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Author Topic: What's the dfference between using portable installaions vs PortableApps?  (Read 8333 times)

superboyac

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I don't quite understand the purpose of something like PortableApps, so maybe we can discuss that here.
I want to setup a USB stick to carry a bunch of programs around with me for convenience.  Now, a lot of programs these days come with portable installations.  So, that means I can just run it fine off the stick.  In that case, what's the point of something like PortableApps?  Is it just a tool to launch these things?  Because if that's the case, I'd rather use something like portable FARR or another program like that.

Also, there's been a lot of talk lately of portable file associations in programs like Total Commander and XYplorer.  I can also see myself using the file manager as my portable OS.  meaning, I insert the stick in the computer, then I open the file manager, and using the portable file associations configured there, i run things off my stick as if the file manager was the central OS.

Essentially, i want to create a situation where once I stick my stick in, the computer I'm using is centered around whatever I have on the stick, not on the original computer.

Ehtyar

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PortableApps has several apps available that are not portable by nature. The apps you see there that available as portable by the original authors are there for their integration with the PortableApps menu system.

Personally, I get any portable apps I can from the author, and go to PortableApps where they aren't available. You'll often find that the modifications made by John Haller in his PortableApps can be made without the use of the PortableApps loader, except where the registry is used without option.

Ehtyar.

kartal

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I always have hardtime understanding the logic behind a "portable app" "installer". Why cannot they provide a simple zip file containing what is needed to run the damn thing?

If someone wants to provide a menu application that is fine but however an installer does not make life easier. I think that the best way would be a menu builder that scans the pointed drive for exe, bat, jar etc then it creates the menu based on those apps on a drive or in folders.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 12:36:52 AM by kartal »

Josh

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All of the portable app "installers" I have seen do simply one thing, extract the files to a user defined path. This makes it easier for your average user as they do not have to rely on extracting a zip file and then wondering "Where did I put that?". Simply put, most of these installers DO NOT require admin rights and are designed for ease of use rather than just running in the portableapps shell application. The .paf.exe function just provides an easy way for the menu system to use and install the file into it's shell.

superboyac

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Ehtyar, thanks for the explanation.  That cleared things up for me.  So it sounds like i would probably use a combination of my regular portable programs, and for ones that aren't portable, hopefully they are on portableApp...like Firefox.

Ehtyar

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Ehtyar, thanks for the explanation.  That cleared things up for me.  So it sounds like i would probably use a combination of my regular portable programs, and for ones that aren't portable, hopefully they are on portableApp...like Firefox.
Yep. There are also a lot of instructions on the PortableApps forums for apps that aren't actually built as portable. You can also usually search for an app with "portable" appended (like "FARR portable") and you will find instructions for it.

Ehtyar.

tinjaw

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If someone wants to provide a menu application that is fine but however an installer does not make life easier. I think that the best way would be a menu builder that scans the pointed drive for exe, bat, jar etc then it creates the menu based on those apps on a drive or in folders.

Check out Pegtop PStart. It does that and works very well in general.

superboyac

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If someone wants to provide a menu application that is fine but however an installer does not make life easier. I think that the best way would be a menu builder that scans the pointed drive for exe, bat, jar etc then it creates the menu based on those apps on a drive or in folders.

Check out Pegtop PStart. It does that and works very well in general.
i've been meaning to try that.  It looks cool.  Although it would be better if FARR and LBC works from the USB...which i think it does.

mouser

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Quote
Although it would be better if FARR and LBC works from the USB...which i think it does.

all of my programs (except url snooper which needs the winpcap drivers installed) can be run portably.

superboyac

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Although it would be better if FARR and LBC works from the USB...which i think it does.

all of my programs (except url snooper which needs the winpcap drivers installed) can be run portably.
Well...what can I say?  Awesome!  I will have to make a portable launchbar with LBC.  How do I define shortcuts with relative paths?  because my USB drive will be different letters on different computers.

wraith808

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I always have hardtime understanding the logic behind a "portable app" "installer". Why cannot they provide a simple zip file containing what is needed to run the damn thing?

If someone wants to provide a menu application that is fine but however an installer does not make life easier. I think that the best way would be a menu builder that scans the pointed drive for exe, bat, jar etc then it creates the menu based on those apps on a drive or in folders.


Actually, the portable apps menu (and by extension geek.menu) allow you to do this.  There is a directory where your portable apps are installed, and if you install/unzip a new .exe there, then refresh the menu, it automagically picks up any apps directly in subdirectories under the PortableApps directory.

Ehtyar

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+1 for PStart.

Ehtyar.

superboyac

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One thing I need help understanding:  How do all these portable applications deal with the the different drive letters as the USB is plugged into different computers?
For example, in FARR, LBC, XYPlorer, there are places to define shortcuts to files.  But I'm setting them up on one computer with drive letter "D" for the USB.  But what happens when I put the stick in another computer and the drive is now "F"?  Do all these shortcuts and settings automatically change to "F"?  How?

mouser

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some programs like Launchbar commander will autodetect the drive change.
most programs (launchbar commander included, and farr), will let you specify relative paths, or paths using a special variable like %APPDRIVE% or %APPDIR%.

superboyac

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some programs like Launchbar commander will autodetect the drive change.
most programs (launchbar commander included, and farr), will let you specify relative paths, or paths using a special variable like %APPDRIVE% or %APPDIR%.
I see, so it's not like something built into windows OS.  I almost was thinking that the OS somehow miraculously adjusts shortcuts automatically.

mouser

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Because FARR and LBC are both well suited to act as front-ends to a portable USB drive and other applications, i wonder if it might make sense to release a preconfigured non-install version of FARR+LBC that work together like a front end for a usb drive.  It would be preconfigured to show applications found just like portable apps launcher does.

superboyac

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Because FARR and LBC are both well suited to act as front-ends to a portable USB drive and other applications, i wonder if it might make sense to release a preconfigured non-install version of FARR+LBC that work together like a front end for a usb drive.  It would be preconfigured to show applications found just like portable apps launcher does.

Oh...hell...yeah!

superboyac

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That program Pstart is cool, but nowhere near as polished and sophisticated as FARR and LBC.  You've been meaning to combine the two anyway, if i remember correctly.

tomos

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Because FARR and LBC are both well suited to act as front-ends to a portable USB drive and other applications, i wonder if it might make sense to release a preconfigured non-install version of FARR+LBC that work together like a front end for a usb drive.  It would be preconfigured to show applications found just like portable apps launcher does.
Oh...hell...yeah!
that would be really nice mouser :-*
Tom

cyberdiva

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Just wanted to mention that yesterday's Daily Tech Treats (part of Gizmo's Freeware site) featured lists of portable apps, plus a link to a guide to portable apps.  And the comments offered other lists of PAs.

fenixproductions

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Sorry for my ignorance for this thread BUT if someone wants to get some info about making applications portable, he will find nice DB here:
http://portablefreeware.com/

Dormouse

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It would be preconfigured to show applications found just like portable apps launcher does.

I've not seen PortableApps launcher do this. For me, it only finds the Portable Apps progs, not all the portable progs on the stick. Finding all the apps would be good.

Of course, it isn't really a problem to get these progs added to the launcher.

wraith808

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If you click on options, then refresh menu, it will pick up all executables in the subdirectories directly under the PortableApps directory.  This can be bad of course... which is why I like geek.Menu better since it allows you to hide extra executables, and also to rename the ones that are found to something more recognizeable.

ewemoa

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all of my programs (except url snooper which needs the winpcap drivers installed) can be run portably.

On a side note, I noticed the other day that the portable version of wireshark appears to install (and even offers to uninstall on exit) winpcap.  Is it worth considering this sort of behavior for url snooper?

lanux128

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Downloadsquad.com posted about a portable app launcher called CodySafe.. guess there is more to Cody than meets the eye.. :D

CodySafe app launcher gives PortableApps suite some competition