Portable Applications: Part 2

Posted: February 26, 2013

Double Clicks

Last week, we discussed portable applications for Windows computers.
 
There are several great things about portable programs: First, they are independent, which means they stand alone. For example, when installing, you select only one folder. Once installed, the program and all of its related files can be found in the same folder. This is totally unlike today’s Windows installations.
 
Being completely self-contained enables you to move the folder to any other location on your computer, or copy it to another computer, and it works. It also should work absolutely the same as it did in its previous location. This also offers a brilliant solution to one of life’s larger Windows headaches: If you do not like the program, you can delete the folder and it is gone …  totally.
 
So, what are some of today’s portable applications or programs? Here is a short list:
 
- There are many different types of games. One of my favorites is “Atomic Tanks” and, of course, “Sudoku.”
 
- Next, how about a portable browser — namely Firefox’s latest version.
 
- A good email program, if you do not check your email at online sites, is “Thunderbird.”
 
- Do you need an excellent graphics program, which challenges the abilities of other high-priced ones? Try, “Gimp.”
 
- There are many types of RSS-feed readers and music managers/players. Have you ever used the full version of VLC for CD and/or DVD playback? If so, and you like it, get the portable version. Several good chat/IM applications are available, so look for them, too.
 
- Also, take advantage of office replacements that many know and love: “Libre Office” and “Open Office” are both available.
 
- The final bigwig program is “Skype.”
 
These programs, which I have tried, run as well as the full-blown versions. Also, all of these applications are free and without hidden advertising (at least that I have found).
 
One thing before you start downloading any of these programs: Make sure you have uninstalled the full version before you start playing with the portable version. If not, you may confuse yourself and the computer.
 
So, where do you find the portable applications? Go to “PortableApps.com” and click on the “Get Apps” link at the top of the page. There are other sites out there, but, this is one of the first and best.
 
When you install them, the location to where you downloaded the file will be the default, so choose somewhere else. If you have a portable thumb drive plugged into your computer, it will automatically choose to install the program there. The reason is these programs were actually created to run on thumb drives for portability; hence the name. Once installed, go to the file that ends with the word “Portable” and double click. This starts the application.
 
If you do not like the program and want to delete it, delete the folder containing the program and you are done — no worry about reboots or clogging up your system with useless cruft.
 
Contact Ron Doyle at ron@doubleclicks.info.



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