Software Swiss Army Knife

I’m leaving tomorrow for my epic journey into Communist China. Airports aren’t very laptop-friendly, what with the complicated rules on laptop cases and the possibility of breakage (knowing me…) and since I’ll be staying at a place which definitely has a computer, all I will be bringing is a single 1GB memory stick containing some of my most important school files in case my whole remote file access plan goes ‘fubar’, so to speak, owing to internet failure in some variant. I’m also operating under the assumption that this computer isn’t going to have the software I need, which means I’m going to need a swiss army knife of software. Apart from a MS Office 2007 CD and an emergency Sabayon Linux livecd, this is the software I’ll be bringing and I’d probably suggest this list as a must-have portable apps arsenal:

1. Tor: required for internet anonymity, it acts like a proxy and I’ll definitely be using it to get round China’s great firewall if and when necessary.
2. Firefox 3.1, complete with bookmarks and extensions etc: Essential, especially as torifying Firefox is unbelievably easy (and secure)
3. WinRAR (or 7-zip): Compressed files play a big part in online file transfers
4. Xerobank Browser: Basically Firefox with Tor built into it, complete with a few security-minded plugins.
5. Run.exe: A Communist country will have Communist administrators who lock down PCs and disable access to the run commands menu. I run half my software from there (Win+R > iexplore.exe rather than *click* > *click* > *double click* > *click* etc.) so an alternative is useful
6. Truecrypt: I encrypt a lot of stuff, and Truecrypt does it best.
7. Filezilla: Best FTP software I’ve ever used. I’ll be using FTP mostly for file transfers so it’ll definitely come in handy
8. VLC: It’s often known as the swiss army knife of media players. It will play anything and everything from .mp3 to .ogg to .mkv.

Meanwhile I’ve got a proxy set up on my server (for me only I’m afraid – don’t want to get blocked by school filters). Right then, I’m all prepped. See you all on the other side, and have a great Christmas!

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