With a 8 or 16gb usb pen you may be wandering what to fill it up with?

Well dont, here is a “getting started” list to fill it up 🙂

Link for the list;

100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (both for Mac and Win)

Free Portable Apps This stuff can be installed on any portable drive, i.e. USB thumbdrive, PDA or an iPod. You can use them at work, school, or any other place where you can plugin your device. Check them out, you can either scroll-down for relevant category, i.e office software, email tools, messengers, games, etc. or get a ‘all-in-one’ package (all essential tools) . While there are more apps for windows users, I tried to include a mac version for each essential tool. All free. Enjoy!

What is a portable program ? : A portable program is a piece of software that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any other computer. It can be your email program, your browser, system recovery tools or even an operating system. The coolest part about it, is that all of your data and settings are always stored on a thumbdrive so when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.

Portable Office Software

  • Abiword [Win (6.3 mb) / Mac (9.5 mb)] – word processor (compatible with Microsoft word)
  • OpenOffice [Win (65 mb) / Mac (127 mb)] – free alternative to Microsoft Office (fully compatible with Microsoft Office docs)
  • PDF Viewers: Sumatra [Win (1.1 mb) ], Foxit PDF Reader [Win, (1.8 mb) ]
  • Notepad ++ – feature-rich Notepad replacement.

Portable Email/Calendar/ToDo Programs

Portable Text and Voice Messengers

  • All-in-One (Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, etc.): Gaim [Win, 6.9 mb], Miranda IM [Win, 1.2 mb], Adium [Mac, 15.5mb], Trillian [Win]
  • iChat [Mac] – requires locally installed iChat
  • Newspeak [Mac, 1mb] – Newspeak Cocoa IRC client
  • Skype – exlpains how to make skype portable

Portable Media Tools (Audio / Video)

  • Audacity [Win (2.4 mb), Mac (5mb)] – simple audio editor and recorder
  • VLC [Win (9.3 mb), Mac (24 mb)] – powerful media player that plays almost all popular audio and video formats
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with Media Player (resource unaccessible) – another powerful media player for playing all conceivable formats
  • iShout [Mac, 7mb] – record and listen to your favorite internet radios.
  • CocoaJT [Mac, 8.7mb] – stream live TV programs from major broadcast channels.

Portable Graphics Viewers and Image Editors


  • GIMP [Win (8.6 mb), Mac (87.5 mb)] – free alternative to Photoshop
  • IrfanView [Win, 1013kb] – fast graphic viewer with basic image editing features
  • XNView [Win, Mac, Linux] – image viewer and converter (supports more then 400 image formats)
  • Inkscape [Mac, 24.6mb] – scalable vector graphics editor

Portable Browsers and Internet Tools (FTP, Feedreaders, Torrent Clients…)

Portable Security Software

  • Antivirus: ClamWin [Win, 5.9mb], Dr.Web CureIt [Win, 5.5 mb]
  • Keepass Password [Win, 1mb] – securely store and manage your passwords
  • Omziff [Win, 0.5mb] – lets you encrypt/decrypt a file, using secure encryption algorithms. Also includes a password generator, file shredder, file splitter and some more tools.
  • LockNote [Win] – simple text file that lets you store sensitive info with 256bit password encryption.
  • RoboFor2Go [Win] – secure password manager and form filler
  • Smart Sniff [Win, 57kb] – lets you inspect network traffic that passes via your network adapter.

Portable Games

Other Portable Utilities

  • 7Zip [Win, 1.1 mb] – file archiver and compressor, supports 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR and more
  • Registry Tweaker [Win, 1.52mb] – registry tweaking tool
  • Restoration [Win, 229kb] – handy program for recovering deleted (or formatted) files
  • YamiPod [Win] – powerful iPod manager (copy mp3/AAC files to and from your iPod, import/export playlists, search for songs, remove duplicates,..). More iPod tools
  • Drive Manager [Win, 1191 kb] – quick summary for each local and removable drive.
  • PStart – lets you organize and create menu-like list for quicker access to your portable programs.
  • SyncPAppX – script that syncs preferences between portable and local applications.
  • RQ Money – handy utlity to manage your credits and debts
  • SIW – a system analysis tool that tells you almost everything you need to know about a computer, i.e. hardware, configuration settings, etc.
  • WinAudit – one more analysis tool
  • Convert [Win, 155 kb] – fast metric unit conversion tool (distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass…)
  • UK Calender [Win, 321kb] – straightforward calendar with ToDo and reminders
  • CPU-Z [Win] – provides detailed info about your processor and other components
  • Country Codes [Win, 1358 kb] – a small database of country codes and additional information for all countries.
  • TreePad Lite [Win, 866kb] – personal database program, lets you store all your notes, emails, bookmarks, etc. into one well-structured file
  • StartupList [Win, 158 kb] – displays all items that are in any way related to your computer startup and are executed without any user interactions
  • eTextReader [Win, 279kb] – read plain text files provided by Project Gutenberg in a book-like manner.
  • Index Your Files [Win, 640kb] – provides an easy way to create index databases (of specified folders and drives) for quick file/term search
  • RockXP [win, 768kb] – handy utility for retrieving Win XP’s product key
  • WhoisThisDomain [Win, 42kb] – view owner and registration info for any domain name
  • Converter – portable unit convertsion utility

Portable Developer Tools (Techies Only)

  • Nvu [Win (7.3 mb), Mac (12 mb)] – easy-to-use webpage editor. Simpler alternative to Dreamweaver and Microsft Frontpage
  • Server2Go – apache webserver (no configurations needed)
  • InstantRails[Win, 60mb] – contains Ruby, Rails, Apache, and MySQL, all preconfigured and ready to run.
  • Putty [Win, 0.9 mb] – lightweight telnet and SSH client
  • Follow-Me IP – displays your external IP address
  • XAMPP [Win, 25/17 mb] – integrated server package of Apache, mySQL, PHP and Perl. Just Unzip and Run
  • HTTP File Server [Win] – simple and easy-to-use file server for personal file sharing.
  • CurrPorts [Win, 46kb]- lets you view a list of ports that are currently in use, along with applications that use them
  • FTP Servers: Quick’n Easy FTP Server [Win, 355kb], PureFTPdManager [Mac, 10.9mb]

All-In-One Packages

  • PortableApps Suite [Win, 89.5mb] – includes 7 programs for essential needs (office, email, IM client, etc.) + cool Startup manager and backup utility
  • FSuite [Mac, 668.3mb] – over 30 useful tools in one file (Office, Graphic, Audio, Video, Internet, Developer Tools and Games)

Portable Operating Systems (’HowTo’ Articles)

USB ThumDrive Tips

That’s mainly it… In case you’re looking for something that wasn’t mentioned above, there are a couple of resources you may want to check out. These are Portablefreeware.com and Tinyapps.org

I keep forgetting how to uninstall the ePO agent, so this is mostly a reminder to myself;

Command line to manually remove ePolicy Orchestrator.
FrmInst.exe /REMOVE=Agent

FrmInst.exe is in the “program filesmcafee…..” directory…

And no you are right its generally not a good idea to remove the ePO agent, however as we are moving to Microsoft Forefront Client Security we sometime come across a remaining ePO agent which makes not much sense 🙂

Useful Command Lines;
Uninstall McAfee Virus Scan 8.6
MsiExec /X{35C03C04-3F1F-42C2-A989-A757EE691F65} /q
Uninstall McAfee Virus Scan 8.0i
msiexec /uninstall {5DF3D1BB-894E-4DCD-8275-159AC9829B43} /qn
Uninstall McAfee Virus Scan 7.1
MsiExec /X {59224777-298D-4E9C-9AEB-4A91BDA01B27} /q

Uninstall ePO agent;
"C:\Program Files\Network Associates\Common Framework\FrmInst.exe" /forceuninstall
"C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\FrmInst.exe" /forceuninstall

If you are lazy (like me ;-)), then I have created an uninstaller that will do all the work for you,
it was created in the AutoIT script language, you can download it both as a
stand alone EXE and an AU3 (the script file);

or the compiled EXE version here

Want to know more about the AutoIT script engine? look here; 

If uninstall FAILS, then here is McAfee’s own guide for manual removal;

Here is a tip for backing up all those product keys you have on your system today (be that the key to your CD burner software or the latest version of World of Warcraft).

We all hate to reinstall our PC, but every now and again it is necessary.  One of the very annoying things are all those serial keys you enter for your products, where DID you write that down or print it out to when you bought it.

Well this product will assist you with this, it can extract serial/product keys for a ton of programs all in one convenient sweep and at a price of just 29$ it is a bargain, just run in before a reinstall and print a report, that was the good news.  Good news often is accompanied by bad and this is no exception, the very same product can be used by evil doers to extract YOUR serial/product keys from YOUR machine all they need is to have physical access to it, or if they know your credentials they can even do so via the network.


Linux warning; Debian/Ubuntu and other linux installations are in extreme risk as a very serious vulnerability has been discovered that can allow relatively easy bruteforcing security codes generated with the affected systems.

Truth be told I don’t know much about linux so I cant really describe what the problem is and how it may affect your setup, I do however know enough to recognize that this is a very serious issue.  Actually, I used to have a Debian based VOIP server (Trixbox) up and running (guess many other are in the same situation) and the problem here is that systems like that suddenly are vulnerable.

If you have any kind of Linux installed (be that Ubuntu, Debian or just some print server in the corner office) be SURE to check the with the supplier if you have an issue and need to do some patching.

Want to know more;

Microsoft has (some time ago actually) released a utility (or security addon if you wish) for Windows XP called Steadystate;


What is does is basically to add very strict control to your desktop and to allow for guest or kiosk pc’s.
Lets say you administer a library pc, and daily have to deal with users changing settings downloading strange software/malware and basically just giving you a hard time.  Well with Steadystate you can inflict strict rules on what a user can and can not do, you can add time-limits for usage and finnaly (and this is the neat part) you can have the computer restore to a predefined setup at fixed intervals (or at every boot/logoff if you prefer).

In a corporate domain setup the software does not seem that interesting as many of the settings can be set via GPO’s, but for kiosk pc’s it’s neat.  And as the author of a commercial predecessor I should know 😉 www.security-setup.dk did basically the same thing just not in the same dept and detail.

If you have a kiosk pc environment, hared pc’s or your kids just keep messing their installations up this may be worth a look.  and the final good news, ITS FREE!!

JEROME J. NIEDERMEIER, United States Magistrate Judge. has ruled in favour of the defendant in a case of a subpoenaed Password for a laptop.

The case concerned a computer user which laptop was ceased during a border-crossing, the laptop allegedly contained child porn but was encrypted using PGP, a grand jury had subpoenaed the defendant to turn over the password but the defendant denied and claimed the “Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination!”. This was later backed up by “JEROME J. NIEDERMEIER, United States Magistrate Judge”.

I do in no way condone any possession or usage of child pornography, but even though I am pleased with the ruling – as it in my world is a victory for personal privacy.  The issue is today of little relevance, as it could be avoided using Truecrypt with a hidden secret partition (a hidden encrypted partition within a regular encrypted partition – refer to Truecrypt.org for further details).



PC Inspector a free HDD recovery software, I have not tested this (hope I never need to 😉 ) but it does sound quite nice and feature rich.

Thanks to: Torben Slaikjer for the link.

or just http://www.pcinspector.de/

4s.gifIf you want to manually update the definitions in MS-Forefront Client Security you can download them here;

Download (Always the latest, downloads as an .exe file ready for installation).

For further details refer to;

Update Dec 2009;
for tips on how to do a scripted (eg. daily) download look here;

Just a quick note on FCS (Forefront Client Security – Microsofts antivirus solution), I was in doubt if it would be a good idea to install Windows Defender as an added security to FCS, a quick Googling revealed that;

Answer found on Technet.
Client Security cannot be used to manage Windows Defender – as a matter of fact, Client Security requires that Windows Defender be removed.

Windows Defender can be managed with a Group Policy – please see the last item here: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/about/releasenotes.mspx

–Kimborly Ditto-Ehlert

for full post;

Just a word of caution in conjunction with my previous description of the online backup service KeepIT.com

I bought this service after a short test of their free 2gb offering, the price seemed fair and they offered unlimited storage space.  Things did not go smoothly though, at first their client software 1.0 was very poor, the client software seemed utterly unstable;

  • VERY slow (up to 10 minutes) when you tried to select what to backup. 
  • It was as good as impossible to tell what had been backuped (logging was very inadequate).
  • Client software would connect and disconnect from the server totally outside your control.
  • And the final nail in the coffin, when you need to restore you have ONE option – ALL or NOTHING, yes that is right you need to restore EVERYTHING it is not possible to just select the one file or files you need.

To top everything off a few extra actions was added to the story that forced me to discontinue my account; When I ordered the product I read the description on their website and downloaded and tested their product on my Win 2003 server, and everything seemed to be in order, however after returning from a weeks vacation in Milano I found that the backup job had stalled.  All attempts to get it back up and running failed, so at last I contacted their support mail.  The response was surprising, “our software do not support Windows 2003 server – have a nice day!” and then a link to a sub-page on their web site where this was stated.  Well what surprises me was that I never saw this while ordering and testing (we all know it is impossible to make the installer software not allowing installation on unsupported systems, sarcasm ;-)), so I can only come to the conclusion that this restriction was either added after I bought the product or very poorly described.  Anyhow the story ends somewhat satisfying, after a lot of writing back and forth KeepIT.com has agreed to return my payment and cancle my service.

A final word of caution, and perhaps the most important;
If you read the FAQ on KeepIT.com website (at least as it is today) you will find that if you loose your crypto key there is NO WAY of restoring your data, I found this very reassuring when I bought the product (as this meant my data was 100% private and secure).  However upon reading the “Terms of usage” VERY closely you will be surprised to find that not only do KeepIT.com have a ‘sparekey’ they also reserve the right to decrypt and examine your data without prior warning if they so see fit, unless you explicit request that they do not store a ‘sparekey’ (this if however NEVER an option during the orderprocess).  I find this option utterly disturbing.

I suggest you take a look at www.idrive.com instead, this service is cheaper has better client software and seem to respect your privacy.  I will see if I cant make a short review / comparison later.