Portable Software and Applications
This article was written circa 2006, in response to my need to manage a variety of different computers scattered about the college. Many of the devices were often stand alone PC’s or Laptops.
Portable Applications on my USB (2005 / 2006)
I’d carry the following applications on my USB Drive, at a time when a 16GB or 32GB drive was considered sufficiently large for most purposes.
PStart Menu (Portable Menu) 1 by 1 Application for playing music files one at a time. Abyss Web Server Web Server on a USB stick. pmWiki A powerful portable Wiki Ant Movie Catalog Film and Movie Review Software DeepBurner DVD and CD Burner Software Freemind Mind Mapping Software FSCapture Image Capture FSResizer Image Resizing ImgBurn DVD and CD Burner and ISO Software Launch Find and Start applications MediaInfo Examine Media Portable Unison Backup Software Screamer Radio Internet Radio Player CSVed CSV Editor SIV Computer Performance Analyser Skype Internet Telephony and Video Communications Softi FreeOCR Optical Character Recognition Stamina Typing Tutor VDownloader Video Downloader (Get Videos off YouTube) XPSysPad Advanced Menu to access for XP tools. Killbox Process & File killer PortTunnel Simple Portmapper AutoFix-AutoPlay Microsoft tool to fix auto start problem Driver Magician Lite Find and Backup your Drivers Hasher Find MD Hash Files Micoburner Burn CD and DVD files Netscan Scan your Network for Security holes Putty SSH and Telnet SIW System Information for Windows WinAudit System Audit Your Uninstaller Uninstaller Programme Arcade! Classic Pack Arcade Games from the 80’s Hocus Rolling Screen Game Play Bridge Building Game Bridge Building Game 7-ZipPortable 7 Zip Compression Programme Audacity Portable Audacity Sound Editing ClamWinPortable Virus Protection DosBox DosBox to play older games and programs FileZillaPortable FTP File Transfer program FireFox Portable Firefox Web Browser Gain Portable Internet Messaging GIMP Portable Graphics Editor KeePass Portable Password Management KompoZer Portable Web Page Editor and Designer Notepad++ Advance Programmers Notebook OnScreenKeyboard On Screen Keyboard Open Office Preprocessor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Drawing Software (All Free) ScummVM Game Software Emulator Sudoku Numbers Game Sumatra PDF PDF Program Sunbird Calendar Program Thunderbird Email Program Toucan Backup Software VLC Player Play almost any Video or Media File MD5Sum File integrity Checker WinSCP Secure Copy Program
I had this notion that ie teachers and students could easily transport commonly used applications with the between school and home.
Students often faced software compatibility issues at home and I saw the Portable USB as a way of circumventing these compatibility issues.
I come from a Unix background where applications run directly from within a single folder and I loved the idea that USB Applications ran in a single folder and by-passed the system registry.
Apple’s OS X is an example of an operating system which often allows programmes and applications to run directly from a Folder or USB Drive. For example in OSX a program folder is simply copied to the Applications Folder, likewise many well written programs can be run from folders or USB sticks in Microsoft. UNIX and Linux have always had the advantage of running directly from Folders, where installing only means running a script or programme which copies files and folders to the correct location.
Getting Started with Portable Applications
I wrote this article to encourage the use of portable apps in school, home and office. – Circa 2006
An increasingly wide range of software of applications can be stored on and run directly from your USB Stick also known as a Thumb Drive or Pen Drive in some countries.
All of the above to say quite simply that now you and I can easily run programs and software directly from our computers with necessarily requiring installation, so how do I do it?
It is important to select the fastest and largest USB you can afford, 4GB or bigger, choosing a reputable brand generally ensures speed however price as we all know does not necessarily reflect quality. I find I have success using SanDisk USB’s. You could also choose to use an external USB Hard Drive, these often range from between 80 GB and 250 GB. You now hold in your hand the tools needed to transport your Applications and Data from one computer to another easily and quickly which has clear and obvious advantages to Students, Teachers, Travellers, Parents and Trainers who switch frequently between computers and venues.
The hardest part is keeping your USB organised so that you can easily find your applications and software programmes.
Many USB manufactures provide a U3 Compliant Menu as well as a selection of free U3 Compliant Applications. U3 Applications work well however, you often need to purchase for other “U3 portable applications”
SanDisk provide a great introduction to U3 here.
(U3 was discontinued in 2010)
I have chosen to use free applications wherever possible and for the same reason I use a free menu system called PStart available at http://pegtop.net/start/
These websites offer open source software available for use on your USB or portable hard drive