Find Freeware Apps for Your Flash Drive

I bought my first flash drive in 2003. It was 32MB and I think it cost me about $150. Now you can buy 1GB drives for $15 if you look hard. And they’re so useful! Even more useful if you have some applications on them that you can run from the drive. That’s where PortableFreeware comes in, at .

The front page has the last 100 entries that you can browse through, or you can browse through all the available apps (over 1100 of ’em.) Be sure to read the about page for an explanation of what’s considered portable and what’s considered freeware.

The listings contain an overview of the software, link to screenshot and Web site, how to extract it, where its settings are written, system requirements, applicable categories, etc. There’s also a space for comments in each listing, and the comments are unusually good. Comments may include pointers to more recent editions, some concerns about being truly portable (if the application writes to the registry, for example), requests for help (and help solutions), recommendations for other software, and so on. Be sure to read the comments before you make a decision on whether you’re going to download the software.

Almost as useful as what was listed is what’s not listed, as you’ll see when you do a keyword search. I did a search for editor and got 84 results. Before the results however I also got a link to forum topics containing the word, as well as applications that had been rejected from consideration and why (requires .NET runtime, writes to registry, etc.) This is great if you have a couple of applications in mind and you’re trying to get more information about them — perhaps you’ll find one of the ones you’re thinking about on the rejected list, instead of merely not finding it and wondering why it’s not there.

There are RSS feeds for the latest additions to the site as well as for the forums (moderately busy, interesting discussions) as well as a link list for folks wanting to know more about portable applications in general. Good stuff.

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