CTRL-ALT-DELiver 11 looks at LiberKey, a portable application solution that has something for everyone. For teachers and students, we look at another of the great Web 2.0 Tools, FlipSnack- a digital publishing website.
As I start looking at alternatives to the software that we use most often, I usually look for something “portable”. In software terms, this means that it does not install itself into the machine that you are using it on or write to the registry. What that means for you, the end user, is that you can carry your main applications on a USB key and have access to them anywhere that you go. A secondary advantage to portable apps is the ability to restore a computer that has crashed, without going through lengthy install procedures.
You can imagine my happiness, then, on learning about Liberkey. It is the one stop shop for most of the applications that you will need (and many that you didn’t even know you needed). A quick look at the New Apps and Update toolbar on the right hand side of the welcome screen gives you an indication of what you can expect to find. Convert media files, download files , email and IM clients, file managers,and even an education program for Astronomy. And that is JUST from the New and Update list. There are currently over 300 applications available.
Liberkey comes in three “suites”, so you can determine the size of your initial download. If disk space is limited for you, start with the Basic Suite. As you can see, it comes with 12 applications: an audio player, a video player, cd-dvd burner, compression, 2 image editing, browser (Firefox), and several desktop tools. It’s a great place to start and you can always add to it.
The next step is the STANDARD Suite with a whopping 89 applications (Check the site for the complete list).
And, just in case you felt like you were missing out on something, there is the ULTIMATE Suite with 164 applications.
I like knowing, upfront, not only how large the download itself is, but also how much space will it take up “unpacked”. You install the menu system for Liberkey, but all of the apps are basically just “unpacked” into their own individual folders. (Folders that, by the way, can be individually dragged onto a USB key so that the program runs from the drive with no installation necessary. On a side note, I have often had success with doing that with a number of programs that were not designated as “portable apps”. Give it a try. Your mileage may vary, but no harm in trying.) Another great aspect of the Liberkey system is that it will automatically let you know when updates are available for the programs in your suite (and anything that you might add to it in the future.) Check it out and let me know what you think. I know there are several options out there that are similar, such as PenDriveApps. Let me know which of them is your own personal favorite and why.
My site of the week this week is FlipSnack. This is a great site for turning PDF into online Flash Flipbooks. With the ability to create rich pages in Microsoft Office and save them as PDF’s, this is the next step to putting them online in an elegant presentation. The site also contains Banner Makers, Podcast and YouTube Player creation, and QuizSnack, an online poll creator. Check it out at FlipSnack.com
Did Tech fail me? Two weeks ago I told you about the situation with my niece’s husband Glen. I talked a little bit about their WordPress website to keep people informed on developments http://sandraglen.wordpress.com I talked a little bit about MealTrain.com and the high-tech bed that they had Glen in to help his breathing. Sadly, Glenroy Walker passed away this past week, never recovering from the tragic head-on collision. And so do I feel like the technology failed? No. Unfortunately, it was the frailty of the human body that failed in this case. Their WordPress site at this writing has over 90,000 hits in the last two weeks. Countless people have shared their thoughts and prayers. Donations have been given. People are being kept abreast of all of the progress that Sandra has made, and are now able to read HER posts, as well. None of this would have happened without technology. While the technology helps us to connect, it is the generosity and kindness of the human heart that makes us WANT to connect. And so I am thankful for both sides of the coin. We will all miss you, Glen…especially your Uncle Jim.