I’ve written before about the PortableApps suite of mobile applications, which is a convenient way to put many free, open-source applications on a USB thumb drive, or any portable drive, in one download. Once the applications are on your portable drive, you can use them from any Windows-based computer, anytime. USB thumb drives offering lots of capacity have become very inexpensive, but what if you have an older one with less capacity, or a drive that’s nearly full? If that’s your situation, Tiny USB Office is a solid suite of tiny applications that, at only 2.5 megabytes, can give you a lot of functionality on virtually any drive.
Tiny USB Office contains small, portable versions of common Windows applications in several useful categories, and they load and unload like a charm from any portable drive. In the suite, you get:
- Database Creation (CSVed)
- Data Encryption (DScrypt)
- Email Client Software (NPopUK)
- File Compression (100k Zipper)
- File Sharing (HFS)
- File Transfer (FTP Wanderer)
- Flowchart Creation (EVE Vector Editor)
- MSN Messenger Client (PixaMSN)
- Tree-Style Outliner Software (Mempad)
- PDF Creation (PDF Producer)
- Password Recovery (XPass)
- Secure Deletion (DSdel)
- Spreadsheet Creation (Spread32)
- Text Editing (TedNotepad)
- Word Processing (Kpad)
- Program Launching (Qsel)
The applications in Tiny USB Office are definitely not full-blown replacements for the applications you normally use, but they’re not intended to be. Instead, they are tools you can keep in your pocket, like a Swiss Army knife, to get most common computing tasks done when you need to. For example, the Kpad word processor looks and feels a lot like Windows Notepad, and isn’t meant to be a replacement for a full word processor. But Kpad is perfectly fine for composing a blog post while on the go, or reporting from an event.
Some of the applications are very tidy, focused and useful tools to have on hand, and you may come to like them. The EVE Vector Editor, for example, is a very simple way to do on-the-fly flowcharts, and PDF Producer does quick and easy conversion of files to PDF.
I’ve come to depend on my USB thumb drive for mobile use, and many owners of netbooks are increasingly using them to add a little local storage capacity. No matter what type of portable drive is available to you, Tiny USB Office is one of the leanest, meanest way to get lots of tasks done on the go.
What apps do you have on your thumb drive?