What programs should you have on your laptop?

LaptopApart from the usual office suite, a music and video player, a solid firewall and antivirus, I was wondering this morning what sort of programs could bring more to the typical laptop user. I’m thinking programs having to do with issues that laptop users worry about like mobility, security and connection issues.

Now four years ago, I got my laptop stolen at the office, even though it was locked away and attached with an anti-theft cable lock. I wasn’t bothered about losing my files since I had backed them up, but the most worrying was some complete stranger looking at my photos and personal files. It made me think that I should have installed a blocker of some sort. Laptop Alarm for example, which sets off an alarm if somebody tries to snatch your PC. It can also trigger passwords, automatically shut down and cut off the power supply, making it all but useless. Travelers will probably prefer Steganos Secure Traveler, which secures your drive, encrypts you mail and sets of a signal transmission to avoid theft. It also includes a shredder to get rid of these sensitive files and a password manager.

Laptop users also tend to worry about the life of their battery. Battery Doubler won’t turn a used battery into a shiny new one, but it can double its performances, by best adapting your power usage to the tasks you are performing on your laptop.

As to mobility, you should have Google Gears installed on your laptop, so you can review news feeds from Google Reader even if you’re offline. An ultra-mobile solution would be MojoPac, which can save your PC settings on any USB device, so you can connect to any PC and use it as yours. It almost makes having a laptop useless. Finally make sure you’ve got something like WirelessMon to quickly detect and connect to the best wireless connections. It should save you some time while waiting for your next flight.

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