10 Essential Apps you Should Keep on USB Stick

TEHRAN (FNA)- In Depth It’s more like carrying around your own computer in your pocket.
USB memory sticks are so cheap these days that it’s not uncommon to own several, and even the larger capacity ones won’t break the bank. Shop around and you can find a 64GB stick for as little as £20.

With such large capacities available, you can store an awful lot of documents, photos and even music files, but that’s all a little boring when with a little imagination, you can turn a USB stick into a veritable Swiss-army knife of tools and utilities.

With the right tools, you can safely browse the web, check your email or even edit your photos, no matter what’s installed on the PC you’re using.
You can even pack a portable fix-it suite for those times when you’re asked why a relative’s computer seems to be plagued with pop-up browser windows and viruses.
1. Browse the web in safety
Both Chrome and Firefox have portable versions, which can be downloaded. Once installed to the USB stick you can even add most of your favourite add-ons and extensions, such as NoScript, Xmarks and Lastpass, so you can block malicious behaviour, sync all your bookmarks with your home PC and securely access your Internet site passwords.
Because you’re running the browser from the USB stick, you won’t leave any cookies, browsing history or temporary files on the computer you’re using, so it’s ideal for use in Internet cafes, or where you don’t want people to know what you’ve been looking at!
2. Keep your passwords safe
If you prefer not to store your passwords online with a service such as LastPass, then you may want make use of a password vault instead. KeePass is a free password manager, which is secured with a single master key.
You’re not restricted to keeping internet passwords in KeyPass, you can add pretty much anything you like and it’s a useful place for keeping important information such as Windows or software serial numbers, bank card PINs, email server connection details, usernames and passwords and so on.
Just make sure that the master key you choose to encrypt your password database with is suitably strong and not something you’re going to forget in a hurry!
3. Zip it up
Ok, so while Windows does have the ability to both open and create zip files, it’s a pretty basic beast at best. It will only open files with the .zip extension too, so if you’re the sort of person who likes to download .rar files then you’re out of luck. 7-Zip is one of the better desktop archiving tools and there’s a portable version, too.
7-Zip can open quite a few compressed archive formats, including CAB and ISO files (useful for extracting individual Windows files), as well as the usual ZIP, RAR, GZIP, TAR and ARJ. As a bonus, you can encrypt archives for security (see point 10).
4. An office away from home
We are of course big fans of the cloud and applications such as Google Docs and Microsoft SkyDrive, but if you don’t have an Internet connection, then these aren’t so helpful. Step forward the portable office app.
LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org are both fully-featured suites, which have very good office compatibility and as they are both open source, there’s no expensive upgrade fees when you want to get the latest version.
5. Picture this
So, you’ve helped your granny transfer her photos from her smartphone to her laptop, but now she wants to edit them and Windows paint isn’t really up to the job. Thankfully you’ve brought along your USB stick and The Gimp, a powerful, open-source image editor that rivals Adobe Elements. Download it and you’ll be cropping, resizing, colour correcting and masking in no time at all.
6. Entertain me
With USB sticks available in capacities up to 128GB (albeit at a premium price), you can pretty much carry around your entire music collection, along with a handful of movies for good measure.
There’s no guarantee that the computer you end up using will have a media player, or even the right codecs installed though, which is where VLC Media Player comes in.
VLC is able to play virtually any media format you can throw at it, without the need to download CODEC packs, including FLV, DIVX, MP3, FLAC, MKV and many, many more.
7. Data disaster
While the windows recycle bin gives everyone a second chance on file deletion, it’s not fool proof, and there’s no safety net for removable and network drives. If you need to recover deleted data, the worst thing you can do is install more software, running the chance of over-writing any remaining file fragments.
Recuva is available for 32 and 64-bit systems, can recover image and document files, deleted email, restore unsaved Word Doc crashes and will even attempt to recover files from formatted drives.
8. Keep the viruses at bay 
You may be confident your own PC is free from viruses, but can you trust anyone else’s? Well, don’t take the risk and carry around your own digital prophylactic in the form of ClamWin, an open-source virus scanner.

9. Beat the spies
Most anti-virus programs aren’t that good at finding spyware or other malicious software, so make sure you give any system you are using the all-clear, before you do anything sensitive, such as Internet Banking. Spybot Search & Destroy is one of the best known spyware scanners and removers and will even enable you delete those annoying tracking cookies used for advertising.
10. Protect the stick
Of course, one of the biggest drawbacks with USB memory sticks is that they’re so damn small, they are all too easy to lose. If you have any sensitive information on the stick which you want to keep private, then you need some way of securing it.
FreeOTFE is an encryption tool that will run from your USB stick, enabling you to encrypt and decrypt files on the fly. However, it does require admin rights on the computer you are using, so consider using encrypted zip files instead (see point 3), if this is likely to be an issue.

A walk through the National Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate Pokuase

I undertook a long walk through the preserved government lands solely dedicated to the service of modernised farming in the country courtesy Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It is a vast stretch of land which falls within Pokuase, and even though I do not know the precise boundaries I believe it also falls on some part of Amasaman lands. 


Pokuase is a popular town situated in the Ga West Municipality of the Trobu Amasaman Constituency within the Greater Accra Region.

During my free days I often undertake long distance walks within the neighborhood and even beyond the town, as far as I can go all by foot for reasons f exercising my body, freeing my mind whiles appreciating nature and also as a way for me to familiarize myself properly with my new environment.


This week walks was from the National Agricultural Crop Research Centre through to its deep reserved lands nearing Amasaman where they have their Seed Inspection and Certification Division situated.

Crops admiration

I observed that most of the land is left unused, either bushy or ploughed left unused and at the mercy of the weather. Some little portions of the farm had crops of different varieties planted on perhaps by individual staffs for their own consumption or other personal gains but all in scattered locations mostly looking dry and pale.


Most of the crops looked not too good, left to the mercy of the sun in this dry dusty weather. There were no irrigation systems in place for watering, and one could observe that the thick cloudy dust from the poor dusty road which links Pokuase to Amasaman within the farmland had all settled on crops which are either closer to the road or had no trees or plants as boundary fence. 


Plants along the farms boundaries provides cooler environment for the crops as well as acting as a blockade preventing the dust from settling directly on these planted crops.

The dusty road from Pokuase Abensu linking Amasaman, also passes through this Agric land.

This cloudy thick dust produced by vehicles plying this route on daily basis has led to the diminishing of the proper greenery in these plants which are supposed to appear to the admiration of the human eyesight. Something which is a contributing factor to the ow level of harvest after a long month work of these farms.


Buildings for staff and animal breeding

I did spot pockets of buildings which were also scattered  all over the long stretch of land, some of them either residential settlements for staffers or structures which used to  house  livestock like poultry birds like goats, sheep, piqs etc either for research purposes or for raising them for the meat or both.


Yet again most of these houses for animal research are in ruin after what could be seen as many years of total neglect. Some of these structures have collapsed and there were total dirt of animal faeces piled up like what we see on yam farms, very similar to yam mount but in larger sizes. 


It baffled me alot and I ask for reasons to why would the Ghanaian government very much aware that Agriculture is the backbone of its economy, the present and the future yet actually allow the most important instrument for the success of the agric industry to go totally neglected and rotting whiles other African countries wish they had such facilities.

As a matter of fact I strongly share the opinion that the visionary Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did not set up such facilities for other governments to collapse them for pleasure, recklessness or for whatever their reason might be, and most importantly this is a property of the state therefore any political head who is given the mantle to lead this nation owes it a duty to be a responsible care taker of such important facility as well as any other facility in this nature.

This vast agricultural land has become almost useless in this modern time where the demand for agricultural produce is rather on such a high demand. The sad thing is that I observed it is getting worse from time to time. The structures there are fast deteriorating before this recent visit I observed that things were not as okay as they are today.

In May 2013 when I passed through that farmland I appreciated the beauty of a pineapple farm which was cropped on a piece of land nearby. Its vastness could be at least a three acre plantation of pineapple only farm. At that time it was very greeny and beautiful because the rains used to fall at least twice every three weeks.

Captured in May 2013. A Large plantation of pineapple yet to bear it fruit.

These days the weather is very unpredictable, changes in the normal pattern of rainfall has had a very crushing effects on farming in Ghana entirely but for a national agricultural research centre of this calibre to taste this crushing weather where even the simplest form of irrigation system is missing is  not something to cry home about. Seriously I find this disgraceful and recklessness on the side of authorities in charge.

I believe there are many more challenges with the agric industry in Ghana and the blame is to be placed squarely on our government for its almost total neglect of such very important research centre. Lack of commitment in supporting the research industry is gradually seeing modern agric into its grave. With the Nation`s biggest agric research centre at pokuase as the yardstick of my observation, things could even go worse.

Captured in May 2013. A Large plantation of pineapple yet to bear it fruit.

I should add that I did also come across pockets of ant hills also known as termite mounds which looks soo beautiful and protected. God knows for how long they have been there. But I admire its beauty always.I think its a priceless piece of architecture any animal has ever produced.

A Complex Termite moundon the farmland



I posed with one of the termite mound.

In ending up my writing I strongly think it is high time we awaken our senses as a nation to be more serious with agriculture.

As we can see from the account so far, it is clear that the state of agriculture is in a deplorable situation and with serious attitude and commitment towards this crucial sector, this sector can absorb at least 70% of the unemployed in this country. It will also sufficiently ensure food security for the people of this nation and more. The government has to act urgently to avoid Ghana`s agricultural sector from falling into its grave.

here are some of the huge trees on the reserved farmland.

here are some of the huge trees on the reserved farmland.

here are some of the huge trees on the reserved farmland.

by : Sultan Nuhu Mohammed



Ghana is in serious danger from the Plant Breeders Bill currently before Parliament. The bill is a giveaway of our agricultural heritage and our agricultural future to western multinational corporations. In return, Ghana gets nothing but false and empty promises. MPs have been promised investment will come from the bill. It will be the same extractive investment that has plagued African countries for centuries, investment designed to extract the wealth from Ghana, including our water and soil nutrients, for the benefit of western investors and the expansion of western monopolies.


The Plant Breeders Bill destroys farmers’ rights and freedoms and expands the rights and reach of multinational corporations. The bill is based on UPOV 1991, a restrictive and inflexible legal regime. It is focused solely on promoting and protecting industrial seed breeders that develop genetically uniform seeds/plant varieties suited to mechanized large-scale agriculture growing monocultures for export.

The history of UPOV laws such as the Plant Breeders’ Bill is one of an ongoing and apparently limitless expansion of seed company rights while farmers’ rights and freedoms shrink to nothing.

The Plant Breeders Bill will make it illegal for farmers to engage in their age-old practice of freely saving, using, sharing and selling seeds. They will not be permitted to freely save, share, or sell seeds from previous seasons for planting in subsequent seasons. Farmers using saved seed may be required to pay royalties to the multinational breeders. Saved seeds may even be confiscated and destroyed. In this respect, the Plant Breeders’ Bill literally outlaws the business of farming.

The bill will reduce employment and the number of jobs. The bill will require farmers to buy new seed every year and buy the toxic chemicals that are required for use with these corporate seeds. This will drive many farmers into debt. Burdened by
debt, farmers are likely to lose their farms, and those working on farms will move to the cities, where there are no jobs to replace the lost farming jobs.

Farmers will be forced to buy the limited variety of seeds available from multinational corporate plant breeders.

The Plant Breeders’ Bill aims to replace traditional varieties of seeds with uniform commercial varieties and force the dependency of smallholders on commercial seed varieties. The effect of these laws in other countries is to drastically reduce the number of varieties of available seed.

The seed varieties sold by the multinational corporations require repeated and increasing applications of toxic chemicals in order to grow. Farmers will be forced to purchase and use these chemicals which pollute the plants, the soil, the water, and air. Right now Ghanaian grown food is relatively free of chemicals. This bill will destroy that.

Clause 23 gives away Ghana’s sovereignty. The rights of the multinational plant breeder corporations are held above the rights of Ghanaians. If Ghana passes laws to protect our health and environment from the plant breeder corporations it could be subject to massive judgment debts.

The Plant Breeders’ Bill facilitates biopiracy, the theft of the genetic inheritance of
Ghanaians, the germplasm of Ghana’s seeds, which for centuries we have developed freely with seeds grown and traded collectively as part of our farming culture. The bill does not provide for mechanisms of prior informed consent and access and benefit sharing. The multinationals will then use the seed DNA Ghanaians have developed, saved, and shared to develop seeds to sell back to Ghana.

Farmers have not been consulted, or even informed about the bill’s features and implications even though it will change their entire way of life and their ability to farm at all. The US Embassy, Western governments and corporations have advised Parliament on the Plant Breeders Bill, not farmers. The Plant Breeders Bill protects the private sector, mostly multinational agribusiness corporations, under the pretext that this is in the interest of small-scale farmers.



By Food Sovereignty Ghana
Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah,

Chairperson, FSG

Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

My Wall Clock. Same Every Day

“Every day is a fresh beginning, 
I always watch you for a while
I turn till my eyes gaze into you.
And in that very moment
I get to know my right and left
When I wake up every morning
I am lost in paradise until you guide me.
A fresh and brand new time.
I wake up early to one task.
Every day I wake to confirm my presence on earth.
And, I wake to one task.
To Perform Salaat and do zikr as long as I can.
Dear Watch may you be blessed.
As I wake up to you for a service.”

Poem by : Sultan Nuhu Mohammed