(+) Genealogy on a Stick

The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Now you can carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. You can use them on any Windows computer, all without leaving any personal data behind. You can do this by installing some, but not all, Windows programs onto a flash drive.

To be sure, most Windows programs will not install properly on a flash drive that is to be moved from computer to computer. The majority of Windows programs insist upon writing to the Windows Registry and also placing files in Windows’ system directories. However, a few enterprising programmers have found ways around this by modifying a number of programs. You still cannot install Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel or even Family Tree Maker onto a flash drive and then take it to another Windows computer for use. However, more than 300 other programs have been modified to run from a flash drive.

Using any of these modified programs, you can plug the flash drive into any Windows computer, such as the one on your desk at work or at a friend’s house or at a public library or at an Internet café. You can run any or all of these programs directly from the flash drive; they do not need to be installed on the computer’s hard drive. When finished, you remove the flash drive and take it with you. Best of all, your data goes with you as well. These modified programs do not write to the Windows Registry and do not leave any data behind on the computer’s hard drive. As a result, your data is secure. Your data only exists on the flash drive in your pocket or purse.

You can have everything you need for work and play with you on every PC you use. At work, at home, at school, visiting family and friends, at a library, even while traveling. And all your bookmarks, emails, personal files and settings stay right on your flash drive, as well. Now you can have your own browser with all your favorite bookmarks and extensions, your full office suite, your photo editor, your entire music collection, the presentations you plan to make, your favorite games, your development tools, a genealogy program, and more. Nothing gets left behind on the computer you used. Now, every PC becomes your PC.

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