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Old 30. Jul 2013, 08:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sicknero View Post
1. The same end can be acheived by using the Open With context menu item, or the dialog that pops up when you try to open a file that has no assigned program.

2. There's also the very useful Default Programs Editor which includes several neat features...

3. I think a thread on portable software in general is an excellent idea...
1. Yes.

2. Thanks. Seems useful. I've made a note of it.

3. I've seen some older threads, but it doesn't seem right to resurrect them. I'll certainly participate in a new one though.
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Old 30. Jul 2013, 09:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Nick, I don't want to be a pain in the butt but I am going to be one.

See if you can explain to me why if I delete the folder in Documents that the portable installation places there when the portable program is installed in the Bo>My document folder, the whole program gets deleted.

Shouldn't just the shortcut get deleted? Why is the whole program deleted?

I am not questioning that the folder in Documents it is indeed a shortcut is just that it doesn't make sense to me why if I delete the shortcut, the program also gets deleted.

This sort of thing puzzled me the first time I installed a portable program and learned the hard way that if I deleted the shortcut, the program would also go.

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Old 30. Jul 2013, 10:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Bo, I think what sicknero is trying to explain is how Windows use libraries to help a person "gather" files from different locations under the umbrella of a single library. I saw this link from Microsoft some time ago, but haven't had the time to study it, but I think it'll explain things.
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Old 30. Jul 2013, 10:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Man oh man do I ever feel stupid?! I've been reading all about "portable apps" this whole time thinking that they had to be or were usually installed on a flash drive!

I just couldn't fathom why one would choose to install a "portable app" on your hard drive?! Why use a portable app when you can just install the exact same app?

I think I get it now; though, honestly, not totally 100%.

For example, I choose to install the portable version of Maxthon (at work) on my flash drive and have run it from the flash drive for the past week or so. I never ever contemplated installing the portable Maxthon on my hard drive! Why would I want to do that versus just installing the "regular" Maxthon version?

I imagine that Maxthon (portable version) will run a whole lot faster copy/pasted over to my HD than it ran on my flash drive. But, why do I/you want to do that instead of just installing it? Please help me understand?

Also, I recognize why I may want a portable version of a pdf viewer; because they are all huge programs and hard to uninstall and write all kinds of stuff to your registry. But, what other programs do you all use "portable apps" for that most people install?

I'm sorry, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around putting portable apps on your hard drive instead of just installing them?! Again, I thought they were called "portable apps" so you could take them with you....
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Old 30. Jul 2013, 10:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Not a pain at all, it's a fascinating topic

I don't doubt that somebody else here could give you a much better answer - I don't actually use Windows libraries myself, in fact I usually just disable it all via the registry as I've never found them especially useful. It's quite possible I'm just being a bit of a Luddite about it...

I understand the thinking behind it - that I can have lots of folders that are scattered all around my hard drives, and using libraries I can gather them all together for ease of access etc without having to actually move anything around on my drives, just by adding them to libraries by using the "Include in Library" option.

Likewise I can definitely see the point of it - you can for instance create your own libraries of, say, Family Photos, Holiday Photos, etc etc, or libraries of different MP3s grouped by artist or genre etc, all without physically moving any files or folders. It's a way of arranging and organising your files and folders no matter where those files and folders actually are on your drives.

To answer your question anyway, about why deleting something in a library also deletes it in reality... as far as I know, the reason is that this is how it's intended to work. So libraries are sort of shortcuts but not exactly the same, such as here when deleting the library content also deletes the real content. I confess I don't really understand how it all works, which is another reason why I don't use them.

Maybe someone else can explain all this more fully, perhaps we could have a separate thread on it as it's an interesting topic. Meanwhile though these links might help a bit...

Section 3 of this one deals with deleting vs removing library contents -

Libraries FAQs

And a couple of articles about symbolic links... I'm not sure they're exactly the same thing as libraries, but I believe they have quite a lot in common -

Greg Schultz Techrepublic Blog

How-To Geek

Kendall ... well it is a misleading use of the word "portable" I guess "Potentially portable" would be more accurate. One of the points is that they can be taken with you and run from a flash drive, but it isn't a requirement... there are other advantages in using portable versions of software on your normal hard drive.

We should definitely have a thread on this I think, I'll start one tomorrow if nobody else has. But yes, there's a good chance that Portable Maxthon on your HDD would run faster than it does from your flash drive.

*Edit; Sorry just saw your post above Joe. Yes, gathering together from different locations under a single umbrella is a great way of describing it, but it does it all without actually moving any files or folders.

Last edited by sicknero; 30. Jul 2013 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 30. Jul 2013, 11:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the links Joe, Nick, I ll read them later when I get home. Nick no big deal not knowing exactly the reason why this kind of shortcut gets treated differently, I was just wondering about it.

Kendall, I think most people use portable apps to either keep the installation all in one folder or to make it possible to carry programs in a flash drive (for example).

In my case, my reason for using Foxit portable is to make sure I dont get anything bundled when I install the program. The first time I installed a portable program was Libre. The reason I decided for the portable in that case was to avoid having to uninstall it using Windows uninstaller in case I did not like the program. Since I didnt know anything about Libre or portables, I thought it was a good idea to try the portable version of the program. The good thing is that I not only liked the program but discovered that portable programs work pretty much the same as regular programs.

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Old 31. Jul 2013, 12:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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There's nothing to feel stupid about Kendall. I had most of the same questions you have before I decided to just take the plunge and start dabbling in portable apps. I guess the only difference is rather than ask I decided to find out on my own.

I think unless you have both a USB 3.0 flashdrive and a USB 3.0 port on your computer, you'd find a portable program will be faster if it's on your C: drive.

As for why "install" the portable version of a program instead of the "desktop/installer" version, some of those reasons have already been given here, but to summarize:
  • To avoid bundled extras like toolbars.
  • To avoid programs writing to the registry.
  • To make getting rid of a program easier without worrying about if it leaves remnants all over which you may want to track down and delete.
  • To have all the files required by the program in one folder.
I'm sure others can add to this list.

Sometimes, there may be no getting away from installing a program, particularly if you can't find a portable app that does what you want. Also, remember not all portables are truly portable. Again, I prefer truly portable programs if I can find one that suits me.

Personally, I've been particularly peeved at the remnants left by installed programs, and it was the reason I decided to give portable apps a try, and I'm glad I did. Note, I'm not even referring to the registry entries here (which I have no intention of fooling around in until I learn more about it).

Bo, I just read those Microsoft topics about libraries, but my head is hard so I guess I'll have to read them a few more times to grasp the concept. It's something new in Windows 7. It seems the basics are libraries are somewhat similar to folders, but not the same.

Hallo Anupam, lol, I hate to give you work, but wouldn't it be more sensible to "cut" this thread off at a certain point and make a new thread that's dedicated to discussing this whole topic of portable apps?
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Old 31. Jul 2013, 01:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post


As for why "install" the portable version of a program instead of the "desktop/installer" version, some of those reasons have already been given here, but to summarize:
  • To avoid bundled extras like toolbars.
  • To avoid programs writing to the registry.
  • To make getting rid of a program easier without worrying about if it leaves remnants all over which you may want to track down and delete.
  • To have all the files required by the program in one folder.
I'm sure others can add to this list.

Sometimes, there may be no getting away from installing a program, particularly if you can't find a portable app that does what you want. Also, remember not all portables are truly portable. Again, I prefer truly portable programs if I can find one that suits me.
Adding to the above:

1. You don't have to re-install the applications all over again, while you re-install Windows, if you have the portable softwares on a different Drive (Other than C:*).
2. Sharing work between different people or between different machines (put them on your Dropbox folder) via network share, since you have all the configuration files on your folder. All of your settings completely intact. If you change a setting on one computer, you'll see it reflected on all your other computers, which is cool.
3. No admin rights required.

Disadvantages that I can think of:

1. Installers integrate with your system unlike Portable softwares. Associating files, context menu items etc.
2. Portable softwares cannot make themselves as the "default" choice while using a similar application. (although you could tweak it)
3. Portable software download size are larger (or same size) than installers.
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Old 31. Jul 2013, 10:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of portable programs.
When choosing a freeware app I usually always check with portablefreeware to see if a portable version is available and that it is truly "stealth" (i.e. does not put any permanent files anywhere other than the applications own folder).
This influences my first choice of program for a given task more than anything else.

I believe this keeps my PC as clean as possible of unnecessary junk and clutter. Also it keeps the registry as small and uncomplicated as possible which will hopefully keep the likelihood of conflicts and errors to a minimum.

Some portable programs do in fact need admin rights (i.e. to be set to "run as administrator") in order to function properly though.
Also you have to manually create shortcuts and manually perform any updates to latest versions.
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Old 31. Jul 2013, 03:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sicknero View Post
And a couple of articles about symbolic links... I'm not sure they're exactly the same thing as libraries, but I believe they have quite a lot in common -

Greg Schultz Techrepublic Blog

How-To Geek
Please note that the How-to-Geek article has erroneous information in it. Here are two articles that I wrote on symbolic links:

Symbolic links, Hard Links, Soft Links, Junctions - What They Are

Symbolic links, Hard Links, Soft Links, Junctions - Creation and Use
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