If you travel from city to city or office to office and don’t want to lug your laptop everywhere you go, you might be interested in a concept called portable applications.
Portable applications are versions of software you may use on your desktop or laptop computer that can be stored on your iPod or any removable media, such as a flashdrive and launched on any compatible computer.
The obvious advantage to setting up and carrying around a full suite of applications on your iPod of flashdrive is that you have the ultimate portability. However, there’s another very good reason. If you use another machine to do work, most everything you’ve done leaves a trail on that machine (including password and other sensitive data.)
In addition, your portable applications can be preconfigured with all of your settings, such as bookmarks, so you can plug your portable version of Firefox into a compatible machine (with or without a resident copy of Firefox) and launch your browser with your familiar settings ready to go. Or, you can fire up your version Mail on a borrowed Mac and have all your contact information ready to go. (Portable applications are not cross compatible – Mac versions for Macs and PC versions for PCs.)
The following is what I consider an essential list of portable applications. Every business traveler should download, set-up, and store these on a flash drive or iPod just in case you ever show up for that huge presentation and realize your laptop is sitting on the A-train headed to Poughkeepsie.
The browser of choice for many these days
Open Office – an open source suite of tools that can be used to create, open, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations created in Microsoft Office and other office tools.
Sunbird – calendar and task application built on the Mozilla Firefox platform
Thunderbird- email application built on the Mozilla Firefox platform
Portable versions of Mac default software– Safari, iCal, Address Book, and Mail
Notepad + + - Full featured text editor
Skype– use your Skype set-up on the go
Miranda IM – cross protocol IM client for chat on multiple systems
7Zip – File compression and unpacking
Filezilla – Full featured FTP client
(Mac and PC versions) – Open and edit PDF files
FastStone Photo Resizer – Simple image editor, resize, crop and retouch images
Mojopac – Allows your to clone your PC and take your entire desktop with you
Wikipedia list of portable apps - comprehensive list of portable applications
Great list of mac apps
Image Credit: purplelime