$5 Fingernail sized computer

micro SD card, finger nail size, with SD card adapter.

Impossible?

Put a live USB for Linux Ubuntu LTS 12.04 on a bootable 4Gb micro SD card and you’ll realize it’s not impossible.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/try-ubuntu-before-you-install

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/#button

<need make bootable and loader links>

In fact I’m using it right now. And I bought the card (4Gb with SD card adapter for $5) just weeks ago.

O.K, it’s not a whole computer, is a whole operating system and saved files , but as soon as you find PC with with a flash card adapter or a USB port, you’ll quickly be able to have your familiar environment and files on screen.

You can get all the software for free, you may need to hunt down someone a little computer savvy to help you set it up.

Once set up, it is a small as you are going to get your files, and it contains a system to view and alter them, connect to the Internet, the whole thing.

To use this you will  possibly need to alter the host PC BIOS to accept boot from USB and probably press a key on restart to enable this to happen*.

micro SD card with USB adapter

*guide coming soon

You could of course use a USB stick but its not quite as compact. The extremely small size of the micro SD give its the ability to be hidden if necessary. Something that small can be hidden in so many places the mind boggles, even more so for a person trying to find it.

If you find yourself in a an emergency or sudden collapse scenario, you can take all of your important data with you as a very small item and very fast. Any one searching your computer would not be aware for quite some time that you took this essential component with you. leaving behind a computer with a copy of windows or apple OS with nothing particularly interesting/identifying/incriminating on it. It can really change the game.

You may be traveling for a long time in a sudden collapse scenario and the ability to periodically access a computer and have everything you want on it ( exactly the way you left it last) would be very useful.

Imagine you have been on the road for  a week and find an abandoned house.In the house there is a desktop computer with the side of the case missing,clearly the hard drives are missing. The house still has some power from whats left of a solar PV and inverter setup. They left in a hurry, and as it is, the PC wont work .Those plants you saw 2 kilometers back, are they edible? Load up your tiny fingernail computer and compare them to the edible plants data you have. Are there any WI-fi signals here?  What dose my map tell me? All these things become possible with this tiny investment you made when you saw a post on the Internet about a $5 fingernail sized computer.

Cost $5 or less, might save your life.

Ubuntu Logo. Ubuntu is a popular variant of Linux, a free and open source computer operating system.

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2 thoughts on “$5 Fingernail sized computer

  1. I just thought I’d point out that I have just completed a similar scenario as the one described. I found a discarded computer that had no hard drives but was otherwise complete. When I initially found the PC I checked to see if it was dry inside and it was indicating no water damage. Because I was in a rush I initially took out the RAM, as it one of the most valuable and portable components that can be easily removed. The RAM I took was worth at least $75 new and was in pristine condition. I later returned to recover the rest of the PC and with the addition of a monitor keyboard and mouse and a power cord I was up and running. I Used a USB stick with a copy of a live version Linux on it. I even plugged in my USB wifi stick, and had there been any networks available I could have been on the internet.

    I think the key lessons were:
    Find out how to enter BIOS/setup mode by pressing the correct key on start up, you may be prompted on screen.
    If you aren’t prompted just keep restarting an try repeatedly pressing a different ‘F’ key each time I.e F1, F2, F3…
    the delete key is also popular.
    You should turn off any quick/fast boot options in BIOS and allow all POST tests.

    Along with taking a USB stick with a live Linux OS it might also be worth taking a stick of DD2 and DDR3 RAM as this will allow you to use PC’s that have been stripped of RAM, which is quite common in abandoned PC’s.
    A USB wifi stick is also a good idea as you can guarantee the option of you self getting access to wireless networks and internet if they are available.

  2. i did pricings on single sticks of DDR2 ($19) and DDR3 Ram ($12).
    Of course if you did some abandonned PC scavenging, you might be able to get them for free
    A 1 gigabyte stick is sufficient for Linux operating systems more than 4 Gigabytes is generally not needed.
    . Either way you should test them.
    Most PC will allow boot up with a single stick of RAM usually it should be placed in either slot 1 or slot 3 .
    Slot 1 is generally the one closest to the CPU, the CPU will be distinctive because it will generally have a large finned block of alumnium and a fan on top of it. If the ram is faulty or in the wrong slot the PC will make a continuous series of beeps and refuse to boot.
    When ram is sold retail it usually comes in a rather hany little container which cuolde be rugedised with cloth taps and possibly hard plastic to make a sturdy container for storage and travel.
    Remember Ram is static sensitive, so when you are handling it earth yourself by touching a large piece of unpainted metal before touchong the ram. The Inside of a PC case is a good earthing device.
    Only touch ram at the edges and not where the gold pins are. DDR2 and DDR3 Ram sticks have different notch paterns so that it’s quite obvious that a DDR2 stick of Ram can’t be put into a DDR3 slot and vice versa.

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