Must have programs for a USB card
June 21, 2005 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for programs that are able to be stored on a USB memory stick that will allow me to run them off the stick and stay on top of things wherever I am. Anyone point me in the right direction?

I already have my daily planner and firefox on the card. What I'm really looking for is a word processsor and perhaps a linux OS? Or really just any good productivity tool
posted by nosophoros to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Try
posted by Nelson at 4:46 PM on June 21, 2005

Additonally, see here.
posted by Four Flavors at 4:52 PM on June 21, 2005

I'm assuming that since you can boot Knoppix from CD, if you have a large enough USB memory stick you can probably boot it from that too.
posted by geeky at 5:10 PM on June 21, 2005

Best answer: It's late and I can't be bothered finding URLs for all of these, sorry. Essential apps on my USB stick:
  • AbiWord
  • Portable firefox, thunderbird and NVU
  • A TiddlyWiki
  • CDex
  • FileZilla
  • Lupas Rename
  • Miranda IM
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • Simple File Shredder
  • Star Downloader
  • Undelete
  • Unstoppable Copier
  • Webalizer
  • wget
  • WinRAR
  • xmplay
  • Asterisk Logger
  • BareGrep
  • EditPad
  • Putty
  • SciTE
  • VNC Viewer
  • QM
  • SpaceMonger
  • A zip file containing company logos, fonts, letterheads, templates etc.
  • A full installation of DamnSmallLinux, bootable and with Qemu so it can be run from inside Windows

posted by blag at 5:26 PM on June 21, 2005

What day planner did you use? The only one I saw, Chaos Manager, is over 1 Meg (unless installed it occupies less space than the download).
posted by sourwookie at 5:39 PM on June 21, 2005

or just look at what people have entered on
posted by matildaben at 5:54 PM on June 21, 2005

A full fledged CMS, including Apache, PHP, ImageMagick and MySQL.
posted by signal at 6:10 PM on June 21, 2005

And Typo3, of course. That's the CMS part.
posted by signal at 6:10 PM on June 21, 2005

Best answer: Yeah... you can run Damn Small Linux if you want a full, virtual machine type environment, bootable in either windows or linux, right from the usb drive. It uses qemu, for whatever it's worth... and it actually is pretty darn cool, if you're looking for something to experiment with.

It also makes for a pretty nifty bootable usb drive in an emergency... that is, if your machine can support that kind of thing.
posted by ph00dz at 6:42 PM on June 21, 2005

Best answer: Things I use now, or have used in the past...

- putty and pscp
- wget
- tightvnc
- winscp
- metapad
- winmerge

- portable firefox
- portable thunderbird
- trillian
- skype [setup.exe]
- still haven't found an rss reader i'm happy with which runs off a usb key (looking into GreatNews at the moment)

- abiword 2.0 (later versions need .dll's and such rather than just the bare .exe)
- foxit pdf-reader
- pdf creator [setup.exe]
- microsoft's word/excel/powerpoint viewers [setup.exe]
- openoffice [setup.exe]

- cdex
- audacity

- irfanview
- photo brush is a nice photo touch-up tool which (at least used to) run from a usb drive
- noiseware community edition
- paint shop pro (and animation shop) [setup.exe]

- virtualdub and the excellent deshaker filter

- k-lite codec pack (full version, not mega) [setup.exe]
- media player classic
- winamp

- winrar
- deepburner [setup.exe]

and because public access pieces are always a real mess, various security and system maintenance tools:
- hijackthis and cwshredder
- adaware and spybot
- stinger
- mcafee's command-line scanner
- norton windoctor
- crap cleaner is a very good, very conservative registry cleaner
- various tools from

I don't use web-design apps, or any kind of personal information manager.
posted by rjt at 6:55 PM on June 21, 2005

Although it may be slightly at a tangent to what you want it for, there's a U3 smart drive thing which will enable the same kind of functionality - i.e. programs reside on USB, and do not need to install on the host machine.

A lot of the things already mentioned are good, but they sound like they need to be installed onto the machine into which you insert the USB stick - just like if you were to burn the application setup files to a CD, and carry it around.

It all depends on what you're actually expecting to do with these applications, and whether you'll be at liberty to install things...

Just like having an Amiga again, after all these years. Strange how things come around...
posted by Chunder at 4:01 AM on June 22, 2005

Chunder: all of the apps on my list can be run directly from the USB stick. rjt's far more comprehensive list includes some that need installing but he's marked these with [setup.exe]
posted by blag at 3:51 PM on June 22, 2005

Just found portable openoffice as well, but I'd still recommend keeping abiword and the office viewers around as OOo can be pretty resource intensive and there's no guarantee that a public pc will up to the job of running a fully-featured suite.
posted by rjt at 6:37 PM on June 22, 2005

I made a page with my favorites with links, working on a torrent

posted by tke248 at 5:29 AM on July 19, 2005

Forgot to put in the description of the url:
posted by tke248 at 5:31 AM on July 19, 2005

I use KeePass & EPIM (both are freeware) everyday!
posted by JBell at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2005

In the event that you actually need/want a browser that is IE-based (but much safer and more configurable), Maxthon can be configured to run quite nicely from a small USB key. You could probably put it and Firefox on the same key, in fact.
posted by deusdiabolus at 5:33 AM on November 4, 2005

MUST have: Password Safe
posted by Gunderstorm at 2:02 PM on November 4, 2005

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