Tala Ko

Posts Tagged ‘portable apps

I know Portable Apps has been around for a while. In February, I wanted to present my thesis using OpenOffice.org Impress – to Impress them with Impress, so to speak. Because my thesis was about FOSS, I wanted to go from start to finish using FOSS. But because I didn’t have a laptop from which to give my slide show, I had to borrow my roommate’s Windows-running unit.

There had to be some way for me to use the program short of actually installing Impress (she didn’t have that much hard drive space left). First, I tried PenDrive Linux, but the window displayed was too small. Then, I tried a portable version of Impress, but it ran too slowly on my roomie’s laptop. I was forced to use her PowerPoint. The presentation went fine, but I can’t help thinking that it would have made more of an impact if the panelists had seen an actual FOSS program at work.

Anyway, last bit of backstory yakking. My mom has me do simple graphic design work from time to time. Recently, she asked if I could whip something up for her Ladies Club back home. I couldn’t seem to find enough time at my relatives’ desktop PC (there are four of us competing for time) to do the work, but I knew that I’d be hanging out at my uncle’s office for most of the day. (Job interview at a building near his office.)

The same dilemma came up as I copied my files into my flash drive. My uncle would need his computer, but in the past, he’d let me use a spare laptop at the office. There wasn’t a lot of space left in its hard drive, though, so I couldn’t install the GIMP. Anyway, I didn’t like the idea of installing a program on a computer that wasn’t mine – even if I cleaned up afterwards. What was I to do?

After a quick search for a portable version of the GIMP, I found myself back at Portable Apps. I installed GIMP Portable, popped my flash disk into the spare laptop’s USB drive, and voila! The GIMP was running just as smoothly and as quickly as it did on my own CPU, without a hiccup. I finished the design in a few hours, and I left my uncle’s laptop clean.

Portable GIMPing

The ease and speed of everything has me wondering next about what other applications I should bring along with me. I can’t help remembering, though, how slow the portable Impress was on my roommate’s laptop. How do I know it won’t happen wherever I bring my portable programs?

Also, I can’t seem to find any information on the site regarding RAM. I can’t remember whether I got that version of Impress from Portable Apps or whether I’d simply used the installer at OpenOffice.org. Is Impress a larger program than the GIMP? Or did GIMP Portable run fine on my uncle’s laptop simply because he had 1Gb of RAM? I can’t remember how much memory my roomie had on her laptop, but my own desktop has only 384 Mb.

Be right back. To check these things out is the perfect excuse to download Firefox Portable. :)