Posted by: Memo | November 18, 2008

Downplay risk by thumbing your software

usb_thumb_drive, originally uploaded by BushLeagueTV.

I like Firefox. I like that Firefox has scores of different add-ons that enhance my browsing and productivity. I like it that it can bend the laws of web displays. I like it because I can take it with me on a thumb drive and thereby ensure my browsing experience is the same in whatever computer I use. That is, my Firefox lives in my thumb drive. And that’s a good thing because I have my “just right” Firefox in my thumb drive as well as whatever new version of Firefox is made available to developers. I’m not a developer, and reading too much code gives me seizures so I don’t bother. But I do like knowing the next evolutionary steps of my favorite browser so here’s what I do to keep them separate (and safe):

1. Leave your pristine, just-right browser intact.
2. Experiment with the new, intriguing beta version of Firefox by downloading it to your thumb drive/USB

Get your copy of the newest version (3.1 beta 1) at Portableapps.com and check it out. And if you want to experiment even further, you can also download a copy of Google’s newish browser, Chrome. Trying out different browsers by first installing them on your USB is a great way to keep your computer free of crapware and ensuring you install safe, already vetted software. And if you can’t find a portable version of something, then give these sites a try:

* Portabbleapps.com
* http://sourceforge.net/
* http://www.portablefreeware.com/
* http://www.pendriveapps.com/

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