6 Awesome Open Source USB Applications

If you find yourself on the go more often than not and having to use public computers such as those in an Internet cafe or library, you’ve probably adjusted to using whatever browser and programs are available on the computer. However, you can custom tailor programs to your own preferences using a USB drive and these programs will retain your preferences no matter what computer the drive is plugged into. Check out these top six applications to custom tailor your user experience no matter what computer you use.
  1. Firefox Portable: One of the worst things about having to use someone else’s browser is it is not configured the way you want it. With Firefox portable, you can install Firefox on your USB drive and configure it with all the add-ons and extensions you want so your browsing experience never changes.
  2. Thunderbird Portable: The second annoyance of having to use someone else’s computer is not being able to check your email. However, Thunderbird can be custom tailored just like Firefox to provide you with a seamless email experience just as you would get at home.
    Download: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable
  3. Portable Apps Suite: This suite makes it possible to arrange all of your portable apps into a start menu like interface so that when you plug your USB drive into any computer, it is almost like running an OS on top of an OS. With this installed on the drive, you have specified document folders that are organized according to type so there’s no more hunting around on the drive for important files.
  4. OpenOffice Portable: Getting work done while you are outside the office or your home computer can be a pain, especially if the computer you are using does not have Microsoft Office installed on it. You can alleviate this problem by using Open Office, which is compatible with all of Microsoft’s proprietary file extensions. When integrated with Portable Apps Suite, it completes the productivity experience on any computer, as you have access to a word processor, spreadsheet manager, and database manager.
  5. Pidgin Portable: Keeping up with friends across multiple chat networks is hard enough on your home computer, so instead of installing GTalk, AIM, Yahoo, and MSN on your portable device, simply install Pidgin to manage all the services from one unique program. Pidgin will remember your settings across multiple sessions on any computer, making it the perfect way to communicate with friends when you’re not on your main machine.
  6. Avast! Portable Anti-Virus Scanner: Protecting yourself while you’re on a foreign computer is of top priority, which is why you need to include an anti-virus to round off your USB drive portable apps. Avast! is one of the top anti-viruses for computers and this portable app will scan and detect viruses and worms and remove them. This is very good for diagnosing problems on other PCs.