Saturday, November 15, 2008

Computer on a stick

The latest Good Idea to be shared with me by my live-in IT support man is PortableApps.com. I am trying to persuade said IT support man to blog about this himself, since I'm sure he'll do a much better job, but his blogging has thus far been a bit of a flash in the pan. Keep an eye out, though, I think he's weakening!

I previously shared about an article that explained how to virtualise one computer onto another. This takes things one step further. It allows you to create a computer-on-a-stick, so that you can carry your favourite apps with you and run them on any computer you happen to find handy. For example, if Firefox is one of the apps you choose, it comes complete with all your bookmarks when you come to use it on the PC of your choice.

As the blurb on the site says:

PortableApps.com Suite™ is a complete collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, audio player, sudoku game, password manager, PDF reader, minesweeper clone, backup utility and integrated menu, all preconfigured to work portably. Just drop it on your portable device and you're ready to go.
In spite of my title, you don't have to use a stick, either. You can use an iPod or a portable hard drive... presumably even a camera card, if you can find one with enough capacity. It comes, as John puts it, "in three initial flavours" to which you make additions as you see fit further down the line.

And it's free! Like Moodle, the developers request donations from the user community in order to fund further development.

5 comments:

Clark said...

What, no solitaire?

Karyn Romeis said...

@Clark I suspect the computer you borrow will have solitaire on it already ;o)

Duncan said...

I've found this very useful, plus I've installed a webserver as well so I can run drupal and mediawiki. Add a few reference documents and I'm pretty much mobile. Basically, it lets me have my own custom and portable PLE. The only downside is the slow access times with some usb sticks.

Karyn Romeis said...

Thanks for that insight, Duncan!

stevetuf said...

This is really fantastic Karyn - and there are other places you can find apps to put on your stick... like http://www.portablefreeware.com/ - and then, really it's a case of the Sticks thE Limit, meaning that if you have an eight gig stick you can put twice as much on it as a four.... well you get the idea... Some other great digital ideas today are digitized books: an iRex iLiad will hold digitized books and "read" them to you... just like an Amazon Kindle, but open to many other different formats. (It is expensive, but think about throwing away all of those tomes to get rid of the clutter!)
Nice talking to you at the conference this morning!
steve