Monday, March 23, 2009

Oooh Shiny Ten

Ten Things That Started as a Portable Apps List, Until I Got Distracted By Other Stuff

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

ClipSpeak is a "portable, lightweight text-to-speech tool that speaks text copied to the clipboard. It is intended to be as transparent as possible to the user, keeping user interface and interaction to a minimum. Features: Speak text copied (or cut) to the clipboard; stop ongoing speech with the right-control key; select the synthesizer used. If you want a free synthesizer that supports quite a number of languages, check out eSpeak.
Fully portable, small size" (OS: Windows XP)

GIMP Portable is "the popular GIMP for Windows image editor packaged as a portable app, so you can take your images with you and do your editing on the go" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista)

HearPC that allows you to hear what you type into the program's text box (great if you want to quickly check how a line of dialogue or bit of narrative sounds out loud) (OS: Windows XP/Vista)

Notepad++is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL Licence. Based on a powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendlyness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment. Main Features: Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding; WYSIWYG; User Defined Syntax Highlighting; Auto-completion; Multi-Document; Multi-View; Regular Expression Search/Replace supported; Full Drag ‘N' Drop supported; Dynamic position of Views; File Status Auto-detection; Zoom in and zoom out; Multi-Language environment supported; Bookmark; Brace and Indent guideline Highlighting; Macro recording and playback" (OS: OS: Win 9x/ME/NT/2K/XP)

Also from the designers of Notepad ++, Notepad++Portable is "the handy Notepad++ text editor packaged as a portable app so you can do your development on the go. It has all the same great features of Notepad++ including support for multiple languages and an extensive plugin system, but there's nothing to install. Main features: Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding (C, C++, HTML, ASP, Java, Pascal, CSS and more); User Defined Syntax Highlighting; Auto-completion; Multi-Document; Regular Expression Search/Replace supported; Full Drag ‘N' Drop supported; Zoom in and zoom out; Multi-Language environment supported;
Brace and Indent guideline Highlighting; Macro recording and playback" (OS: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista)

Planet Engine is "a 3D real-time planet renderer. It allows you to fly over the surface of planets and also to see them from space. You can explore real planets - like Mars and Earth - or use imaginary data. Main features: height-map for large scale terrain rendering; fractal generated bumps; high-res cube map texture; detail texture; geomorphing; atmospheric haze and fog; bump-mapping" (OS: OS: Windows 9x/ME/2000/XP/Vista; developer notes "Since this version relies on fragment programs, you need a DX9 card to run it (i.e: GeForceFX, Radeon9500.")

Quick Slideshow Creator allows the user to "create slideshows from images and music. Main features: multiple projects support; images formats: bmp, jpg, gif, png, tga, tiff, pcx; music formats: wav, mp3; over 160 transitions; sequential or random image selection; sequential or random music selection; sequential or random transition selection; selection of image and transition duration; drag & drop support" I think for those of you who want to make your own book videos but can't afford to invest in pricey software right now, this might be helpful (OS: no info provided, looks like Windows.)

Task Coach Portable is "the popular Task Coach packaged as a portable app, so you bring your to-do list and task manager with you so you always stay on top of things. You can place it on your USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive or a CD and use it on any computer, without leaving any personal information behind" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista, WINE on Linux/UNIX)

Tintii Photo Filter allows you to "highlight the striking colors of a photo while desaturating the rest to greyscale. It is also known as color popping, and famous examples are the little girl in red in Schindler's List and the dramatic style of Sin City. tintii cleverly separates the color profile of a photo into a handful of major hues. All the user need do is select which of these hues to preserve and which to become black and white. Unlike conventional techniques, there is no need to trace around the outline of objects, apply masks, or be confined to a rigid set of colors spaced equally round the color-wheel" (OS: Linux and Windows; designer notes "You will need to purchase a key to activate the optional Photoshop plug-in, only available on Windows.")

Wiki in a Jar is "a small (one jar file, <100KB) Java Wiki implementation with great focus on simplicity. It is intended to run on a USB stick as a replacement for a paper note- and address book as a Personal Information Manager (PIM). It comes with a small web server and can handle vcard (vcf) contact files. The markup is kept simple (based on Wikipedia syntax) and content is stored in plain text files. Main features: Runs on USB stick, no dependencies expcept Java 1.5 Runtime Environment; create and edit Wiki pages; simple formatting (subset of official Wikipedia syntax); support for displaying vCard contact files (.vcf); Wiki syntax support for contacts; Full text search for wiki files and contacts; Tag support and smart grouping using tag trees" (OS: no info provided, probably Windows Correction -- since it's a Java application, it's platform-independent. Any platform that can run Java (Mac, Windows, Linux) can run it. Thanks, Lee.)


  1. Lynn, my dear, regarding Wiki-in-a-Jar, since it's a Java application, it's platform-independent. Any platform that can run Java (Mac, Windows, Linux) can run it.

    Good list! Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the correction, Lee -- I'll make a note of it on the listing.


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