Have you ever wanted to take Firefox with you to another computer that doesn’t have it installed? Ever needed to chat on a computer that doesn’t have an instant messaging client installed? Do you have a flash drive? If so, PortableApps may very well be for you [hat tip Srinu]. PortableApps is a free/open-source application that turns your flash drive into a sort of portable computer. It lets you bring all your favorite applications to a new computer. This means you can save your Firefox bookmarks and plug-ins and bring them with you. In fact, you can carry a lot of open-source software with you wherever you go. This includes games, any instant messaging service (via Pidgin), and even a CD/DVD burning program. This is a great piece of software for students who are constantly using public computers where you can’t install applications yourself.
Rush users actually have quite a bit of use for this. You can browse with Firefox despite the fact that the IT department refuses to allow it on any university computers. Another little-known fact is that Firefox can bypass BlueCoat, the firewall that RUMC uses to block unwanted traffic to sites like MySpace and YouTube. Don’t get too excited, though. They know about this and they’ll have it fixed soon. Still, I feel like PortableApps is an essential tool for people who want to carry their preferred open-source software with them to be used on any Windows machine. Download it today!