You can’t take your desktop PC with you when you are away from home or the office, which is why God invented laptops, but there are plenty of occasions when even a portable PC is too much to lug around. Of course you could splash out on one of those dinky pocket portables but why bother, if there’s a handy PC where you are going then Propellerhead has found a way for you to take everything you are likely to need on a cheap and simple USB memory device. Just plug it in, do what you need to do and when you remove the drive you take all of your programs and data with you.
Apart from the drive all you need is the Portable Apps Suite, it’s a complete set of freeware and open source programs, designed to fit onto a pen drive. It includes AbiWord — a very decent little word processor, Portable Firefox and Thunderbird, Portable OpenOffice.org office suite, Portable NVU web editor, Portable Sunbird calendar and task list, Portable FileZilla FTP client and Portable Gaim instant messenger. They all fit easily on a 256Mb drive (512Mb is better and leaves more space for your data) , but if you are short of space just leave out the OpenOffice.org and you can squeeze it into less than 128Mb. Don’t forget there are plenty more great utilities on the PCTopTips web site.