Freeware Files: Five Portable Software Suites for your USB Key

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lrlewis

I use PortableApps, and it's OK.  But the best, for me, is WinPenPack.  I prefer their menu system, and it's easy to add your own apps.  They have several pre-configured suites, depending on use and usb key capacity.  Any updated versions of apps are quickly added, and are available for individual download.

Yes, the site does come up in Italian, but at upper right, a button to switch to english.  Free registration required, no spam ever received, to get their X-"front-ends" to make non-portable apps portable.

I've used this for YEARS, and won't leave home without it.

http://winpenpack.com

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nekollx

 The web site dient have a install ink i can find easily ;0

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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TheMurph

Sorry, Magali's converted me to closed-source.

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majorsuave

thanks I magically own 5 usb keys :)

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JerryThom

I can't believe you're reporting on LiberKey without researching it a bit.  LiberKey is basically an illegal combo of a ton of different software from different publishers all done without their knowledge by one guy.  The menu is just ASuite (an open source menu).  The file associations are just Cafe (another open source menu).  His versions of Opera, Firefox and Chrome?  He didn't get permission to do them.  And last year, his entire suite was all stuff stolen from PortableApps.

To make things even worse, his stuff isn't entirely portable and some stuff doesn't work when you move PCs.  It also leaves some of your personal info behind, which is just about the worst thing a portable app can do.  The stuff he adds is pretty badly coded and he forces you to give him your email address to even use it (like you'd trust this idiot).

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TheMurph

I didn't come up with any liberkey issues based on my brief experience in discovering the software.  As for the legality of the software, all I can find is that the Portable Apps team is hacked off.  As to the validity of their points, well, they're speaking to issues that happened a year ago.  I don't speak French, so I can't surf on over to the Liberkey forums to investigate their side of the story.

As it stands, the Liberkey setup comes with this interesting note:

"NOTE:
The checking of the terms of the licenses of the softwares included in LiberKey was carried out seriously and honestly. However, in the event of bad interpretation of the terms of a license, we ask the authors to inform us by email with: contact@LiberKey.com in order to allow us to rectify potential errors."

At the very least, that seems like a good-faith effort to make well with whatever licenses it is they need to include with their software.  I ran a cursory inspection of folders associate with the programs Liberkey installs, and I do see licensing materials enclosed. In the case of Firefox, there's a clear license text file as well as a link to FIrefox's source code -- IANAL, but perhaps that satifies the distribution requirements?

Anyway, I wish I spoke French so I could give you more of an update on the matter.  Here's the deal: controversy exists.  Whether Liberkey is truly to blame or not, that's unclear.  I can't take a definitive stance on the matter because I'm not well-versed enough to speak to the legal requirements of the GPL--I couldn't tell you whether Liberkey is doing enough, or not enough, to satisfy what it needs to satisfy. 

There's been some blog stirring on the matter, but it all seems to be based on a single post or two made on the Portable Apps forums. That's not exactly enough of a case, as far as I can tell, to issue a blanket statement that Liberkey is an "illegal combo."  ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn says the same thing: "I’m not certain whether LiberKey, a French outfit offering a host of applications a la Portable Apps, engaged in such a smash and grab."

 

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JerryThom

An easy way to verify it is to check with Mozilla and ask if LiberKey has permission to modify and bundle Firefox.  The trademark guidelines are pretty clear and say that you can only distribute the installers from Mozilla.  I know PortableApps has permission to repackage Firefox because Mozilla has mentioned them on blogs and in interviews and the Firefox Portable page on PortableApps says "Mozilla®, Firefox® and the Firefox logo are registered trademarks of the Mozilla Foundation and are used under license." I don't see any similar permission granted to LiberKey.  And I really doubt that Mozilla would let him repackage Firefox with closed source code they can't look at and with things like the anti-phishing filter disabled.  Same with Thunderbird.  And Sunbird.

Ask Opera if LiberKey has permission.  Ask Google.  Ask uTorrent.  Ask about any of the other freeware apps bundled in violation of the EULAs.  I'll bet you 10 bucks they all say no, no permission was granted.

And LiberKey can't even bundle open source stuff right.  He adds closed source stuff to it and then refuses to provide the source code himeself.

And yes, check with something like RegShot to see all the stuff LiberKey's various 'apps' leave behind.  I'm happier with something like PortableApps that does public testing, has public bugtracking and makes all their source code available... and actually gets permission from publishers.

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xterminator

When the download is 100% complete, the download prompt will appear forever and won't get the file to the destination you specified. That's because nod32 thinks it's a virus but it's not. Some AVs thinks so too, so just turn them off just in case. ;)

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nekollx

So are the makers of mojo Pc ever goignto make a version for Vista or 7, you know a OS that isn't two decades old and having it'ts support being cut.

 

Oh yeah.

And not being sold any more.

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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fnordfnord

Yeah, really, why would anyone want to write software that runs on 93% of the computers in the field? Jerks. Wait...

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nekollx

 win 3.1?

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Devo85x

Thanks Max PC!  I already new about and used PortableApps (and loved it) but now I look forward to trying Lupo PenSuite!

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muskrat72

Portable apps. I absolutely love this software. I work in an environment in which the computers are barebones and only include MSOffice and paint. So portable apps is the answer to all my needs. From Gimp to Open Office and not to mention for those days when you want to play some Jooleem. In fact, I have several of my fellow co-workers who couldnt even install simple software using a 2gb usb drive with portable apps installed.

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TheMurph

Hmm.  I'll be curious to know what you think of the more application-packed packages.  Portable Apps, if I'm correct, has the fewest apps of any of the suites on this list...

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winmaster

With Portable Apps, you can grab any .exe file and place it on the drive to run anywhere. Also, even if a program requires installation, as long as it isn't dependant on the registry, you can install it right onto the drive. Just because the applications aren't listed on the website doesn't mean they won't run. Portable Apps is sweet. I use it all the time. 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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jwalch.hawk

I think I'll give LiberKey a shot because of the updating.  I keep around some fairly small keys that have various software on them being managed with PortableApps.  I very rarely use most of it, because it's sort of emergency case stuff - like if all my machines go el fritzo and the only immediate functional computers I have access to are public machines which tend not to have any useful software installed.  The problem is that of course since I never use it, it's probably months out of date at this juncture.  Critical problem? Probably not, but still not the greatest situation.  The vast majority of people aren't going to bother with updates unless it's *extremely* easy and/or automatic - Microsoft learned this lesson years ago.

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TheMurph

Good point there.  I can envision a number of people installing a portable application suite onto their USB keys, only to let said applications languish for months at a time -- if not a year!

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