Saturday, March 19, 2011

Portable Applications

So, for some strange reason I carry a flash drive in my pocket. Pretty much all the time. Most guys jeans have a double pocket on the right side - one about 3 inches wide and 5 deep, and one that's no more than an inch or two wide and the same deep. It's too small for most cell phones, but it does fit a USB flash drive perfectly.

My old one recently broke; it had no cap, so the metal part got pushed back and forth and eventually some connection snapped. My new one is a 4 gigabyte drive (that I got for 8 bucks), and it retracts into the base.

First thing I put on it was a small text file; it is titled "Bring me home!" and gives contact info for me. Then I realized - I have a 4 gigabyte flash drive, which I use solely for transferring documents from school to home, and to the printer. It's never going to have more than a few hundred megabytes of data on it.

So, I've started putting portable applications on it; Portable Apps has all the programs you want.

I started with Tor, which is a special anonymity software, which runs via a worldwide onion routing network. It's perfect for bypassing censorship; it's used by anonymous whistleblowers, bloggers, and those behind firewalls (like in China) worldwide. I'll use it to bypass the ridiculous filtering software at my school, which blocks perfectly acceptable websites like Youtube (which doesn't work with Tor because Flash video can compromise anonymity, unfortunately), The Onion (a parody news source), and most anything related to fighting censorship.

Then I got a portable version of Google Chrome. Tor runs on Firefox, but I'm not a huge fan of Firefox. I'll use Chrome instead of the crappy old versions of Internet Explorer on school computers.

Then, I got Nethack 3.4.3, so I can waste time.

Now, I'm looking to get some more applications. Maybe GIMP and Inkscape for graphics work, maybe chess or some other games. Maybe OpenOffice.

All of this is on my flash drive. How cool is that?

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