The indomitable rise of portable computing has led to a uniquely 21st century phenomena: people blithely walking into potential mayhem while ogling their gadgets. Most of us are guilty of doing this -- especially on smartphones -- but on which gadget do you personally draw the line?
Tagged With portable applications
USB Drives (for Windows systems): If you're the type who brings their USB flash-memory drive everywhere you go, yet often has to backtrack all the places you've been to find it, Flash Drive Reminder is definitely worth the download. The tiny app, and its auto-starting accompanying file, sit on your drive and activate whenever you've plugged it into a Windows system. You'll get a pop-up screen asking you to keep the Reminder app running during your session, and it takes up very little memory. When you go to log off or shut down your session, the reminder pops back up, reminding you to yank out your drive. That's about it, though there is a "quiet" version that doesn't present the pop-up window when you first plug in. Flash Drive Reminder is a free download, works on any USB drive (but only activates on Windows systems). If you've got a better system for remembering your drive, software or physical, let's hear it in the comments. Flash Drive Reminder
Windows only: DriverBackup2 is a lightweight driver-backup tool. The application is portable with a caveat: you'll need administrative privileges for full use. You can opt to backup one or all of your drivers, the backed up files are dumped into a tree structure based on driver name. DriverBackup2 also allows you to restore and delete unnecessary drivers. If you ever hunted for obscure drivers online, when installing legacy or obscure hardware for instance, DriverBackup2 will save you the hassle of searching them out again. For other driver viewing and backup solutions check out DoubleDriver and DriverView. DriverBackup2 is freeware, Windows only. DriverBackup2
Windows only: Portable application Toucan backs up and syncs your data between two locations (like your hard drive and your USB drive). Weighing in at just over 4.10MB installed, Toucan offers several advanced backup and syncing settings, like incremental backup with compression (supporting 7-Zip format), portable drive variables, scripts and advanced rulesets. Similar to SyncBackSE but smaller and portable, Toucan is a nice option for making sure you've got everything on your thumb drive. Toucan is a free download for Windows only.
Windows only: NexusFile is a feature-rich portable Windows Explorer alternative. Weighing in at just under 3MB, NexusFile easily replaces a host of other applications. There is a basic file renamer, an ftp client, and a file splitter/joiner. You can export saved file lists in a variety of formats, assign favourite folders, browser folders in tabs and in a dual pane view, and compare folders. NexusFile has keyboard shortcuts for every imaginable need from jumping to the root folder to executing command line instructions and everything in between. If you have a disdain for your mouse, you won't be reminded of it while working in NexusFile. If you're on friendly terms with your mouse you aren't forgotten, the GUI of NexusFile is very well laid out. Have a set of working folders your access frequently? Assign them while you work to the vertical bar of numbers in between the dual panes. They'll be right at your fingertips from then on. The rest of the interface follows with a similar degree of thoughtfulness. If you need Unicode support for your daily file management, you're covered with NexusFile. If the extremely high contrast colour scheme is too much for you, there is a detailed colour scheme designer under Tools -> Options -> Color. For another feature rich and portable explorer alternative, check out Cubic Explorer. For more alterantives make sure to look over the Five Best Alternative File Managers. NexusFile is freeware, Windows only. Thanks g915!
Windows only: Free application Eraser Portable puts Eraser —the popular open-source secure file deletion tool—on your thumb drive for secure file deletion on the go. Like the original, Eraser Portable can wipe any hard drive, optical media, files, folders, encrypted data, the Recycle Bin, and pretty much any other data you want to kill. It may not be an app you use every day, but it's a great utility to throw on your thumb drive, iPod, or other portable device for those times you do need a quick, secure delete. Eraser Portable
Windows only: Jarte is a free portable word processing application built on the framework of Microsoft Wordpad. Don't be deceived by its spartan lineage though; Wordpad serves only as the undercarriage of Jarte's feature set. Jarte is designed around the most frequent needs of the average user. By putting commonly used tools and features in the menus immediately accessibly by the toolbar buttons, users aren't left digging through menus when they'd rather be writing. Jarte supports tabbed based word processing, dictionary files, spell check, and a favourites system for bookmarking favourite folders, files, and fonts. Jarte is freeware, Windows only. Thanks cohomology!
It'd be wonderfully convenient if you could take your important documents and applications with you wherever you go, but lugging a laptop with you every time you step out the door is far from convenient. That's where MokaFive's new cross-platform application called iPhone Sentinel comes in. By turning part of your iPhone or iPod touch into a portable hard drive, iPhone Sentinel and the MokaFive Player allow you to run virtual machines directly off your iPhone, so you can run anything from an entire operating system to standalone video games like Quake. Here's how it works.
You may be helping Mozilla set a download record today, but if the majority of your Firefoxin' happens on a thumb drive, Portable Firefox 3.0 is officially available. Talk about turnaround.
This week's release of the Fedora 9 Linux distribution makes putting a full-fledged desktop on a portable USB thumb drive a three-click affair. Even better, you don't need Linux installed to create it, you can leave the data on your thumb drive untouched, and any files you create or settings you tweak remain in place the next time you boot up. After the jump, let's create a fully-functional desktop-to-go using a simple Windows program and a 1GB or larger thumb drive.
Windows only: Freeware application DExposE2 is a clone of Mac OS X's Expose feature for Windows XP and Vista. Aside from the basic Expose features, which we've seen from a lot of clones in the past, DExpose2 features a handful of extra features like interactive previews, hot corners, multi-monitor support, and more. If you like the look and feel of Expose but have never found a good substitute for your Windows PC, the freeware DExpose2 may be the best available. DExposE2 comes in portable and installable flavours, so you can check it out with a quick download and no install. Hit the jump for a video of DExposE2 in action.
Windows only: If you're serious about keeping your workspace portable, previously mentioned tools like the Portable Apps Suite or MojoPac are the go-to resources for Windows users. However, if your thumb drive is already scrimping for space, and you just want a few super-lightweight apps that can handle most general office tasks, from word processing and spreadsheets to email and file sharing, the Tiny USB Office might be for you. Weighing in at under 2.5 megabytes, this lightweight suite of office apps is a no-brainer to throw on any old USB stick for a little productivity on the go. Tiny USB Office is freeware, Windows only.
Want to try the latest Firefox 3 Beta 4 but you don't want to mess up your current 'fox installation? Download the portable Firefox 3 Beta 4 and run it folder on your computer without blowing away your current Firefox 2 setup. Handy.
You don't have to lease server space or keep your home computer always on to access a personal web server—you can run a web, FTP, and database server straight from a USB drive. A slim web server package called XAMPP fits on a USB stick and can run database-driven webapps like the software that powers Wikipedia, MediaWiki. Almost two years ago you learned how to set up your "personal Wikipedia" on your home web server to capture ideas and track document revisions in a central knowledge repository. Today we'll set up MediaWiki on your flash drive for access on any Windows PC on the go.
Windows only: Eager to check out all the new hotness in the Firefox 3 beta but don't want to scuff up your perfect Firefox 2 setup? Web log Digital Inspiration points to an elegant solution:1. Download the Firefox 3 Portable edition.
2. Extract this Firefox 3 installer to some new folder like C:\Firefox3
3. Close your Firefox 2 browser and run the FirefoxPortable.exe file available in the above folder. That's it.This worked perfectly for me, but it's probably a good idea to back up your Firefox 2 user profile, in case you accidentally open them both or something goes awry. For tips on doing that and more, check out
Windows only: It's no secret we're a fan of the free, open source, cross-platform audio editor Audacity for most editing needs, but anyone looking for a lighter-weight, portable editor might do well by free application Wavosaur application. Running from one file that's less than 1MB, Wavosaur can perform most basic cuts, effects, and encoding tasks, as well as handle MP3s without requiring a plugin. If you can't fit Audacity and the rest of the Portable Apps Suite onto your thumb drive, Wavosaur could make for a worthwhile tool. Wavosaur is a free download, works on Windows systems only.
Windows only: USB thumb drives, memory cards and MP3 players are easy to take with you—and easy to misplace. Portable application iHound aims to make it easy to locate your items and report their theft if they've fallen into the wrong hands. The program places a small "MyPasswords" file that looks like a text document in a device's root folder, and if that file is opened, the iHound website can report the approximate location, IP address, computer name, and more and print a formatted police report. iHound is a free download and free to use after sign-up, although its maker says he may begin charging $1/month for each device starting in February.
Windows only: Thumb drive application packages like the Portable Apps Suite are great for taking your full-featured programs wherever you go, but those with smaller drives or working on slower computers might feel overwhelmed. Enter Floppy Office, a package smaller than 2 MB that contains a rich text editor, POP/IMAP email client, PDF creator, spreadsheet program and 10 more applications. All of them get the job done with minimal overhead, and most can be run without installation. Floppy Office is a free download that runs on Windows systems only. For more useful to-go tools, check out must-have portable apps.