Setting up a travel computer – Free apps most of the way


I recently took an old 12 inch laptop and re-built it as a travel computer.  It was a fairly easy thing to do and after looking around online, I managed to get lots of very useful software for Free. I’m sure there are other software applications that I missed so feel free to recommend some if you know of any via the comments field.

On a side note I’m still considering buying one of the new 10" Acer Netbooks for Luciana.


Basically a FREE photoshop – it’s been around for about 4 years and is up to version 2.6 – GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

Windows Live Writer

Writer is a desktop application that makes it easy to blog on almost any blog service—Windows Live, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, and many more. It’s great as you don’t have to be online to prepare your blog posts. Takes care of images, layouts etc.

OneWorld Timetables

Desktop application that allows you to search all Flight schedules on  oneworld member airlines and their affiliates, as well as non-oneworld codeshare partners. Great if you have a oneworld Round the world ticket and need to find an alternative flight.



Freeware application enabling adding and deleting music from any iPod – so great for getting those songs from people you meet traveling.

Web Resizer

Another FREE app – optimize pictures for websites and email. Crop, resize, add a border and sharpen your images easily. Point it at a folder full of your great, big, shiny gazillion megapixel images and it will resize them into a any size you like – great for those facebook uploads on the road.

Picasa 3

Great for sifting through 1000’s of travel photos, grouping, tagging, setting up preview albums, resizing to make ready for Facebooking and many other things.


Don’t want shell out for a real copy of Microsoft office – here’s a free alternative, looks and feels mostly the same.

Google earth

Great for so many things – from looking up anchorages, through to documenting where you’ve been. We use it to create KML files that we then FTP to our blog and that get automatically displayed on our location maps.

Nokia PC Suite

Great for backing up your sim card & mob phone before taking off – we’ve just got an old Nokia phone that we use as a conduit for our various sim cards.

Others that need no explanation

  • Skype
  • iTunes

And don’t forget one or two paid applications

Operating System – got my license key from the sticker on the back of my laptop.

Virus protection – have Mcafee, but still looking for something ‘lighter’