Tech Tips with Mr. Tech Savvy

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why laptop when you have a flash drive?

Did you wish you had a laptop so you can have all your work anytime, anywhere? I think it's a bad idea carrying that heavy device with you when you travel. Why take the pains when you can now carry almost everything on a little device called "flash drive"?

Whatever you call it, a handy drive, a pen drive, a thumb drive or a flash drive, such a gadget was invented to give us mobility and portability of data. A flash drive (let's stick to this name) has become a basic gadget for people who use multiple computers and of course for avid travellers. And the good part, as the storage capacity increases, the prices are dropping. As a 1GB flash drive is now at stock-clearance price, a 4GB is a must-have carry-around gadget. Most people use flash drives just for storing or transferring of work files, pictures, music, videos, etc. Little did they know that this little flashy device you carry around has a lot more capabilities than you ever imagined.

One of the most amazing capabilities a flash drive can do that I recommend you to explore is that you can now carry your essential applications with you wherever you go. And by essential applications I mean, all office applications like word processors and its crew, email applications, web browser, instant messengers, anti-viruses and even more. Once these applications are installed into your flash drive, never worry about having to find a computer with the software you need again.

Is it really possible to install entire software into that little device? Well, the question is an under-estimation of flash drives. Not only can you install just software, but also an operating system into that tiny gadget you hooked to your key ring!

So how does it work? Just download the standalone application and install it into your flash drive. When you are on the go, plug your flash drive into any Windows computer and just launch the applications you want to use. Yes, it’s that simple!

Here are a few essential applications you could start with:

Open Office Portable allows you to have your office life on the go. This install includes all office applications like word processor, spreadsheet, etc.

Portable Firefox, the admirable browser, comes to you in a portable version as well. All bookmarks that you saved are stored securely on the flash drive.

Portable Thunderbird is an email application that lets you carry your emails wherever you go. Send and receive emails from this application, running on your flash drive.

Pidgin Portable will never let you lose touch with your friends again. With this multi-network instant messenger, carry your buddy list with you and log on to your MSN, ICQ, Yahoo! or Google accounts when you want to chat with them.

GIMP Portable lets you edit your photos and images the same way you edit them on Adobe Photoshop. This is a credible image editing tool that you must consider giving a try.

These are just a few. All these applications are easily available for you to download at PortableApps (, a website that specialises in providing you with a list of recommended portable applications. So start downloading and install it into your flash drives.

Having a second thought about your laptop now? Leave it behind! Go enjoy your vacation!.

Just for Geeks - Site of the Week


Music lovers will enjoy this. Listen to non-stop music while you define the genres, mood, tempo, year of release, etc. to your heart’s content. Even better, mark your favourite songs and ban the ones you hate.

Till next week… Tata ;-)

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