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Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer

JohnInKansas 27 Sep 12 - 10:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Sep 12 - 11:10 AM
JohnInKansas 27 Sep 12 - 12:14 PM
Jack Campin 27 Sep 12 - 12:48 PM
Artful Codger 27 Sep 12 - 03:03 PM
Geoff the Duck 27 Sep 12 - 04:31 PM
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Subject: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:42 AM

PC Advisor has recently put up a How-To article on how to carry portable applications with you on a thumb drive or memory card, so that you can run applications you're familiar with on any computer.

The claim is that your own applications will launch when you plug the thumb drive in, will run with your personal settings, and you can save any work you do on the thumb drive and "leave no trace" on the computer used.

How to run applications from a USB flash drive.

This isn't a "how to run any application" this way, and only works for programs you can download from sites distributing programs they've adapted to the method, but there appear to be enough program choices that you can have a familiar program set up to your own taste even if it can't quite let you run your favorite program.

If you use "public" computers, as at libraries, this should be a handy thing to have. You can carry your own programs, and favorite sites and browser setup, and write anything you do on the same thumb drive so you don't forget to take your results with you.

The article is simply stated and is a pretty quick read; and it appears to have links to everything necessary.

For future reference, since mudcat is forever but posted articles aren't:

The method and applications mostly described are at:

http://www.portableapps.com/.

Alternate sources for programs to run this way are:

http://www.portablefreeware.com/

http://www.liberkey.com/

An alternate launcher for running the portable aps is suggested at:

PStart.

A question not addressed in the article is the possibility of cross-contamination by malware that is inevitably present anytime you carry readable/writable media between computers. The risk should be minimal if you use the same safe practices as with any computer, but should perhaps be applied more conscientiously and "with due diligence" to strange machines.

I'll note that I haven't tried any of this out as yet, but PC Advisor is a well known source of information, and probably can be trusted as much as any - even if they are Brits.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 11:10 AM

I can have my scanning software examine a particular drive, even a portable one, so I suspect doing this regularly if you've been moving between machines will keep the source clean.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 12:14 PM

Since the thumb drive prepared in the way described "mounts and launches" the application as soon as it's inserted, it might be difficult to scan it before it "does something." Most decent protection programs should take care of anything that's likely to attempt to invade. A few of the protection suites allow you to set a "scan before opening" restriction that might be a little more secure, but the most important thing is probably just to "be aware" so that you notice anything "peculiar" that happens on either machine.

There's also the problem that lots of the malware in circulation asks (deviously) for your permission to do something, and if you give permission, even unintentionally, it's just another program that AV scans may not be able to recognize. So don't click on stuff that might not be what it claims to be.

Of course, mudcatters all know that by now, and always practice safe surfing 'cause we're all good people**.

** Subject to the usual and customary limitations, exceptions, and exclusions.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 12:48 PM

This is one reason why a well-configured public computer will refuse to mount USB drives.

Why should they trust you and your unknown software?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:03 PM

Or vice versa: why should you trust your thumb drive getting infected from a public computer whose administrators may not have taken sufficient precautions to guard against hackers and imported viruses?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Portable Aps to Run on Any Computer
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 04:31 PM

Just to make things clear, the Portable Apps Suite runs on Windows PCs, not "Any Computer".
I have been using the Portable Apps Suite for about 6 years now. In fact I have found it so useful that I keep a copy on a "data" drive attached to my computer.
It means I can run a number of useful programmes without having to "Install" them on my C:Drive. It also means I can restore a clean copy of my Windows operating system and not have to worry about re-installing those particular programmes and their settings.

If you have them on a USB stick, and the PC you plug into is set to not "autorun",you can still start Portabl Apps manually by clicking on an icon.
One of the applications you can have on it is ClamWin, an antivirus programme. You can use it to keep the USB drive checked (I once tried using the portable version to check my PC but found it very slow on a large capacity hard drive.)
Quack!
GtD.


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