As we get a start to what is hopefully for you a short work week, let’s begin with some interesting ways that you can guard settings and data. The first one involves a unique backup scheme that utilizes the unused disk space of computers already on your network. Most small businesses have immense hard drive capacities sitting on their networks. I always find it funny when folks ask if 250 megs is enough for word processing. Anyway, Vembu’s StoreGrid product allows you to set up a peer to peer storage network within your own network. This takes advantage of these gigantic storage capacities. Now, this doesn’t save you in terms of natural disasters at the local site, but it does offer something. And if you aren’t doing any backups, then doing anything is improvement – right? Ok, let’s move on.
Haven’t you ever wondered how nice it would be to take your computer with you? No, I’m not talking about a laptop. And I’m not talking about having the whole operating system on a USB drive, though that is nice. Portable Apps allows you to take your favorite programs with you. Here are a list of the programs they are currently offer:
* Nvu Portable – The easy-to-use Nvu web editor
* XAMPP – Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin and more in an integrated package
* Sudoku Portable – the wildly popular and addictive puzzle game
Graphics & Pictures
* GIMP Portable – Photo and Image Editor
* FileZilla Portable – the full-featured FTP client
* FireFTP Extension (for Firefox) – a lightweight extension
* Gaim Portable – chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in an easy-to-use interface
* Miranda IM Portable – chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in a customizable interface
* Mozilla Firefox – Portable Edition – the award-winning web browser that’s safe and secure
* Mozilla Thunderbird – Portable Edition – the handy email client
* Sage Extension (for Firefox) – A full-featured RSS extension
* Nvu Portable – the easy-to-use webpage editor
Music & Video
* Audacity Portable – A simple audio editor and recorder
* VLC Media Player Portable – An easy to use media player that plays most audio and video formats
* AbiWord Portable – a lightweight word processor compatible with Microsoft Word files
* Lightning Extension (for Thunderbird) – A lightweight extension for your calendar and tasks
* Mozilla Sunbird – Portable Edition – Calendar and task management with a familiar interface
* Mozilla Thunderbird – Portable Edition (Address Book) – Email client’s built-in address book with import/export functions
* OpenOffice.org Portable – word processor, spreadsheet, presentations with Microsoft compatibility
* Mac-on-Stick – Run Mac OS Classic 7 portably
* 7-Zip Portable – File archiver and compressor
* ClamWin Portable – Antivirus on the go
* PStart – A system tray launcher menu (closed source)
That’s a pretty impressive list of applications to pack in. This is data protection in the sense that it leaves no trace of your data on the computer. Yes, data privacy with a portable application. That’s nice.
But what would happen if you actually wanted to put a whole operating system on a flash drive? I have a linux distro on mine. But most people want to use Windows. Well, it just so happens that you can put Windows XP on a flash drive, using Bart’s Preinstalled Environment. He’s done the hard work for you. All you need now is a valid copy of Windows XP to use. Now you have XP on the run! You just have to boot to USB on any computer and you can be off and running.
Just remember that losing your drive means that someone else may find it. It’s always best to save any files somewhere else. Don’t keep sensitive files sitting on a USB drive that you can easily lose!