Take another look at PortableApps

It's been over a year since I last used PortableApps extensively but in preparation for the heavy time ahead as we count down the weeks for one my projects, I've been looking at my toolkit and refining it somewhat.

I wanted to check out what is now available for PortableApps and was surprised at the growth over the last eighteen months. There are now over 200 portable applications, all free and very cool.

Best of all is the new platform which is available for pre-release download. Foolishly, I expended a lot of effort downloading all the apps ready to install before trying the new platform but then found that it has a nice "manage apps" function which identifies any that you don't already have!

My PA drive is now a larger external as a 4GB USB stick won't cut the mustard if you want all 200+ apps to hand.

As with all my tools, recently, I've thought long and hard about where this particular toolset is useful, particularly as there is a significant overlap between traditional desktop apps, cloud-based tools, Chrome apps and of course iOS apps on my iPad.

For me this is useful when:
  • I want to access tools not available on a locked down system, like a client's computer, but I want to access resources on their network
  • I want a cheap (FREE) application for things like image manipulation, without having vendor watermarks or advertising included in the product
  • I don't want to leave a trace of what I've been doing: handy if working on someone else's PC and great for travel 
  • I want to leave profile info like for Skype or Chrome active: I just run up the portable version, thereby not screwing the host's settings or being victim to them
  • Fixing up someone else's system because I can carry the toolkit with me including a range of system utilities that he/she may not have and I wouldn't necessarily install on their system
  • I want to keep a PC clean of certain apps but want the option to use them without going to a lot of trouble to install
It most definitely has a place and use in my wider toolkit.

If you've never tried PortableApps or it's been a while since you last checked it out, I'd recommend having a look at the breadth of applications now available.

PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives
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