Do you want to take your favorite programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more wherever you go and use them on pretty much any computer ? If so here are four free tools that can help you with that. These are portable software packs that can be installed on any USB device. Download the pack, install it on your portable device and done. Use it at work, a friend’s PC, college lab, anywhere.
1 Portable Apps Suite
Portable Apps Suite – is a collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, instant messaging client, antivirus, sudoku game, program launcher menu (see above) and more, all preconfigured to work portably. If you’re looking for a hassle-free portable suite that’s the one you need.
Simply install it on your USB thumbdirve or any other portable device (iPod, mobile phone etc.) and you’re good to go. Carry and access your favorite programs, browser bookmarks, emails and more from any Windows PC. And as mentioned before, since everything runs directly from the portable device, no personal data is left behind.
The PortableApps Suite comes with about 10 programs by default. If you want you can easily add a lot more to it. There are about 50 programs to choose from, including goodies such as VLC media player, GIMP, 7 zip, Filezilla, Pidgin and even Sudoku game.
It’s free to use, free to copy and free to share.
is not really a portable apps suite. It basically installs a mini Windows XP on your thumbdrive. The only difference, all the programs you add are always stored on the MojoPac (thumbdrive) and can be carried with you wherever you go. Once it’s up and running, you can download and install applications you want like on any other Windows XP computer.
It can be Skype, Firefox, Office software, whatever. Just plug it in to the host PC (office, hotel lobby etc.) and you have your own secure operating system including all of your programs, contacts, browse favorites, chat buddies, games etc. Keep in mind though at the moment MojoPac runs only on Windows XP PCs. Vista support is on the way.
And here is another screenshot of my MojoPac with Firefox in it.
Despite all the pros I have experienced some issues with it. Firstly, I have tested it on an 8 GB Corsair Drive and MojoPac was still extremely slow. Another problem was that some applications didn’t install correctly. I am not sure whether it was my USB stick or something else but it was there. Nonetheless if you check out the video below you will notice that it can run quite smoothly.
See MojoPac requirements. Download here.
– Here is something for Mac users only. FreeSMUG (FreeSoftware Mac User Group) released a collection CD with the most useful Free Open Source Software programs specifically packaged for Mac OSX. Even though there is no program launcher like in the above Portable Apps, you can easily .
4. Live CDs
For Linux users there are plenty of options as well. Mackenzie already covered some of them in ‘Put your Linux Distro on a Live CD’. These Live CDs are full operating systems (i.e. Ubuntu) that can run completely from the portable medium.