Everyone who has at least some relation to IT, from time to time, has the idea to make a selection of tiny and useful software. First off, it's just fun. Secondly, such programs can be installed on a Windows tablet, where free space is always in short supply.
In addition, you can put the collection you created on some compact media, such as a miniSD card, – what if it comes in handy? As a rule, small programs consume few resources and work fine on ancient or weak computers. Do you think that users all over the world keep up to date and old computers have long lived out their days in the trash? I can disappoint you: there are many organizations where "dinosaurs" with Windows XP are still used, there are the same tablets with Windows, where most of the internal memory is occupied by Windows itself, and almost all the software has to be stored on an SD card, because which greatly affects the performance.
Today we will try to create such a selection that includes a browser, a messenger, a text editor and a couple of utilities like a picture viewer or a file download. We are only interested in the smallest utilities, up to 10 MB, the smaller the better (but for some, an exception will be made). Of course, there are portable versions of well-known applications that occupy several hundred megabytes. Such "portable" versions on older computers may not even start at all, and for several reasons at once: there are no necessary libraries (like the latest .Net versions) or resources are corny. So we will not consider them.
We will check all the described software for performance on a computer with Windows XP, and also try to run it on a dozen.
Let's start with the browser, the most important component of our collection. After all, with its help you can find other programs on the Web, read mail or the Hacker magazine. When you think about a portable browser, the first thing that comes to mind is Tor Browser, which works without installation and also allows you to protect yourself from prying eyes. But its latest version is unpacked as much as 194 MB! This is a lot for our selection, and we exclude it from the list of candidates for getting into the list of compact software.
There are not so many compact browsers on our planet. Most of them are based on either Mozilla or Chromium, which implies a rather impressive size. Tor Browser (works on the basis of Firefox), we repeat, after unpacking it took 194 MB, SlimBrowser (based on Chromium) – 176 MB.
One of the most compact browsers is called NetSurf. Its installer weighs only 6 MB, and after installation, the browser takes 15.3 MB on disk. There is no official portable version, but you can install it on any computer, and then just copy the program folder to the USB flash drive and it will work (checked while writing the article).
NetSurf Benefits – Lightweight and fast.
- The Cyrillic alphabet in the browser header and in the address bar is not displayed correctly, but there are no problems with Russian letters on the pages themselves, everything looks readable.
- In Windows 10, the browser crashed several times while surfing, in Windows XP it works stably on the same pages.
- Not all pages are displayed correctly.
Do you think 15 MB is the limit? No, this is complete mess! Because the browser D + takes up only 1.27 MB. To view simple pages, its capabilities will be quite enough. That's only in XP, he has difficulties with the UTF-8 encoding: for some reason, not all characters are displayed, although there are no problems with the seven and ten. Although the browser is not perfect, but 1.27 MB in 2020 is impressive.
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