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Got the 32gb USB3 thumb drives today, and transferred the installed raspian instances to them. Booting takes about 3 seconds. The secret to faster boot ups is to put an empty SD card in the SD card slot. The OS tries to boot from it and can't, so it immediately starts booting from the thumb drive.
While I was hardware-ing, I upgraded an old dual-core AM2 Athlon CPU to a quad-core AM3 CPU, and doubled the RAM form 2GB to 4GB. Kubuntu is quite snappy now.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013