Portable Apps: Your on-road productivity companion

Portable Apps SuiteLast week I’d written about a handy bundle of 37 essential PC Repair tools which easily fits on a 32MB USB Flash drive making it a really versatile and highly portable PC Recovery kit. I’ve been out on the hunt since then for more of such useful tools and recently came across this entire productivity suite which can be carried on a flash drive and worked on using any computer.

The suite is called Portable Apps and the tightly integrated bundle can be downloaded for free from their site. The bundle contains a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, anti-virus, sudoku game, backup utility and integrated menu, all pre-configured to work portably.

Installation is extremely easy. Simply unzip the package on your portable drive and you’re good to go. The full package even includes a XAMPP (Apache, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin) integrated web-server, portable GIMP, Media Players like Audacity & VLC and miscellaneous compression utilities.

What gives a big boost in the usability factor is that instead of being a loose bunch of utilities, you’re Portable Apps Menuprovided with a quick-access menu that acts as a central control / launch panel for all these apps. Moreover, these apps will work from literally any Windows compatible portable device like USB drives, iPod, portable hard drives etc.

Portable Apps suite comes in two flavours – Standard and Lite, none of which would fit on a measly 32MB flash drive. The Lite version, which is approx. 30MB in compressed form takes up around 105MB after installation. The Standard version can eat up almost 260MB space. While you just might be able to fit it on a 256MB drive, you’d be left with very little work space. The whole purpose of portability is defeated if you can’t carry your work around. I’d suggest at least a 512MB drive to give you some decent breathing room.

The advantages / conveniences of this suite are limitless. They’ve put up a nice summary on their site… to which I don’t think I can add much. So I’m going to quote it verbatim.

Possibilities

  • Carry your web browser with all your favorite bookmarks
  • Carry your calendar with all your appointments
  • Carry your email client with all your contacts and settings
  • Carry your instant messenger and your buddy list
  • Carry your whole office suite along with your documents and presentations
  • Carry your anti-virus program and other computer utilities
  • Carry all your important passwords and account information securely

The Convenience Factor

  • Have your favorite websites handy to recommend to a friend or colleague
  • Have your presentation AND the required software ready to go for that big meeting
  • Have your password with you if you want to bank online while traveling
  • Have utilities handy when visiting family or friends that are having PC problems

If you’re a supporter of the Open Source movement, you’d be happy to know that all the applications included in this package are built around the very same concept.

Get Portable Apps rightaway…