Home > Software, Uncategorized > Thumbdrive apps

Thumbdrive apps

Yesterday, I came across PortableApps.com, a site for special apps modified to run off USB thumbdrives. I cleared some space off my 128mb drive, and installed the chat program Portable Gaim and Portable Firefox.

My first experience a couple years ago with Gaim was not a good one. At the time, just running it on my computer would crash the whole system, I probably had it installed for 30 minutes tops before I gave up. I installed Portable Gaim on my thumbdrive by just copying over the folder, and had it set up to MS Messenger in seconds. I ran it the entire day, without any troubles.

Next, I tried Portable Firefox. It installed easily by just running the .exe, and then choosing an install directory on the thumbdrive. I had a copy of the bookmarks from my home computer on the thumdrive, so I added them to Portable Firefox, and in no time, I had a browser that was working as if I was on my home computer. Having a portable webbrowser might not seem very useful, but I think it is useful. First of all, it's nice to have all your bookmarks (and also extentions) with you wherever you go. Second, if you like to customize your browser, you can carry around the same browser you use at home in your pocket. Most of all, you don't leave a data trail on the host computer.

Another application I found useful was PStart (freeware). This small app can be installed on the thumbdrive (or computer harddrive), and when run, places a button in the task tray for quick access to any application on your thumbdrive.

With a large enough thumbdrive, there are enough apps to do pretty much anything you would need to accomplish without owning a computer. I think a thumbdrive would be most useful for a student. I can remember having to carry volumes of phonebook sized texts around, with an 11 pound laptop, it was not fun. With USB thumbdrives, you just have to find a open spot in a computer lab, plug in, and start working.

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Categories: Software, Uncategorized
  1. j44xm
    June 28, 2006 at 6:15 pm

    I agree that portable applications are the way to go. I created a list of Windows software that I’d (mostly) tried and liked and I made sure to note the applications that can be run portably. Excuse the plug, but check out the method that I developed to make even Registry-dependent applications portable. You might find it useful, though it’s nothing fantastic or anything.

    I’m quite fond of Portable Firefox as well, especially since it’s so easily to back up.

    J44xm (http://snipurl.com/j44xm_freeware)

  2. June 29, 2006 at 5:49 am

    J44xm,
    Thanks for your link, it’s a great source for portable apps. I’ll be sure to check out your method for portablizing apps when I have a chance.

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