Portable Applications

It is common place in most offices to have administrative priviledges removed from end-user PCs. This is usually done to prevent unauthorised installation of softwares or hardwares on such PCs. Unauthorised software installation is usually a primary source of introduction of malicious softwares that may cripple a computer network.

This write-up may seem like a FOR-TECHIES-ONLY, a little patience please.

I had come across Portable softwares a number of times before now but i never really paid much attention to them. But on EYEBEEKAY’s insistence, i decided to surf the web to check out what it’s all about. Man, i sure have been missing a lot! I have decided to summarize my findings in this short write-up.

Portable applications or Portable apps, as they are commonly known, are not much different from your regular softwares. Wikipaedia defines a portable app as a computer software program that is able to run independently without the need to install files to the system it is run upon. They are commonly preinstalled on removable storage devices such as USB flash drive or CDs (For those have their USB ports locked down).

Almost any application can be made portable, some with greater difficulty while a few cannot because of their high dependence on system resources.Luckily, most basic softwares that we all use on a regular basis are portable.

Yeah, Portable, but why go portable?

– Bypass administrative level restriction. Use your regular softwares on any PC anytime, anywhere.
– Reduce the clogging up of your computer registry, a primary cause of system instability.It leaves a Zero, or near zero registry footprint.
– Have all your regular applications available for use on any PC, saving time on the installation of the same softwares on every PC you use.

So, how do we create portable apps? Well, there’s a little problem there. There are a few softwares that can be used to convertĀ  applications to portable formats and VMWARE’s THINAPP is probably the best to achieve this but with a stunning and shocking price tag of about US$5000, God Have Mercy! Another alternative is Xenocode ($1599). Make your choice.

For now, we will limit ourselves to ready-made portable apps. A very good repository can be found on Portableapps. Others include Techsupportalert, Appstogo and Portablefreeware

Contributions anyone? Eyebeekay, you started this.

7 Comments

  1. EyeBeeKay says:

    I have been wondering. Are there ANY disadvantages in using portable applications?The advantages are many.Wale enumerated some.

    But are there any compelling reasons why everybody should not not move over to portable apps?

    I will attempt to list some:

    I feel that companies / individuals that make system Utilities & AntiViruses (Peter Norton, Paul, Mace, Symantec, McAfee e.t.c) will have less relevance.

    A software company like MicroSoft (that that built its fortune on Operating System & Office Application Licenses) – will continue to earn diminishing income. I will not have to pay per machine installation.

    I can not think of any other disadvantages, for now…

    It would appear the advantages of using portable apps are more than the disadvantages?

    So, if i can have am entire Operating System on a flash drive (and it needs NO INSTALLING), it would have serious implications for the software industry, no?

  2. Well said Eyebeekay, but dont you think switching USB drives from one PC to the other can keep the antivirus guys in good business?

  3. EyeBeeKay says:

    @Wale, you have a sterling point there!

    incidentally, there are portable antivirus applications too…

  4. Lekan Kalejaye says:

    I have been using Portable Applications for over a year now and I think it is the best thing that ever happened to computing. The fact that you have the freedom to run them anywhere on any machine (without installation) and carry your data along with you is enough reason to switch over. To crown it all, they are totally free. A lot of them even include the source codes for you to contribute, improove or modify if you are a techie.

    There is no need spending money to buy a software to convert a regular application to portable because we have quite a handfull of them for different purposes. In my collections, I have apps for for serious business down to entertainment including games. Just check the links submited by EyeBeeKay and you'll be amazed.

    The best things in life are free.

    Lekan Kalejaye

  5. @ Lekan Kalejaye

    Thank you for your contribution. But still, wouldnt it be nicer if i can make portable softwares on my own, instead of relying on downloads? I kind of believe there should be less expensive or a free option for these conversions.

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