Saturday, November 7, 2009

Portable applications

When you move around to different computers on your campus or the public library or while traveling, you may want to carry your software applications with you.

Privacy concerns . . . and the fact that what you need may not be installed in every computer that you use . . . makes "portable applications" very attractive.  Not only that, but with portable applications you take all your personal settings and tweaks, such as bookmarks and favorite formats,  with you as you move around.

There are two easy ways to do this. And you can mix and match these strategies to fit your needs.

Strategy One: Web Applications

Web applications are internet-based based programs that are installed on a website and not on your computer. All you need is a browser to get to them.  Many of them also store your documents in a password-protected account so that you don't even have to carry your data with you.

Probably the best known suite of  FREE web applications are Google Apps, which includes Google Docs with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.  There's even Google Sites  for creating web pages. Note: Google Apps has some special programs for education.

For more FREE web applications, go to this link:

Strategy Two: Applications on your Flash Drive

A number of popular software applications are available in versions that are installed on a flash drive and can be taken wherever you want without having to install them on a computer.

For example, the popular FREE office suite Open Office also comes in a portable version: Portable Open Office.

Portable Apps maintains a great collection of this type of application.  Check out their FREE suite of portable applications that will get you started with much of what you need.

Please share with us your favorite portable apps!  What interesting educational uses have you made of them?