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Portable Apps

Portability is something I’ve been pursuing for a long time, often for irrational reasons. It’s a behaviour that occasionally becomes evident to me when I meet two sorts of people: the person who seemingly goes about their business with no information, papers, laptops etc at all; the people (usually men in this case) who have those great big audit bag style briefcases, or who have laptops with 17 inch screens. Both these types seem to be missing something in life don’t they? On reflection I realise that my personal portable obesssion is learned behaviour built on past experience – like most things in life. Looking back I realise I spent many years on planes, in airports lugging gear that resulted in many visits to back-doctors. So a smaller version of anything is now attractive. I also have poor recall of detail so need to horde information in physical format so I can retrieve it fast. OK this is leading me now to Portable Apps….

…. for the uninitiated, portable apps are programmes you can keep on your USB memory stick. This allows you to sit at any PC running XP and, regardless of whatever else is loaded on that machine, plug in your USB stick and start using all your favourite programmes. They run from your USB stick and effectively do not interfere with the ‘host’ PC. They’re just making use of the PC’s processor, memory, internet connection etc. Imagine an internet cafe with no office suite loaded… a friends Apple… Just plug in your stick and go. When you leave there is no trace you were there.. .no files left hanging around etc. This technology is nudging at the early adopter segment, though largely popular amongst geeks right now. Technology is hyping it – it’s just neat software really. Have a look at http://www.portableapps.com which is the set of stuff I’m using. Many geeks are using quite small USB sticks – 512k say.

Of course given my learned behaviours regarding hording and portability I bought an 8Gb credit card size USB from LaClie.

Filed under: technology, Uncategorized

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