With the wide spread use of removable storage devices (like usb thumb drive, portable hard drive, iPod etc.) came the idea of portable applications.
The idea behind portable applications is simple – store applications on your removable storage devices and run them anywhere by just plugging-in the storage device.
A number of portable applications suites had popped up as a result. The most widely known is PortableApps, but there are also others like
- A list of portable applications from wikipedia
I was attracted to the idea of portable application during the recently re-installation of my notebook with Vista. Through numerous reinstall of operation system over the years, I took note of the necessary steps to backup and restore data for my favourite applications. However the process is still a major hassle – backup data, reinstall applications and restore data.
Portable application side-stepped that hassle because applications are not installed but just copied to folder on a drive. So during a reinstall, I just copied the folder – application and data – to a new drive. Viola! Everything continues to work as before!
After this reinstall exercise, I’m certainly going to convert most of my applications to a portable version. Luckily most of the open source/free applications I had introduced here are available in portable version.
If you reinstall OS often or is just looking for an easily way to move your favourite programs and data around, give a serious look at portable applications. I’m surprised I took so long to get it.