Getting Really Portable

You've heard plenty about Open Source Software on LearningWilds, and this one is great for Windows because it involves Open Source. Mac and Linux people will be jealous.

Sometimes being mobile can be pretty important. Homeschoolers are known to move around a bit, un-schoolers perhaps a bit more so, not to mention road and world-schoolers, well that is what they do.

When you do move around, carrying a laptop can be less than inviting, especially with battles over luggage bins on some flights. So if you are going to need the full computer experience, go sans the computer. At they make applications for Windows that are created as self-contained packages. This means they require no installation and just work on Windows computers.

Get yourself a minimal USB flash drive, download these apps, and you are ready to go. An 8 GB drive should be enough for the basics and some files. Of course, you may find more is needed once you see the things at work. Just pop in your flash drive and run the apps straight off of it. You have your own programs and your files wherever you go.

Although some of the apps may not be, the majority of them are Open Source. Office apps, browsers, image editors, video editors, email clients, virus scanners are there. Most of the basic types of programs you need on a regular basis can be found in a portable version. A virus scanner would be a good candidate for one of the first apps to get, especially if you expect to run your apps off of unfamiliar computers like in Internet cafes.

So if you have no internet connection, no problem. You can carry your data locally on the USB and know that you can open it as long as you can get to a Windows computer. Since they still seem to be the most prominent computers in most countries, the chances will be pretty good.

Besides for not having to lug around an extra piece of technology everywhere you go, this has one other great benefit. It can help you reduce your reliance on big companies that suck you dry of your data and personal information in exchange for supposedly free services. Just keep it on your USB so there is no dependence on online data storage and you don't need to email every last document to yourself.

Portable apps are a great way to ensure you have your important files with you and can use them. With some USB drives being smaller than the size of a penny, there is no reason not to carry these programs on your key ring, even if you do happen to have your computer along. Finally, this is yet another way you can become familiar with Open Source software. Don't forget that most commercial programs don't have this convenience. . .

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