I’ve been working on a client site recently, where there was a massive restriction on what could be installed on the computers, and the registry was locked down.
Now I think this is fine – security is important and all, and obviously this is something that the client has enforced. But, I like to use Firefox as a browser instead of Internet Explorer, and always use the wonderful UltraEdit as my text editor.
Client restrictions allow me to use a USB stick, but not to install anything on the machines, so I started to look at whether you can run some applications from a USB drive rather than installing them on the client.
Firstly,I emailed the guys at IDM Solutions, who make UltraEdit. The answer was that you can’t install it onto a USB drive, but if you install it onto a hard drive and then copy the files onto USB, it works. Hey presto – the first program was working for me!
Then I started searching for more portable applications, and found this site. There is a whole range of applications that you can download and install onto USB, plus a handy little menu program (with backup software) to manage them all. I think that performance is slower than from a hard drive (since it’s reading from the USB), but I’m using such a slow network that it’s not really an issue! I’m just glad to have Firefox back working, which is what I’m using now.
One final thing to add – Portable Apps is completely free as well! Now that really is a result – so good that I’m off to play Portable Sudoku now…