25 Must-Have Thumb Drive Apps

With traveling and use of many different computers, many geeks (and geek girls) often find a need to have a uniform set of tools handy wherever we may be. I’ve put together a list of 25 invaluable portable apps that can be installed on an Ipod or Thumb Drive. These are really cool!

1. TrueCrypt – encrypt your thumb drive to protect your information

2. ToDoList – A tak management tool that allows you to repeatedly sub-divide your tasks into more manageable pieces whilst still presenting a clean and intuitive user experience. (Windows Only)

3. Portable Firefox – Leaves no personal information behind on the machine – you can take along your browser/extensions/bookmarks anywhere

4. Pidgin Portable – All-in-one instant messaging (supports AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, G-Chat, etc)

5. WS FTP32 – ftp client

6. FileZilla – yet another ftp client

7. Notepad2 – a fast light-weight advanced text editor with syntax highlighting

8. Notepad++ – this is one of my favorite text editors – now made portable

9. Color Cop – this is one of my favorite freeware apps – includes an eyedropper you can drag over any window to grab the color value. It then offers a palette of 42 complimentary colors to the one you’ve picked.

10. Ifranview – a light little graphics viewer/editor that packs a big punch. You can use it to work with screen captures, create slideshows and more

11. GIMP – the popular open source image editor packaged as a portable app – very robust

12. 7-Zip Portable – handles zip, gzip, tar, rar etc

13. Allway Sync – syncs files between your thumb drive and PC

14. Unknown Devices – helps you find out what the unknown devices in the device manager are

15. TestDisk – data recovery software that can recover lost partitions or make drives bootable again

16. UTorrent – my preferred bit torrent client – I love having this with me wherever I go

17. Roeder’s .NET Reflector – recently purchased by Red Gate, this still-free app can be used to explore .NET assemblies, understand relationships between classes and methods, find where types are instantiated and exposed or check that code has been correctly obfuscated before release. There are also over 30 add-ins available.

18. Process Explorer – formerly Filemon and Regmon, this is an invaluable sleuthing tool

19. TightVNC – based on the popular VNC remote control software, this version can live on a thumb drive

20. WinMerge – compares differences between files and merges changes. It has the same features as the desktop version

21. Text2Html – a text to HTML converter – converts text files into HTML format

22. Portable Apps Suite – this is the mac-daddy of them all – it includes Firefox, Thunderbird(email), Sunbird(calendar),ClamWin (antivirus), Pidgin(see above), Sumatra PDF Readable, KeePass Password Safe, OpenOffice, CoolPlayer (audio Player) and even a couple of games

23. Restoration – Recover accidentally deleted files – even after they were deleted from the recycle bin

24. Infra Recorder Portable – cd and dvd burning

25. RockXP – allows you to recover windows passwords or keys, change keys, display system password, and more – sneaky!

Please feel free to leave links to other tools in the comments section of this post.


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