By Jimmy@smalldog.com

I am some one who is always on the go and/or changing computers. I try to make them similar in applications, documents, and other settings but sometimes things change and I forget to change it on other computers. Fortunately I have a trusty flash stick and a smart co-worker who brought up the subject of portable applications!

A portable application is essentially like a normal program but it can be carried around on a flash drive and will keep the programs settings with it (like bookmarks, preferences and other personal settings).

The first application that I was FireFox. The installation is quite simple, basically the same as installing a normal application. You just drag the program from the DMG onto your flash drive. Make sure you’re exited out of FireFox and then you can start up your portable copy.

I installed some extensions and loaded up a lot of bookmarks and then moved my flash drive around to different computers and indeed it continued to show all my extensions and bookmarks!

A few other portable applications I’ve installed are OwlRSS (an RSS reader), Portable CheckOff (a to-do program), and Portable Nvo (an HTML editing program). All those programs had similar install methods to FireFox.

I’ve seen portable versions of iCal, Safari, Mail, Address Book and iChat for a small fee ($0.99+).

Portable applications goes beyond your everyday programs though, I’ve read about installing entire operating systems on flash drives so you can carry it around and boot up wherever you are!

Unfortunately (or not so unfortunate security-wise) your data and passwords that use Keychain are not stored. So things like logins and passwords to website aren’t kept.

If anyone knows of some other great OS X portable applications, I’d love to try them out!

You can get Portable Firefox for free from here: http://www.freesmug.org/portableapps/firefox/

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