Building Your Own Personal Portable Netflix!

Imagine the scene. You’re traveling, staying in a hotel with really shaky Internet access (Or one with no Internet access) and loading Netflix or another video service of your choice isn’t going to happen. What do you do? Suck it up and watch commercial-laden cable while dreaming of your DVD collection at home? NO! You use Jon’s Personal Portable Netflix solution! For less than $100, you can take your DVD collection with you. Here’s how.

Portable Netflix


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Batman’s USB Drive

While fixing computers isn’t my regular gig these days, I still like to be ready if someone asks me to look at their system. In my bag I keep 4 USB drives. 2 contain portable apps if I find myself needing to use a “Guest” computer (i.e. a friend’s). One has Windows apps, the other has Mac equivalents. The third drive is a 64 Gig drive that I use for temporarily moving files around, and the 4th is a lowly 16 GB. But that 16 GB is what Batman would carry.

The 16 GB drive is my secret computer-fixing weapon. First off, it is loaded with commonly used ISO images that would otherwise be on their own USB drive. Thanks to a great little utility named YUMI, I can load as many ISO images on to that drive as I like (and have space) and have a nice menu pop up to let me select which ISO I want to actually boot.


And what ISOs do I keep on there?

  • The Windows 7 ISO image 
  • A Windows XP ISO image
  • The System Rescue CD
  • Linux ISOs for the OS’es I might have to support
  • BackTrack
  • The VMWare Cold Clone ISO (A bit dated, but never know when I’ll need to virtualize a physical machine)

One could also keep speciality ISO images on there if they needed. Batman’s USB drive eliminated my need for carrying a bunch of specially burned CDs and DVDs, and perhaps now you can make your own and clear out space too!

#22 Jim the Bunny Learns to Knit

Jim hopped through the forest with a giant grin on his face. He’d just grabbed a bunch of files from Jabberpaw, and had covered his internet tracks by paying off Sylvester the snake. Now he just needed to get home and load up his found files.

On the way, he tripped, since he wasn’t the most coordinated bunny in the world. In doing so, his Lucky Rabbit’s Foot USB drive fell off of the tuft of fur he’d attached it to, and it fell into the mud puddle. For the next 3 days he spent most of his time trying to remove all of the mud from the contacts so that he could read the drive once more. This was annoying, so he decided he needed to buy a cover for his drive.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t sell covers for Lucky Rabbit’s Foot USB drives. Jim was in a proverbial, thankfully not actual, pickle. His only solution was to make one. So that’s how it came to be that he hopped over to the sheep flock, and found Kay the sheep.

Kay was well known throughout the Woods as the premier knitting expert of all of the Animals. She used only the best yarn, which she stole off of her husband, Jay the Sheep. Jay had the best wool in the Woods, when he had a chance to grow it before Kay shore it off.

Kay was impressed to see Jim hop up.

“Here to learn to Knit”? She asked.

“No, I just want a cover for my USB drive”, he responded. Kay always wanted to teach people to knit.

“OK, that’ll be $400”, Kay responded without batting a sheep eyelash.

“WHAT?!?”, Jim’s bunny jaw dropped. Prices had gone up considerably since the last time he’d worked with Kay.

“Well, Jay’s charging more for the raw materials, but really the bulk of the price increase is that I’m just too busy to help you these days, Jim”, she said with a grin, “You see, I’ve become a world famous knitting sheep”.

Jim was incredulous. He’d been a customer of Kay’s for years. She’d knitted his tail cozy, his carrot-shaped shopping bag, and his winter coat.

“Can’t you cut me a break?”, he asked.

“Well, I might have a solution”, she responded.

So it happened that Jim the Bunny was compelled to learn to knit, to become Kay’s assistant, in exchange for a custom lucky rabbit foot’s USB cover. Initially reluctant, Jim was at least consoled by the regular pay. Plus he was able to trade his knitted work for access to Jabberpaw’s extensive media library. The bear might have been a loaner, but he did enjoy custom sweaters.