the fairy tale of the UNIVERSAL serial bus

So I own some machines with that Universal OS on them and had to create a bunch (300) identical USB-keys (with the not so universal daughter OS).

Doesn't sound too complicated, huh? Buy 300 USB-keys, create one by hand, dd that over the 299 others. To make life easier, add some USB-hubs to the mix. Well, I will drop the part how to use dd to make identical copies of USB-keys and just list the lessons learned:

  1. The regular USB-key is some millimeters wider than a standardized USB-plug and almost all manufactors of USB-hubs place the ports in a way that there is exactly no space between the plugs. Yes, that means that you cannot plug two USB-keys in two neighboring ports of the hub then.
  2. There is NO way to get a USB-hub for below 10€ here in Düsseldorf, and if you do...
  3. HiSpeed USB 2.0 does NOT mean the hub will actually work as a USB 2.0 hub with 480Mbit/s, but as USB 1.1 with 12MBit/s
  4. If you happen to own a Cherry keyboard with an integrated USB hub, it's most probably USB 1.1 too :/
  5. When you buy 300 USB-keys, don't expect them to be identical, about 100 of them are 3MiB smaller than the other 200, and we created the initial image on one of the "big" ones of course.
That's all for now: </rant>
Thanks go out to Transcend, K&M Elektronik, some cheap chinese USB-hub manufactor, Conrad Elektronik and MediaMarkt.


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