For the past few weeks, I’ve discovered the wonderful world of portable applications. This means programs that fit on a Flash Drive (also referred to as thumb drive). You can run then from these handy portable drives, and I found a number of them particularly helpful for the would-be author.
Before downloading applications, however, please take note at the size of your flash drive. They can be as small as 256 megabytes, or can be as much as 16 gigabytes. Also bear in mind that whatever files and programs you have on the flash drive also takes up space.
Portable Apps Suite- this one is only 1.3 megabytes installed and helps handling the programs while also providing the basic of programs. You don’t need to use this. In fact, some Flash drives come with their own program that runs automatically, but its an interface that makes using portable applications less confusing.
Mozilla Firefox– I really like the Firefox browser. More importantly, I appreciate how my bookmarks and add on programs work along with it. This is the portable version of the browser, so any computer you use, you’re taking along your book marks, add ons, and other features you enjoy.
Mozilla Thunderbird– This email program works similar to Microsoft’s Outlook. I don’t use it only because I prefer using the web based email services.
Mozilla Sunbird – This calendar program can help organize your day/weeks/months easily, and you can download an addon that synchronizes your Google calendar. Again, I don’t really use this program only because my calendar is online.
ClamWin portable– Take along your own anti-virus scanner.
Pidgin portable- I found this portable messenger program integrates with a number of other messenger programs such as AIM and Yahoo messneger, however you don’t have the bells-and-whistles those programs provide. It includes text and smilies.
Sumatra PDF portable- Similar to Adobe Reader, enabling you to read PDF forms. Its very trim and fast to load, but offers no extras.
KeePass portable– This programs helps you keep track and store passwords.
Sudoku portable– I’m not a huge Sudoku fan, but this is a game you can load on your flash drive for passing the time.
Mines portable– Another game you already have through Windows.
CoolPlayer portable– This portable music player works very much like Windows Media. You can create playlists, sort your files of music, and includes Internet streaming.
PNotes portable– This programs works like ‘stickies’ or post it notes to include reminders and other lists you want to add.
OpenOffice portable– This provides a featured OpenOffice portable suite that includes Writer. The word processor works well with WordPerfect and Microsoft Word documents, can create PDF documents (sorry, no editing), and integrates with the rest of the suite which includes Draw, Calc (a spreadsheet), Impress (a presentation program), and Base (a database program).
Should you have a smaller flash drive, and have no room for the OpenOffice, you can opt to use Abiword which is a streamlined, bare-bones word processor that works with MS Word and Mac OSX documents.