Portable Applications

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…

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