Monday, June 30, 2008


As I shared in "Tales of the Obsolete parts I and II," I have an ancient laptop that can barely run XP and has a whomping big 4 Gb hard drive. I immediately tripled it's capacity with the addition of an 8 Gb thumb drive. I could have gone for a larger portable HD, but I'm trying to keep it lean and lightweight.

Now, the real problem was that, when I'd loaded all the software I wanted/needed, I had no space left for temp files while I was editing/composing. Rut Roh! Surfing the web, looking for an answer, I found this:

I've always loved the concept of Open Source software and other freeware packages. In fact, I use Art Weaver to create some nifty digital pieces.

I've wanted to get into Open Office, but every time I've looked into it, and other Open Source software, there's this confusing array of files, "compiled" and not, and I just don't know where to go from there. Don't know the secret handshake. Don't have time to learn it. A true Windoze Slave though I rattle my chains on a regular basis. But I miss the days when I carried my apps on diskettes and used them on whatever computer I wanted to. (Yes, I'm OLD. Hush.)

Enter This site offers a truly impressive array of FREE open source apps, soup to nuts, with an easy to navigate menu, ready to go right out of the box! The real kicker? They not only FIT on a thumbdrive, they are PORTABLE! You carry your software with you and work off of any computer with a compatible Windoze OS. Nirvana! (and did I mention FREE?!?) They leave no footprint/cookies/files on the host computer. When you use the included Firefox Portable browser, all of your links, history and cookies are on the thumbdrive. They are kind enough to include donation buttons for both the Portable Apps website and the individual programmers/orgs. So after you download, show your appreciation, OK? I've downloaded the majority of these apps and when installed on my thumbdrive they take up less than 650 Mb. I'm burning a mirror to CDs to give to friends with pitiful slow dialup.

Below, I've cribbed their current apps listing. Click on "Applications" to go right to the webpage. Impressive, huh? With my aging eyeballs, the magnifier is pretty sweet.





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