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Author Topic: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?  (Read 3869 times)

electronixtar

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Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« on: June 26, 2010, 04:45:54 AM »
So I encountered a ripped version of Microsoft Word 2003 the other day, it's a single executable without any further dependences, 17.6 MB, running normal word processing tasks properly without any problem. It's made of Thinstall. It's pretty amazing to see Word so tiny and portable. But in contrast OneNote2007, the smallest version found on Google is about 230MB.

I wonder how EXACTLY can you make MS Office that small? Is there a tutorial for this kind task?

joby_toss

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 05:40:37 AM »
Be careful: "Every endpoint needs a Thinapp license to run Thinapped applications!"
I am a 3D body trapping a single dimension soul.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 08:21:59 AM »
Many on the sites/links in that Google search made MSE very cranky. Not enough to warrant a full scan, but I'll not be exploring them further.

steeladept

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »
A tangent to be sure, but I think it may apply...

I was at a VMware User Group Event where Novell had a stall for their PlateSpin Product.  They were also showing off an application packager that would do something similar and they were giving away USB keys with a full install of Novell GroupWise installed on it.  They did it by taking an install and packaging all necessary components and putting them on the USB key so it could run independent of the packager - essentially making any program portable.  It wasn't cheap, but if Microsoft did something similar with Thinapp, it wouldn't surprise me.  Wish I could remember the Novell packager name.... :-\

Meh, sorry.  After researching it was Thinstall that they used.  It was right before or just as VMware bought it.  Sorry I couldn't help more.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 01:28:57 PM by steeladept »

steeladept

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 01:35:04 PM »
Quote
Thinstall offers a solution by which Windows applications can be deployed on a client workstation without a local client/agent and without back end infrastructure. The applications are completely virtualized and can be, where necessary, even used from a removable storage medium. Thinstall offers an Application Virtualization platform with which
Windows applications are offered as ‘self-contained” EXE files. These EXE files can be executed without any installation, Administrator or PowerUser rights.
Found at http://www.brianmadd...-with-thinstall.aspx

From this, I think you may be mistaken - it doesn't require a Thinapp license.  Just the Thinstall license and a license for the app that is packaged.  Not certain on this - Brian Madden could have lead us astray, but he is usually up on his virtualization info.

Never mind.  I really should look at the dates.  This is from before the VMware purchase of Thinstall.  I still can't find any details on the VMware site about it's licensing yet.

Duh.  Look under Thinapp s***id.  Okay found all the details.  Thinstall was absorbed into the Thinapp package and is $5000 USD for the first 50 installs (includes packager and a few other niceties) and $40 for each install after that - so I guess it is as joby_toss said. VMware has always been expensive, but jeez, that still gives me sticker shock!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 02:01:01 PM by steeladept »

electronixtar

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 05:41:22 AM »
damn that's expensive  ;D

But what I want to know is how those portable apps are made. I might be able to manually do the task

mwb1100

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 10:39:20 AM »
But what I want to know is how those portable apps are made. I might be able to manually do the task

How 'application virtualization' systems like Softricity works (and I think that Thinstall is similar) is by monitoring all file and registry access made by an application during a 'packaging' run.  The information is recorded, and when the application is run virtualized, those accesses are also monitored, but instead of recording the data, the virtualization layer provides it from what was recorded before.

Obviously there are a lot of details glossed over in that description - for example, not all file/registry accesses should be virtualized (like the file that you might open for editing when you're performing the packaging step).  I'd guess that the most difficult part of what those systems have to deal with are the exceptions to the rule.

However, one inexpensive piece of software that uses very similar technology and techniques is Sandboxie - I could see the author of that package possibly spinning off a thin-packager if he decided he wanted to branch off from his current market.  It might even be possible to take a sandbox and use it as some sort of 'thin' installation, but I don't think that Sandboxie itself is a portable app, so you'd just be pushing the portable aspect of the problem a little upstream.

steeladept

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 02:14:12 PM »
Specifically, Thinstall (now Thinapp) is a very lightweight OS package.  On top of this is a virtual representation of the registry and other "critical" system files.  The application doesn't know any better, and installs as though it was a full (in this case) Windows installation.  Then when running, the virtualization layer translates all calls to the OS layer into a command to the actual machine it is plugged into/run on top of.  It captures the needed installer files like mwb1100 stated.  Why it is so small has to do primarily with which options were chosen at install time and what Word really needs (vs. the plethora of fonts, templates, etc that come with a regular install).

If you figure out a way to do this manually, I want to know how you did it. VMware starts with a 32MB customized Linux OS for their ESXi hypervisor, so to strip it out more than that should prove impressive.  Thinstall (before VMware bought them) created their own OS from the ground up for this purpose.  That said, if you can do something with the Xen Hypervisor (ESXi is proprietary), you might be able to do something like it - but I doubt it will be THAT small.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 02:19:32 PM by steeladept »

electronixtar

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Re: Thinstall MS Word 2003 only 17.6 MB?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 06:52:14 AM »
Thanks for the explanations, guys.

I know how basic virtualization works, but what I am really interested is specifically how could one strip MS Word down to that small with no obvious function loss.

Today I found another software ripped, this time it's Photoshop CS5, it's only 37MB. And those exe/dll's were not compressed with things like UPX. Total files un-rared takes about 100MB disk space.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 07:15:26 AM by electronixtar »