Portable, Open Source Applications on a USB Flash Drive

USB flash drives are compact and easy-to-use storage devices. They offer the real promise of the digital age: complete freedom and mobility. However, USB flash drive is good for a lot more than data transfer. It can be a whole office on the go.

USB flash drives can carry portable applications such as Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, and NVU to serve as a personal office on the road. Teachers and students can use these applications and have their e-mail and instant messaging accounts, bookmarks, log-on passwords, a Web browser, a calendar, as well as a Web authoring tool available to them on any computer they use. Also, they are sure that their settings, passwords, account information will stay on their USB drive and won’t be stored in the browser cache or anywhere else on other person’s computer.

I have been using open source applications on a USM flash drive for several years. I think it is convenience and secure to carry my portable applications wherever I go. Also, I have introduced the open source applications to many teachers and students and most of them like the idea. To learn how to put your USB flash drive to work as a portable desktop and access open source applications on any computer with no trace behind, please view the presentation Patrivan Yuen and I made at the Teaching in Higher Education (THE) Forum earlier this year.

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About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in Educational Technology, Open Source, Technology Integration. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Portable, Open Source Applications on a USB Flash Drive

  1. I love USB flashdrives they are so convient and simple to use. When I am on the go, I carry it everywhere because you never know what I might be doing or what I might be typing.

    The USB flashdrive is simple to use and can be used at any computer. Anyone who is constantly on the computer should use this device.

    The USB flashdrive is like a mini folder, and it is amazing how so much stuff can fit in something so small.

  2. Lisa McBeth says:

    I never used a USB flashdrive until this semester in IT365. It is a wonderful tool that I am glad to have. A USB flashdrive is not expensive either. I bought mine at Walmart for $18 and it is worth every dollar. It stores so much. It is like having a personal filing cabinet that I can wear around my neck. When I need to access something on it, all I have to do is find a computer and plug the USB into it and all my information appears. I not only use it for IT365, but I use it for all my classes to store important papers on.

  3. Tawana Alexander says:

    Hurray for jump drive, they are truly a life saver. I must agree the USB have made my life so much easier. Can you just imagine walking around with floppy disks? I am so glad that we have upgrade to something like this it is very useful in so many ways. I recall saving some information on a floppy disk and some how the disk was scratched and it would not pull up any of my information. Of course this was when I was in middle school, because floppy disks are old school. I would not be shocked if they came up with something else that is so much better than the USB, I’m not sure what that would be, but the rate technology is going it is bound to happen. I have seen several of students with this device; some do not leave home without it. I like the fact that the device can hold music, pictures, and so much more. I never used a jump drive, my first time purchasing one was for your it365 class, and it was mandatory. So, I believe that if it was not required for me to have one, I just would have had one another year.

  4. Nicole Whiteman says:

    I have used my USB flash drive to store files since I arrived at college. It is so much easier than carrying around a CD ROM or floppy disk. It can hold a lot fo information too. I know that it is very useful for transfer pictures as well as text files. I never thought about using open applications on my USB flash drive. Now that I am aware of this I plan to use it in the future. I think ti will be a very useful tool that I can continue to use for years. It will probably become more and more common in the future as well.

  5. Michelle Johnson says:

    I really like USB flash drives because they are covient and they help me keep up with my files in order for class. Also they help me stay organized and they easier to carry than cd. I think they are good tools that all college students should use.

  6. Amy Thornton says:

    I having been using flash drives for quite a while now. I am up to about 4 now. Every time one of my gets full, I buy another won and start filling that one up. I soon figured out that 256MB or even 512MB is not that much space. Now, I never buy anything under 2GB. I have actually graduated to some even bigger. I carry an external USB hard drive with 80GB of space on it. It’s bigger than a normal flash drive, but it is small enough to fit into my pocket if need be. I carry this with me every where. It makes it extremely simple to switch between my PC and Mac or to switch between my computer at work and my computer at home. I would be lost without it. I keep backups of all of my important information on my USB drive.

    I have never considered running portable applications before. It sounds like it would be useful in certain instances. Right now, I use my USB drives to transfer information and to backup my computers. I take my laptop with me every where so I haven’t found the need to run portable applications. After going through the presentation above, I was really surprised at the amount of portable applications that are available. Some of the applications, such as GAIM, Thunderbird, and NVU I have never used before. I love learning about new open source applications and look forward to trying the ones I haven’t tried before out.

  7. 林學志 says:

    老師您好
    我是高師大工教博士班學生 林學志

    依照相關資料顯示
    下一個世代的青年
    生活中將有大量時間會接觸行動式裝置
    或是透過行動式裝置來進行數位學習【e-learning】
    而因目前行動式硬碟(隨身碟)使用方便且具高度普遍性
    故現今多軟體公司皆開始設計Portable Applications與moile Applications
    除了方便個人軟體的攜帶外並可配合行動型裝置的使用
    使用者可將所需應用程式或是作業系統儲存於隨身碟中
    一方面讓使用者本身更能輕鬆便捷的使用媒體工具
    同時也兼顧了保護個人隱私的功能
    相信此類軟體的發展更能建構未來完整的行動式學習環境

    以上看法與大家分享,也期待大家的指教~謝謝

  8. 林學志 says:

    老師您好
    我是高師大工教博士班學生 林學志

    依照相關資料顯示
    下一個世代的青年
    生活中將有大量時間會接觸行動式裝置
    或是透過行動式裝置來進行數位學習【e-learning】
    而因目前行動式硬碟(隨身碟)使用方便且具高度普遍性
    故現今多軟體公司皆開始設計Portable Applications與moile Applications
    除了方便個人軟體的攜帶外並可配合行動型裝置的使用
    使用者可將所需應用程式或是作業系統儲存於隨身碟中
    一方面讓使用者本身更能輕鬆便捷的使用媒體工具
    同時也兼顧了保護個人隱私的功能
    相信此類軟體的發展更能建構未來完整的行動式學習環境

    以上看法與大家分享,也期待大家的指教~謝謝

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