Although I use a Mac for my website and personal pursuits, I use a windows machine at work. When I first started out, the laptop I was given was locked down to the point to where I couldn’t install anything. I had used PortableApps in the past but not seeing a day to day practical need, it dropped by the wayside. It recently came back on my radar due to the laptop situation I just mentioned. Sometimes when making a configuration change to a piece of network gear, I like to write things up in my favorite app Context. Other times I want to be able to bring up Wireshark to review a packet capture file or I have a .rar package that I need to extract files from but when I am on a machine that isn’t my normal one, I have to find the utility, download, install it and possibly uninstall it when I am through.
PortableApps to the rescue !! One of the needs I have above involved an application that isn’t downloadable from PortableApps.com. There is a way that you can incorporate apps that don’t have to be installed to work. It takes a few steps but is well worth the effort. One thing that I would suggest is getting as large of a flash drive as you can afford to buy. I started out with a 8GB flash drive and most of the time, I still have plenty of room. One housekeeping step that I would recommend is to plug the flash drive in at least once a week. This will help you keep up to date and be ready to go sooner when you have to use it for real. Any apps that you are using such as ClamWin Portable, an anti-virus package, that may have updates of its own that come out on daily basis or something similar, this is another step that you need to do to keep the app up to date so that it is close to being ready to roll when you need it.
PortableApps is something that I keep with me all the time. I check for new apps on a periodic basis so that I can have it be able to do as much as possible. The only thing that I wish was an option was for there to be a Mac version as well. Maybe there will be something from them at some point in the future. PortableApps also provides you a way to keep your list of favorite URL’s and other things available without having to fire up one of the sync services, which may not help you when you are troubleshooting a problem where you aren’t able to access the internet or the normal internet access is down for some reason. This is one portable package that should be with you all the time. While there isn’t a one size fits all, one of the features of PortableApps is that you can tailor it to what you need instead of you adjusting yourself to what it has to offer. Get a USB flash drive and try it today !! For more information, go to http://www.portableapps.com. You will be glad that you did.