee » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:24 am

Have these people no shame... they actually admit that you might want to remove their crappy product :lol:

Only one thing that puzzles me... once you choose the option for removal where is the checkbox option, describing your reason for uninstalling the U3 launchpad, that states, "because it's a steaming pile of *!$% and I can no longer stand the shame of even the slightest association with something so utterly crap."

Seriously, ladies? gents? Is there anyone who will defend this thing?

Ellycp
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#4 Post by Ellycp » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:36 am

How about for people who aren't able (or don't have the time) to do this sort of thing by themselve? It's a simple and easy solution that requires very little expertise or time to implement.

Elly

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Fluffy
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#5 Post by Fluffy » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:34 pm

Ellycp wrote:How about for people who aren't able (or don't have the time) to do this sort of thing by themselve? It's a simple and easy solution that requires very little expertise or time to implement.

Elly
So you mean, people who won't take 15 minutes to follow clearly-written instructions to install the applications, then use a launcher that requires nearly no expertise or previous set-up (toolbox, anyone?) to create a very simple and effective launchpad for their applications and files?

I could understand if PFC didn't offer simple, concise instructions to help guide novice users through the process of setting up each individual application. And really, it takes very little time to set something like this up. However, if the company pushing their product makes it seem much easier than doing such things (or better yet, completely ignores the fact that the functionality is already available without their product) then of course gullible, ignorant folks will come swarming to them.

I would also like to mention that this woman makes a very clear mistake by claiming that, among the list of apps she showed the audience, Outlook is not installed on the host machine. While it is possible to remove Outlook, this is highly uncommon, especially on business PC's where it's damn near required. A small oversight, but I figured I'd point it out.

Darkbee
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#6 Post by Darkbee » Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:13 pm

Ellycp wrote:How about for people who aren't able (or don't have the time) to do this sort of thing by themselve? It's a simple and easy solution that requires very little expertise or time to implement.

Elly
I'm not sure I buy the "don't have time" argument; I'm pretty sure that all U3 drives come with minimal set of apps. I'm under the impression that users must choose what apps they wish to download (and of course wait for them to download) to get a full set of apps that meets their particular requirements. So from that perspective, it takes just as much time as it would take me to download the nice 300MB+ of apps that I have on my portable HD. Furthremore, I expect that most peoples' set of portable apps has grown somewhat like mine, over a period of time, where I have gradually identify a need and fulfilled that need accordingly.

Where you might have a point is in the configuration or setting up of said apps. I'm again making an assumption that the initial launcher program handles all of the downloading and extracting, hiding it all from the poor unsuspecting user, thereby avoiding the need for them to manually work with compressed archives or move files around.

I certainly agree that this task may seem boring or even scary for the novice user but the point that makes me laugh is that U3 are selling their platform as if you couldn't have portable apps without their platform, which we all know is complete nonsense.

Thanks for your input though Ellycp, it was a welcome relief from the Fluffy and Darkbee show.

Ashes for Tears
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#7 Post by Ashes for Tears » Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:44 pm

Seriously, ladies? gents? Is there anyone who will defend this thing?
One (and likely the only! :P) reason to keep this on your drive:

The CD em feature. Now, the autorun can get annoying at times, but on computers that have removed access to removable drives, but still require working CD/DVD drives it's great.

Truth be told, the only actual U3 app that I have on my drive is AV (unfortunatly, size does matter :( ), and altogether there are only 3 items on my launch pad (because of restricted access at my job etc.).

I use Pstart 99.9% of the time. :D
Last edited by Ashes for Tears on Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Andrew Lee
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#8 Post by Andrew Lee » Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:01 am

PStart rocks! :D

Plus I believe portability should not be associated with USB memory sticks alone. To me, a portable HDD is an even better device for portable apps due to its speed and capacity.

Furthermore, "portability" to me is more of a spirit of how apps should be written. It is confusing to have another u3p extension that is nothing more than a ZIP archive with some mandated packaging. How I wish all apps were just available in ZIP packages!

But I think this dream will be difficult to fulfill. I have forgotten how many times I come across comments from software authors that they have packaged their apps as EXE installers (even though the apps are portable) because users are confused by anything otherwise.

Maybe U3 is trying to achieve the same purpose as traditional installers (one-click setup and all) for memory sticks targeting the same "easy-to-confuse" category of users.

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#9 Post by Darkbee » Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:57 am

Andrew Lee wrote:PStart rocks! :D
IMHO, the very first program that should go onto ANY portable drive.
Andrew Lee wrote: Plus I believe portability should not be associated with USB memory sticks alone. To me, a portable HDD is an even better device for portable apps due to its speed and capacity.
Who's ya daddy! My laptop died a few months ago, so I was left wondering if I could use any of the parts. The obvious choice was the 2.5" hard drive. So I bought a nice shiny USB 2.0 external enclosure then Bob's your uncle and Fanny's your aunt... a 10GB external drive for the cost of the enclosure which was about $15 off of eBay. and the best part, not even a hint of some crappy supposedly portable platform. Nice! 8)

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Alexander
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#10 Post by Alexander » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:00 am

Well, my personal opinion about those launchers is that they are designed for non-professional users.

Of course if you are a pro - you will carefully select and install the appropriate tools on your carrier device.

But there are (yes, there are non-professional PC users on the planet) some people who do not know what is manual INI editing, dll versions and so on. In their case using unified installation process is a heaven.

P.S. I use PStart.

Ellycp
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#11 Post by Ellycp » Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:38 am

I think it's funny that you all slated my previous comment - I'd like to endorse what the last poster wrote about 'non-professional users'. Yep - that's me and I found it remarkably simple to just download apps to my U3 drive. Yes I'm sure it *is* really simple to do the portable apps thing, but U3 was just easier for me.

Sorry if you don't like it or think I'm stupid or lazy, but that's my life and my choice!

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djoledj
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Hate it!

#12 Post by djoledj » Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:10 am

I bought a u3 USB and i didn't know what a hack hit me! It's slow, too fancy and who knows what else.... i uninstaled it as soon as i got the drive :)
I just love the good old PStart....
Be exellent to eachother!

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Fluffy
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Re: Hate it!

#13 Post by Fluffy » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:07 pm

djoledj wrote:I bought a u3 USB and i didn't know what a hack hit me! It's slow, too fancy and who knows what else.... i uninstaled it as soon as i got the drive :)
I just love the good old PStart....
It's a Vistafied thingy!

And as soon as El Salvador irons out some of the bugs, I'm gonna switch to ASuite over PStart in a heartbeat!
How much Keefe is in this movie? Miles O' Keefe!

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AlephX
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Re: Hate it!

#14 Post by AlephX » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:18 am

Fluffy wrote:
djoledj wrote:I bought a u3 USB and i didn't know what a hack hit me! It's slow, too fancy and who knows what else.... i uninstaled it as soon as i got the drive :)
I just love the good old PStart....
It's a Vistafied thingy!

And as soon as El Salvador irons out some of the bugs, I'm gonna switch to ASuite over PStart in a heartbeat!
...actually I have used Asuite a lot, but, yes, there are few problems and I find PStart even faster, at the end. I really hope that El Salvador can solve those issues, as ASuite offers a lot of interesting options.
I often ask myself: "What have I to ask myself?"...

lewis1350
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#15 Post by lewis1350 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:57 pm

First thing I did was remove it and the damn extra partition that came with it. I tried it, but I'm so used to normal zip files, it was almost too "complicated" because I'm not used to it. *zap*
PStart is the best app ever!!!

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