Jan 27, 2009

Let your thumbdrive make your life portable

Thumbdrives have become cheaper than a 6 pack of beers. They’ve become much smaller than before and much more portable, so small that you sometimes have to worry if you would ever find that tiny piece in your messed up desk. So how do you use your thumbdrives? Just to transfer data from one place to other or quite differently?? I’ll tell you how to use your thumbdrive and be efficient and portable at the same time.

Your thumbdrive can hold lot of data than you already need, so why not exploit that extra space?

Portable Firefox(A portable browser):-


Trust me your computer is useless without browser these days, and that browser must be the one you would like to take a full control of, which firefox is very good at. When you are not in your PC then there might be a situation when you miss all your bookmarks that you saved and all the auto login cookies that makes using browser that much pain, also let’s not even talk about add-ons. So what do you do on that situation? Mail your bookmarks.html file on the internet and download in another computer and extract from it? That seems like a long and painful process and one which is quite even risky. This is where your thumbdrive comes in handy. Install the portable firefox in your thumbdrive and export that bookmarks.html to your thumbdrive, now it’s there forever.

How to export bookmarks from firefox and import it back?

Start the firefox, goto Bookmarks and goto Organize Bookmarks or just hit CTRL+SHIFT+B and press Import and Backup and press “Export HTML”, and export as HTML wherever you want.

Now to import those bookmark, like before goto Bookmarks->Organize Bookmarks and press Import and go to to the previous bookmark file that you saved and press “Import HTML” and reselect the previous file and you’re done.

Now you have all your bookmarks in your thumbdrive now adjust that portable firefox the way you want it to be.

Download Firefox

Openoffice.org Portable (Microsoft Office in your pocket):-


There is nothing more annoying than to find the paper you wrote all night long in that Microsoft Word do not open at all in another computer that you proudly saved in your thumbdrive to show it to your professor. Believe me I have had that experience, and it’s so much annoying that you would want to smash everything in front of you. But to save the objects laying next to you why not install Openoffice.org Portable to your thumbdrive itself? It’s free and it can handle those docx files and all the word file extensions. I know most of you prefer Microsoft Office, but even though it hasn’t got all those flashy buttons and interface it still gets the job done.

Download Openoffice.org

Clamwin Portable (A portable antivirus):-


Many users I’ve heard complain about virus transfer from thumbdrive. Stick your thumbdrive and that darn pesky virus enters without you even knowing, well Clamwin Portable might not monitor your computer with viruses all the time but it certainly checks your thumbdrive for any viruses and threats, which makes safe for the files to be transferred from your thumbdrive to PCs and vice verca.

Download CalmWin

Sumatra PDF Portable (A portable PDF viewer):-


Even though this might not be that much necessary to all, but for some it can come handy some times. Having that PDF Reader ready in your thumbdrive might just pay off someday when you need to read the important ebook or that help file in the computer that don’t have PDF reader.

Download Sumatra PDF

VLC Portable ( Media Player ):-


This is my favorite, a media player that plays from your thumbdrive, almost like turning your thumbdrive into an ipod, but we’re not turning your thumbdrive into any ipod or anything like that. We are just installing a media player that plays every format that you can possibly think of. You can kiss all those expensive media players goodbye. You don’t ever have to worry about your friend’s computer not having PowerDVD to play that cool movie that you just pirated. I’m not encouraging you to pirate movie, piracy is vice but I’m just trying to be funny, ok you can rant about me now.

Download VLC

aMSN Portable (MSN Player with video chat ) & Pidgin Portable (Yahoo and MSN):-

aMSN-[1] pidgin mascot

It is just so frustrating that my college has all this permission restriction to install any messenger and have to satisfy on meebo. Not that I’m against meebo, it’s just that it’s browser based and i hate the fact that it gets turned off once the browser is closed so an alternative for that is aMSN Portable and yes, it has that video chatting that the Pidgins lacks (can get it if you have plugin though). Just forgive aMSN’s cheesy UI though.

On the other hand if you have Ubuntu as your operating system then you know what Pidgin is, it’s an alternative for Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo in Ubuntu with easy UI. Happy chatting on the restricted places. :) Just don’t blame me if your thumbdrive gets seized by the authority.

Download aMSN

Download Pidgin

GIMP Portable (Photoshop with different name):-


If you are designer and use Photoshop to design and stuffs, well you might have to shift to a bit different program for now but if you run GIMP then it’s almost similar to Photoshop with same ideas and concept. The only difference might be the filters and some other options which you can get used to almost instantly.

Download GIMP

Notepad++ Portable (Text Editor):-


A developer needs a good text editor, not the notepad that you find in Windows. It’s just too plain. Writing a huge program or developing an entire webpage can be a pain if you don’t have proper text editor. I won’t say Notepad++ is the best out there but it certainly has the ability to make the developer’s work a bit easier. You get what you pay for, well here you’re paying nothing so be happy that you’re getting this fine program for free and I know if you have to go places and edit the code wherever you go, it can be pain to download the software and install it on every machine that you put your hands on. Thumbdrive to the rescue again.

Download Notepad++

XAMPP(Apache, MySQL, PHP for offline users):-


This is a must for me, as a PHP programmer I need this almost always when developing. It feels good to know that you have a virtual server in your pocket and you can work wherever you please to. You don’t have to carry your laptop or go online to download any other program. You plug your thumbdrive in the PC and you start your work. Ahh how pleasant.

Download XAMPP

7-zip Portable (A zip program):-


Although this is almost in every computer now a days, there are some computer that still has no support for RAR file and cab files. That’s when your thumbdrive or rather 7-zip comes in handy. Again no hassle trying to download the Winrar from the internet.

Download 7-zip

Why stop there?

If you want to take the total control of an unknown computer then just install a full Operating System in your thumbdrive. Make your thumbdrive into a LIVE USB. Operating System like Ubuntu, Vista and even Mac. I won’t go to those process in this post, I will in future if I feel like it 8-).

Warning though:- Don’t lose that thumbdrive of yours, lose it and you almost lose your life. Well, almost..

Always remember with great power comes great responsibility, I copied that straight out of Spider Man movie but it’s so true.

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