MojoPac. Hmm…OK, quite simply one of the most brilliant bits of software I’ve seen for a long time. Download and install onto any USB flash drive, (or portable device like an iPod or Smartphone) and suddenly you can carry around your whole computing environment wherever you are. All you need is a Windows XP machine in front of you with a free USB port and you’re good to go. Remember Migo? It’s what Migo should have been. And let’s not talk about U3, eh? Read on for my mini review… [Update: OK, I’ve got a bunch of invites now, just email me or comment here.]
What makes MojoPac special? The fact that you can install applications to it without thinking (from CD or Internet). The fact that it perfectly mimics your conventional Windows environment while operating *completely independently* from the host machine. No danger of accessing the hard disk from the USB drive, because you can’t. Perfect for Internet Cafes and doing stuff on your mate’s computer. You can even load it up with games and start playing online or offline all from the USB drive. Privacy (password protected, encryption compatible), portability (playing Half-Life 2 on your office computer during lunch?), security (testing out a potentially dodgy piece of spyware/software? Just load it onto the MojoPac device). The list goes on. And you can’t compare it to small Linux distros, because the fact is you still can’t reliably use a lot of mainstream software or games yet on Linux, more’s the pity.
Installation is a snap. You need to register for an account (maybe some secret server sauce involved?) and download the application to your USB device. Set up is via a simple wizard, and once all the registration formalities are complete, you’re ready to go. The MojoPac desktop looks exactly like a Windows one (click thumbnail above for example), except that the wallpaper is black. You have every single Windows environment feature available and it works identically to your normal desktop. You can switch between the Mojo and host desktop at the click of a button, and move files, folders and media back and forward via Windows Explorer. There’s lots of nice touches, like a pop up system which lets you know if any pop ups are happening on your host desktop while you’re working in MojoPac (useful if you’ve got a firewall installed which locks out application access to the Internet until released).
The key to the whole thing, though, is the fact that it is so simple to do whatever you want. No worrying about compromising your host desktop, just install what you like and configure the USB device to act as you want it to. Your host machine remains untouched, you leave no trace of any applications or settings on the host when you unplug. Nothing at all. Glorious.
Currently the beta is free of charge, and as yet the company hasn’t given any pricing details. However as long as it’s realistic, this thing is going to fly off the shelves, believe me. I’ve been testing it on a tatty little 128MB flash drive on a slow poke USB 1.0 port and it’s great. It makes me want to run out and buy the largest capacity pocket USB drive I can lay my hands on, and set up a full clone of my laptop immediately. Ah bliss, no more lugging heavy plastic round airports. Oh and there may be Mac and Linux versions in the pipeline. Register, download and play with this NOW!
With MojoPac you can carry the contents of an entire PC on any portable storage device (iPod, USB Flash/Hard Drive, cell phone, etc.), and connect to any PC worldwide to access and work with the contents, regardless of what applications are installed on that PC. MojoPac supports all applications, including iTunes, PC games like World of Warcraft, and work applications including Microsoft Office. Using MojoPac, your iPod not only works as your iPod, but also as your personal computer!