If you use more than one PC then you should try Portableapps.com

The idea is that these version of common applications like Firefox have been changed so that they will run of a USB Keyring, preserving settings, cookies, logins, everything.

This in itself is nifty, but where it becomes really cool is that the Apps can also be just kept in a folder on your PC . This folder can then be synced directed to another PC using Microsoft’s SyncToy or any other network synchronizer.

Not only are you duplicating seamlessly where you go you are also backing up your data as you do it.

It works really well. Once you get used to running applications on the disk, setting up short cuts etc, it is just like normal. There is also the Pstart application which does all this for you really well.


Having your data so liberally splashed around various systems might raise a security concern for you. There are a number of portable encryption apps, I use the free open-source, and great, KeepAss for my passwords. In my PPC and wallet and laptop and phone and desktop I can have everything stored, and If I lose it the important stuff is protected by strong encryption (Rindjel).

If you wanted to be really anal about your information security there must be a program out there that can encrypt and decrypt into halves of the same Card, Folder. If not we should make one:p

Which Portable Apps?

I haven’t tried them all, but the ones I have ill say what I think in a one liner:

  • Portable Firefox - So good. So good.
  • Portable Filezilla - If you need a FTP client I think this is .
  • KeePass - This isn’t from portableapps.com but its the best password manager I have found, its open source and it is Portable.
  • Portable Sunbird – I don’t use this much I’m thinking of using it, its calendar program from the people who make firefox.

I would like To see Portable Gimp and portable Picassia (The free and awesome photo catalogues from google) for when we get the terabyte cards:)

The future is portable

Surely this has to be the way forward. Card based operating systems that can be inserted and run on any/many systems. When my Browser settings from my PC are carried over to my phone portably that has to be the near future.

Some people may think that we don’t need cards if we have a ubiquitous network where all devices are connected. I am not sure. Perhaps cards and portability will have a role even when not technically necessary. There is something very intuitively comfortable about “to have and to hold”.

Invest in Sandisk.