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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Portable Applications

    <A target="_blank" HREF="http://portableapps.com/">PortableApps.com | Your Digital Life, Anywhere

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Applications

    I want to believe that this is a good idea, but I haven't yet figured out how to prevent viral infection/trojanization/erasure of my portable office from the USB drive when inserted into an untrusted public PC. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications

    If your USB drive is like mine, it will have a physical "read-only" switch. I'm not sure if these applications will all run correctly without being able to persist some state data to disk, but it's sure worth a try!

  5. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Applications

    > If your USB drive is like mine, it will have a physical "read-only" switch.

    My old Memorex 256 does, but none of the ones I saw when shopping recently have such a switch. I guess it cost money. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Many of these newer products come with special partitioning software that creates a hidden partition on the stick. Problem is, to use it, you have to install software that makes it visible to the OS, at which moment it ceases to be a secret...

    I'm thinking at the moment that for my purposes (I will be able to compare it with or rebuild it from my computer at regular intervals), what I might do is install a "file change monitor" program on the stick and run that immediately upon attaching it to the untrusted PC. Hopefully this would alert me to any problems in real time. Of course, if the stick is immediately erased or reformatted, I'd have no difficulty discovering the change myself. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    > I'm not sure if these applications will all run correctly without being able to persist some
    > state data to disk, but it's sure worth a try!

    If I recall correctly, this is configurable. By default, Portable Firefox does not cache to the USB drive because every read/write cycle shortens the life of flash memory. (Of course, waiting for pages to reload shortens my life, in a sense...)

    Added: The reason the 256 is not sufficient is that Portable Firefox+OpenOffice apparently requires 256MB by itself!

  6. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications

    The other guys in my IT team love them for moving data from place to place, but always stress that they shouldn't be used for stand-alone data storage - they reckon they're not stable enough for that, and have had several users lose data that was stored only on a USB device (they're nicknamed dongles in <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18>, I don't know why).

    My experience is slightly different. My employer provided me with a new dongle; I put a database that I'd been working on onto it, and put it in my trouser pocket. Forgetting to empty my pockets, the trousers then went in the washing machine, dongle and all. (Now that's what you call data cleansing!). The serial number is now a bit faint, but all the data was still on there, intact. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I think the golden rule, as with any data that matters, is to keep a backup somewhere. But I wholeheartedly recommend dongles.
    Waggers
    If at first you do succeed, you&#39;ve probably missed something.

  7. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications

    <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>....dongle the word use for a USB memory stick is news to me.

    There are a number of difinitions for dongles, one being "an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software"

    Have look at this Dongle <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Jerry

  8. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications

    One of my clients refers to my USB flash memory device as a "Dork Stick". Makes me chuckle every time I hear it.,

  9. #8
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    Re: Portable Applications

    I just bought a 2G SD card to use in my iPaq, and they gave me a freebie USB device that looks like a pen drive but has an SD card slot. It works really well and was a pretty good price. I now have a use for all my old slightly small SD cards!

    StuartR

  10. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications

    Interesting - must be a local thing. I've heard quite a number of people use it to mean a USB memory stick. ("USB memory stick" is a bit of a mouthful, so it would be good to come up with an alternative word!)
    Waggers
    If at first you do succeed, you&#39;ve probably missed something.

  11. #10
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    Re: Portable Applications

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by JohnBF on 07-Feb-06 08:41. )</P>Loungers, if you are, on a regular basis, using a Portable Applications suite (such as mentioned in Office Watch 11-04 #5) on a USB flash drive (such as Sandisk Cruzer 4Gb) , I'd like to hear about your results and issues.

    For that matter, I'd like to hear from anyone who is using OpenOffice Suite about their perceptions of the product.

    This is starting to look like a viable option for me, but I would like to understand more about flash Drive accessibility, how one goes about printing, and other utility issues. (I don't want to leave personal data on company and public access computers, but I need to be able to carry and use personal confidential data on a number of different computers.)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    [acronym title="Gday mate!"][/acronym] [acronym title="What up Dude?"][/acronym] UTC -7±DS

  12. #11
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    Re: Portable Applications - Thanks, but ...

    Thanks for the responses and discussion, but you have all missed the point of my question, so I edited my question to be more clear. I'm specifically interested in the experiences of any Loungers who are routinely running applications from their flash drive, not just storing data on it.

    (Waggers, don't feel picked on, yours was the best answer to reply to. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    [acronym title="Gday mate!"][/acronym] [acronym title="What up Dude?"][/acronym] UTC -7±DS

  13. #12
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Portable Applications - Thanks, but ...

    <img src=/S/whisper.gif border=0 alt=whisper width=29 height=17>No worries. I'd be interested in people's views on this too so thanks for reminding me that this thread is here!
    Waggers
    If at first you do succeed, you&#39;ve probably missed something.

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