Lifehacker (and a few other places) have a story on Portable Ubuntu, a take on the more popular Portable Apps suite of programs. This makes me start thinking about how far off we are to a truly portable operating system. With Portable Apps at the moment, I can take all my programs and settings with me and use it on any computer (provided it runs Windows, which in my family is actually pretty rare). However, my ideal scenario, which may never occur, is to have a full OS-on-a-stick that I can insert in virtually any computer, whether it be Mac, Windows or Linux, and use it just like I would the native system. This would include things like a mapping suite, some version of R, as well as all the other typical office programs. In some way, this could be the ultimate stripped down laptop; super portable, useable almost anywhere you can find a computer. Thinking of it again, having the stick be a mirrored image of (most) of my laptops hard drive would be great as well, so I can take my work with me and not have to worry about what version I’m working on. Of course, for that I could always use Google Docs or something, but until they have internet access in the field, I need a non-cloud solution.
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