Put Over 50 Choice OSS Apps in Your Pocket--in an Hour

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 10, 2008

For a while now, I've been toting a USB thumb drive around in my pocket loaded with my favorite applications, and backups of important files. It's amazing how much capacity you can get with these little gadgets now, for very little money. The one I carry has 4GB of storage, but I've seen 8GB pocket drives.

In this post, I'll cover good, free open source applications that you can store on a thumb drive. You can also use this post to put more than 50 open source applications in your pocket in one hour. Once you have enough of these with you at all times, you can stop thinking about your computer being where you store all your favorite applications, because you can use your favorites anywhere. Let's start out with the truly remarkable PortableApps.com Suite.

The PortableApps.com Suite is a collection of pre-selected free, primarily open source applications that you can stick on a thumb drive (or a laptop) in one quick download. It includes ClamWin Portable (antivirus), Mozilla Firefox - Portable Edition (web browser), Gaim Portable (instant messaging), OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite), Sudoku Portable (puzzle game), Mozilla Sunbird - Portable Edition (calendar/task manager) and Mozilla Thunderbird - Portable Edition (email client) and runs comfortably from a 512MB drive. If you have a USB key with less capacity, the Lite Edition of the PortableApps.com suite replaces OpenOffice.Org Portable with AbiWord as your word processor. It runs comfortably from a 256MB drive.

Want to pick your own open source apps to keep in your pocket? If so, peruse the left rail of PortableApps.com for hundreds of useful programs. PortableApps.com currently caters to people using Windows, but if you're on a Mac I compiled a list of useful, primarily open source and some freeware applications for your USB thumb drive. That list includes really good open source applications such as the slick Mac word processor Bean.

For 10 more useful applications you can fit on your pocket drive--many of them open source and all of them free--see my post from WebWorkerDaily.com. You'll find QM, an e-mail client that sits in 16K of storage space, and more.

What are your favorite portable open source applications? Do you carry a thumb drive?