How To Go Portable - Part 2 of 3

Part two of our three-part editorial series on going portable. Learn about U3 Smart Technology, portable virtual machines, and more.
Published: Mar 3, 2008
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

Go Portable - Part 2 of 3

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder

In part one of this three-part series on going portable I talked about utilizing PortableApps.Com and USB drives to take your most important work with you. You can visit PortableApps.Com and grab the full suite of applications or just the ones you'd like to use. If you find yourself using them be sure to make a donation. Now, if you look at the list of programs I spoke about having on my portable drive you'll see that a number of them aren't available at PortableApps.Com. That's because some of the programs are supported by the U3 Smart technology that was developed by Sandisk. So, let's take a look at this aspect of going portable!

U3 Smart Technology

When USB drives first came on the scene you could put files on them and that was about it. Many professionals began to use USB drives to carry documents from one place to another. You could try to put programs on the drives, but at that time there was now menu available to launch programs. The U3 Smart Drive technology was created by Sandisk and another company called M-Systems. U3 made it possible for users to easily take programs with them and be able to launch them easily. U3 provides a LaunchPad program that makes it easy to manage and launch programs on your USB drive. Not only can you launch programs, but you can install new programs, explore your USB drive, check on settings, and more. Right from the LaunchPad you can go directly to the official U3 Download Central. Here you'll find programs for business, the Internet, utilities, games, and lots more. The LaunchPad "Settings" let you see information about each installed program and you can tell programs to start automatically when the USB drive is inserted. U3 Technology helps you to make any PC your own because you can take your programs and your data with you. The combination of PortableApps.Com and U3 Smart Technology makes it possible to take a wide range of programs with you if you want to go portable.

Portable Virtualization

I believe most of you know that I'm a huge fan of virtualization. For that reason I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that VMware Workstation provides you with a way to create a portable virtual machine that will work from a USB drive. VMware offers an ACE Option Pack for VMware Workstation 6.0 and among other things it gives you the ability to put a virtual machine on a USB drive. The size of your machine, obviously, is determined by the size of your USB drive, but even with a 4 gigabyte drive you can get a respectable virtual machine on it. The machine is configured using ACE so that it doesn't hog resources or space and it even includes VMware Player on the USB drive. I have to say it's really something to see a virtual computer start up from a "thumb" drive. This is yet another way that you can go portable by configuring a virtual machine with the programs and data you need.

Summing It Up

In part one we talked about the basic principles of going portable and looked at PortableApps.Com as a source of programs that can be used from a USB drive. In part two we've talked about U3 Smart Technology that provides even more ways to make your USB drive functional. USB drives equipped with U3 have a LaunchPad, lots of programs, and much more. In addition, VMware Workstation, with the ACE Option Pack, allows you to create a virtual machine that will run from a USB drive. I hope you'll join me next week for part 3 in which I'll talk about USB drives.

How To Go Portable - Part 1 of 3

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.

About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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