Update (26/10/2008): You can now compress some of the portableApps to squeeze even more applications onto your memory stick with the PortableApps.Com AppCompactor. This is also packaged as a portable app (but note this is intended for developers or advanced users).

Now you can take FREE applications with you as you travel between work and home or abroad. The web site portableapps.com has a collection of applications that can be installed on a USB memory stick and run directly from that device on any PC.

portableapps The portableapps web site (FREE) also has a dashboard (menu system) that allows you to install more applications and run the applications that you already have installed

on the USB device. Some of the key applications available (from sourceforge) are:

  • Audacity (sound recording)
  • Pidgin (IM client)
  • Scribus (DTP)
  • FileZilla (FTP client)
  • Firefox (Web browser client)
  • NVU (Web design package with WYSIWYG)
  • OpenOffice Suite (Full office application suite)
  • GIMP (Graphics)
  • VirtualDub (Video editing)
  • VLC (Video player)
  • Plus many more…

I found all the applications installed without a single problem. If you use the portableapps menu application to install the software it automatically adds the new program to the menu. You do not need to install the dashboard but in doing so you get a neat backup / restore utility that backs up your memory stick applications to your local hard disk.

I use the IM client everyday (as it connects to most IM systems with one program). This is a brilliant way of carrying around some key applications in your pocket without having to rely on a PC having them pre-installed. I now use Windows Live Writer quite a lot to create blog entries, and came across a site explaining how to install Live Writer as a portable application, I have not tried this yet, but will blog my findings when I do.

On the portableapps web site you’ll also find a download that is self contained and has all the essential applications (currently about 90Mb download). It’s called the portableapps.com suite. There’s also a ‘lite’ version that is only 30Mb (uses AbiWord instead of the full OfficeSuite).