Monday, December 3, 2007

Plugins for Pidgin and certifiably portable

Two plugins for pidgin that are both portable. Even though it seems obvious to me, maybe I should explain that they are as portable as the program that they were designed for.

Pidgin Off The Record(OTR).
Pidgin Encryption.

Pidgin OTR stores keys in the profile directory whereas Pidgin Encryption give you a choice to store them in the profile or elsewhere. PE also lets you choose the size(512-4096) of your keys as well. PE will of course automatically generate keys for accounts that already exist where as OTR requires manual generation. Both are good. Just a matter if you want AES or RSA as your means of encryption.

Pigin Encryption
Pidgin OTR

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Alternate shell from your USB

BlackBox is an alternate shell some of you have probably seen on Linux distros. But it has a port for windows. There are a few variants for Blackbox for windows(BB4W) as well. And best of all, they are to the best of my knowledge portable. Even though they are portable you have the option of full installation. It's fast, lightweight, minimalistic, and even though it was designed to be fast and not pretty you can have that too. If you don't like the styles that came with Blackbox or the flavor you downloaded you can always hit up BoxShots to see more or even make your own.

My Flavor of choice is BBLean, because I can drag and drop wallpapers to my desktop. Now I'm sure those of you who have tried running Blackbox from your USB or tested it without installing noticed there were some minor features you couldn't use without installing(or so you first thought). Ditto. Like how some icons never show up in the tray, I have a shortcut for you.

1.Three finger Salute Ctr+Alt+Del , This brings up task manager
2. Kill the Process Tree for Explorer.exe
3. From the task manager, start a new task:


4. Presto, you're running Blackbox without installing and your BlackBox tray now loads all icons.

With this you can have BBLean running portable.

BlackBox for Windows
BlackBox Wiki @ Sourceforge

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Portable Wiki

StickWiki is a small lightweight portable wiki that is standalone and operates from a single xhtml file. It offers AES encryption as well. It isn't that large and has built in documentation for making and adding pages, links, etc. It certainly has a different approach compared to TiddlyWiki in terms of function and interface. I recommend this as an alternative to TiddlyWiki, if not for the encryption features.

Wiki on a Stick!
StickWiki Project page @ sourceforge

Sound Player Litlith

This is a nice little music player I use and have used for more than two years now. It has support for MP3, OggVorbis, And WMA. It has a skinnable interface, can normalize mp3's, cross fade, etc.
I've tested it on my own USB device and I can say it is portable. The settings and default playlist are saved in the application folder. The interface is skinable and even though the program is mostly in Japanese the interface is obvious enough to figure out and some features are explained in in skin in english.


Monday, November 26, 2007

IF pen

The DL ::

"Slade" wrote a useful peice software to play IF games from your USB drive. If you're like me you'll find this is a great alternative to trying to run DOS versions of certain IF readers. The interface feels like a program launcher but is more like a front end inteface, but can make running your Interactive Fiction fix a portable one. Setup is relatively simple compared to making batch scripts for running IF games under dos.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


If you want an IRC client that is as full featured as MIRC you have it with KVirc. I have to admit I'm very impressed by the feel of this client. It really outdoes MIRC in the look and feel department. Not to mention that it has built in encryption for private messages/queries. There is SSL support and support for proxies(like TOR), sound, voice-chat, and has a scriptable interface.

The current 'stable' release isn't portable though, you need one of the development releases. The most current one will be fine.

Portable Prism -Final-?

I did a quick once by of Prism. Same as Webrunner, and them same as other Mozilla apps for that matter. I can't actually recommend anyone use this, as https connections are a pain to setup with this and require loads of testing to make a proper "Webapp" file. But there it is. I'm going to uninstall Prism now.

Portable Prism Update

In my attempts to begin working on a portable I looked at my previous posts covering making Firefox and Thunderbird both portable. I figured, sure why not and behold the same method works on Webrunner. But tthere is a trick, you need a basic profile. And to create that you need the profile manager(which webrunner also has).

First start webrunner via command line:
Webrunner -p -turbo

And then make yourself a profile folder. Copy it whereever you plan to store your data on your Device and then from command line fire off:
webrunner -profile "[Profile path on USB device]" -turbo

Note I haven't tested this on Prism yet, but you can expect an update soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

USB Launchers 1

This is something I've had on my USB drives for more than a year and I swear by it. PStart launcher is a program launcher that not only allows you to launch apps from you usb in means of relative paths, but can allow you you store paths relative to the root of your US device via the implementation of a variable made by the launcher itself. You not only have the ability to store folders and apps, but notes and reminders(color coding optional) and can see how much free space is on your device as well as view hardware and system information. Settings are also stored in xml.
This is certainly something you need to put in your USB tool box.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Make your own Portable Thunderbird

Wow, Two in one go...I'm a super man!

Here it is, making the Official build of Thunderbird portable. In case you didn't already notice the post about making Firefox portable with the Official build, you may want to take a peek. Not that much of a difference in this post. Same song and dance, different app.

Thunderbird -profile "[Profile path]" -turbo

[Profile path] can be anything, relative, absolute, as long as you don't end it with a trailing back slash.

"E:\Thunderbirddata\Profile" Works
"E:\Thunderbirddata\Profile\" Fails with a program crash.

With this you won't have to invoke -CreateProfile to make a new profile, Thunderbird does that for you in the specified directory, and -turbo makes Thunderbird load faster.

I used the information from my post concerning Firefox, which based of the information supplied here.

Making your own Portable Firefox

Firefox.exe -profile \profiles\ProfileName

This may upset some people but I wanted to do it for the sake of doing it. What I present for you is a method of running Firefox From your USB drive/device and have the security to know it was the Official Mozilla build that you are using. This can be performed from DOS, a shortcut, a program launcher, etc. And right about now you're waiting for the ultimate weapon so here it is.

Firefox -profile "[Profile path]" -turbo

Now [Profile path] can be anything, relative, absolute, as long as you don't end it with a trailing back slash.

"E:\Firefoxdata\Profile" Works
"E:\Firefoxdata\Profile\" Fails with a program crash.

To make it even better you don't need to invoke -CreateProfile to generate a profile, you just need to provide a specified directory. And Firefox will make one for you. Sweet eh? And yes, I included -turbo not for good measure, but because it makes Firefox load that much faster. Much faster than just UPX'ing it. I'll be making a similar post concerning Thunderbird.

I used the information supplied here to help make this post.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Portable Prism

Since Mozilla unveiled the "site specific browser" WebRunner, which loads a specific web app/site and only that w/o using much of a UI and relying on the web app to be the only user interface you need. Currently Mozilla has changed the name and has adopted the name Prism. And while I love the idea I can honestly say that I don't find it too practical making it portable. I'll be ready to back down on that should I be wrong, but for right now I find it highly unlikely.

This site here(in Spanish) made it portable but never once goes into the details of what was done.

So that means I guess I'll be going to the challenge of outdoing this person and providing details. That is of course if there is any major demand to do so, unless I feel it should be done just to do so.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Meebo makes more updates!

Meebo now has voice and video conferencing, for any network. As well as the ability to develop plugins for their Instant Messaging web-form.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What is this extra crap in Winamp's installer?!

I decided to try Winamp5 today as a request and write up a short review(in much protest) about how it functions and the process of making it portable. It used to be as easy as using Universal Extractor and then renaming some folders and paths. Now on the other hand, you have different fingers. Winamp is easy to use and can have a very simple and minimalistic interface is very customizable. If you try to use Universal Extractor you'll be in for a world of frustration over what goes where and what to change. You'll also find about 5MB or more of useless data should you you feel brave enough to attempt this method of rolling your own portable Winamp. After searching around some forums I found that the easiest method would be to simply get the installer and do a quick install, make a copy, and then uninstall Winamp.

For those who feel brave enough to extract the files manually, you may be interested to peek at some of the useless extra files.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Extraction Software

If you hate having to use more than one program for extracting files from compressed archives(zip, 7zip, rar/lhz, etc) then I'm sure the idea of finding a solution for each is less than desirable. You may want to check out Universal Extractor. This tool handles everything from Setup-Installers to Zip files. And was written mostly with Auto-it. The last release was in February of this year and is very useful for extracting anything. It comes in a handy 7zip file for fast downloading or in an installer if you like it enough to run on your home machine.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


If you're looking for a something to play almost any file you throw at it, KMPlayer is the choice. Period. I'm rather impressed on how well it plays various media relatively no lag. With a pleasing skinnable interface, it handles many forms of media, Divx, MKV, OGM, AVI, etc. And when I say it can handle MKV it can. Where VLC and rulesPlayer are simply able to run MKV format video... KMPlayer dominates it. I'd give a rather humoring simile on The App's performance but I'm supposed to be informative(Thanks Katja). Anyway, there is a nifty option in the configuration menu that allows you to save setting to the application folder. That or you could just make a file named 'KMPCfg.ini' with the following lines added to it:


I must add that this app is smaller than rulesPlayer, for those of you that use it on your USB drives and are always looking for a more efficient use of space. You can grab a copy of KMPlayer here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


For those of you who hate bring their entire media library with them and hate constantly changing out music on their USB device. Fear not, with Screamer you can listen to music over the web. But how is this different from Media players like Winamp? Screamer has built-in presets that are updated frequently if not daily. Another feature I like is being able to record streams on the fly. Best of all, Screamer is portable.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Updates for Pidgin

When I wrote a batch for making Pidgin into a portable install for your USB drive/device, I didn't write in any lines for Aspell. Well its about time I did wouldn't you agree?

The original:
::First things first. I'm in UR Echo, dumping my excludes.
Echo \perlmod\ >Exclude1
Echo \locale\ >Exclude2
Echo pidgin-uninst.exe >Exclude3
mkdir Programs
::base dirs
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\
::Pidgin Lines
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\sounds\
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\pixmaps\
:: Went with XCOPY instead :p
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Pidgin\*.*" "Programs\Pidgin\" /E /H /G /EXCLUDE:Exclude1+Exclude2+Exclude3
DEL Programs\Pidgin\plugins\perl.dll
DEL Programs\Pidgin\plugins\tcl.dll
REN Programs\Pidgin\Pidgin.exe Pidgin-portable.exe
:: /Pidgin lines

:: GTK lines "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0"
MKDIR Programs\GTK\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\bin\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\etc\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\lib\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\share\
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\bin\*.*" "Programs\GTK\bin\" /E /H /G
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\etc\*.*" "Programs\GTK\etc\" /E /H /G
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\lib\*.*" "Programs\GTK\lib\" /E /H /G /EXCLUDE:Exclude2
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\share\*.*" "Programs\GTK\share\" /E /H /G
::/GTK lines
Del Exclude1
Del Exclude2
Del Exclude3

Plus Aspell:

::Aspell lines
mkdir \Programs\Aspell\bin
xcopy "C:\Program Files\Aspell\bin\Aspell-15.dll" "Programs\Aspell\bin\" /E /H /G
xcopy "C:\Program Files\Aspell\data\*.*" "Programs\Aspell\data\" /E /H /G
xcopy "C:\Program Files\Aspell\dict\*.*" "Programs\Aspell\dict\" /E /H /G
::/Aspell lines

And if you want to import your current existing profile(optional):

Xcopy "%appdata%\.purple\*.*" "\programs\.purple\"

Now you have a complete install that is ready for your USB drive, just that simple.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


On of the more extensive IM client out there is Miranda. I haven't covered this one yet but I figured should considering its portable right out of the box. One thing I like is the detailed customization of the client. Allowing you to not only change appearance, but how you you manage your contacts, status, the list goes on.

I first played around with it back in 2005 looking for an alternative to Trillian. And while it looked portable, paths in the application were stored in the database as absolute instead of relative. However there was an add-on that performed this very task. Although it was made obsolete a few updates afterwards. One of the things that makes Miranda stand out is the community of people contributing add-ons that either an in a new protocol or service or even change the way it looks or stores information.

With the new 0.7 release I can admit I am impressed and recommend this to anyone still looking for something different.

The release you want to grab in the zipped release from the Sourceforge page found in the downloads section. There will be a Zip file and that is what you want to grab. After unpacking you'll either want to remove the "mirandaboot.ini" file found in the miranda directory or just change the follwing line:


By changing the path to whatever you think is best, and the default is the Miranda directory if you leave it blank. And there you have it...Miranda portable without having to perform massive surgery.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Something about Meebo

One thing I didn't noticed or attempt to try until recently was connecting to Meebo via HTTPS instead of HTTP. It makes IM a tad more secure if you can't run your client or use Meebo fulltime. One more perk to using Meebo is that if you use one of the MeeboMe widgets you can see if anyone is looking at a webpage you set up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

(Small) Portable Wikis

I've been trying to find a Wiki that could run with as little set up needed, and was as standalone as possible. TiddlyWiki is a small, lightweight wiki that doesn't require anything beside a web browser. It can be edited just by double clicking an entry. A basic setup runs from only one file. One small, less than 500KB file that can serve as a personal Wiki/notebook/journal. I should mention it can embed media and can make an external(local) RSS feed. The RSS feed may up the file count, but only by one(for those of you that failed every math class you ever had, that makes 2). In addition to this and the startup parameters, it has a slew of other features that are even better. There is also links to other Wikis and server side options as well. Just click the link "Download Software" on the left to aquire your own.

If you're a Pen and Paper RPG fan you might be ineterested in a modification of GTD TiddlyWiki. "TenFootWiki 2.0 a personal campaign notebook for roleplaying gamemasters". It looks a little more polished and shows some more features of the original Tiddly from which it was based. A copy of this can be found in the about entry under the "Get Started" heading.

See also:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Playin with KiTTY

I found a nifty little replacement for PortaPuTTY(Socialist Sushi), KiTTY is a free and optionally portable SSH/Telnet client that does the job with some added visual features. You can set it to run transparently and or set a background image. The transparency can also be changed with simple key strokes. The list of features has me sold. So check KiTTY out.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Making Pidgin "portable" just got easier.

Here I made a nice little series of commands to drop in a batch file. The only thing I didn't do was add in a line for importing your .purple folder into the \programs folder. But you can do that with :: Xcopy "%appdata%\.purple\*.*" "\programs\.purple\"
Just add it @ the end of your batch file.

::First things first. I'm in UR Echo, dumping my excludes.
Echo \perlmod\ >Exclude1
Echo \locale\ >Exclude2
Echo pidgin-uninst.exe >Exclude3
mkdir Programs
::base dirs
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\
::Pidgin Lines
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\sounds\
MKDIR Programs\Pidgin\pixmaps\
:: Went with XCOPY instead :p
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Pidgin\*.*" "Programs\Pidgin\" /E /H /G /EXCLUDE:Exclude1+Exclude2+Exclude3
DEL Programs\Pidgin\plugins\perl.dll
DEL Programs\Pidgin\plugins\tcl.dll
REN Programs\Pidgin\Pidgin.exe Pidgin-portable.exe
:: /Pidgin lines

:: GTK lines "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0"
MKDIR Programs\GTK\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\bin\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\etc\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\lib\
MKDIR Programs\GTK\share\
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\bin\*.*" "Programs\GTK\bin\" /E /H /G
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\etc\*.*" "Programs\GTK\etc\" /E /H /G
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\lib\*.*" "Programs\GTK\lib\" /E /H /G /EXCLUDE:Exclude2
XCOPY "C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\share\*.*" "Programs\GTK\share\" /E /H /G
::/GTK lines
Del Exclude1
Del Exclude2
Del Exclude3


Monday, September 3, 2007


After a very shot test of what this small email app can do. I have to say I'm very much pleased. This app is not only smaller than Thunderbird Portable, it does nearly everything else with a smaller amount of files to work with. And if you save your passwords, it encrypts thems for you!

Don't get me wrong, the Enigmail extension for Thunderbird is good. I like that it integrates with PGP/GPG. But I need something that encrypts my passwords should I choose to save them.

nPOPuk gets my vote.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Portable IM clients(alternatives)

I've discussed Meebo and Pidgin/GAIM for portable IM. But I thought I'd give you some variety and choice in case you wanted something different. Here are some other that are portable as well:


I had some things keeping me busy from posting but I'll cover these in my next posts.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pidgin Update

Since Pidgin updated, so shall I. Enjoy.

Pidgin-Portable 2.1.1

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Putty is a great Telnet/Remote access tool, I though I'd give it a mention. While the windows binary may write setting to the windows registry. Socialist Sushi has made a package that runs portable for your pleasure. PortaPuTTY is everything you love about PuTTY with out the registry use. I could plug into Putyy-Portable, but that uses a registry file and isn't much different from running Putty from a batch file calling different system variables(massive lack of stability/capability). Sorry John, I have to go With SS on this one, PortaPutty is the winner for this post.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A portable pidgin for everyone else.

I'm not taking any credit for this, I just followed the directions from the official web site.

Here is what (may) be featured in the zip:

Pidgin Encryption
Pidgin OTR

No changes were made to the plugins, they are already portable. If there are any feature requests, I'll take them into consideration. The theme is MS windows. But if you peek over the how to page you'll know how to change it.

Packaged with 7 zip.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Portable-Pidgin revisited

Seems the makers of Portable Gaim finally spat out a portable build of Pidgin(I thought 99% of the work was done for them already). I'm going to take a peek at it just to see if it encrypts passwords. Pidgin was portable with a few modifications(directory structure and renaming one file) the only thing it didn't do was encrypt passwords. I hope they did something about that.

They wouldn't just upx the the "build" and then slap their name on it. Because that would be dishonest.

There is also a copy of Pidgin-Encryption and Pidgin-OTR that are supposed to be portable. I'll have to take a peek at these too. I was running the official plugins (Encryption/otr) from my portable build, and they ran portable. If there isn't anything outstandingly different, I won't be surprised will I?

The plugins Haller claims to have made portable, already were portable. All he did was UPX them and slap his name on them. And as for his Portable release of Pidgin, there isn't any real improvements. If you save your passwords, they get saved as plain text. But he did a nice job upx it didn't he? If you really need that 10mbs of space on on your USB device, by all means go with Haller's release, otherwise just follow the directions from the official site(it takes about five minutes).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Apping your USB, pt2

We've covered the topic of Web browsers, but we haven't covered Instant Messengers yet. If your going to be using a browser, Post) is a good place to start. It can connect you to your AIM/Yahoo/MSN/ICQ/Google/Jabber account from the page. If you sign up for an account you can sign in using a username/Password and access all your IM accounts at the same time. And it works very well for a web app.

Another option is to try Gaim/Pidgin. While Gain is now a thing of the past, the portable version runs very nicely. It even encrypts your stored passwords should you save them to your USB device. Portable Gaim may work well enough as it is, it still lacks all the portability we need. Most file locations are not saved to relative paths which can makes us sad. Because not all machines will list your USB drive to the same letter (I know a place that will list it under D). But if you need something right away, Portable Gaim could be just what you need.

I'm testing out Pidgin at the moment. Even as this post is being drafted I'm running a portable install of Pidgin. There are a few people who have "built" their own portables for Pidgin but it seems some have keyloggers bundled with them(not good). I looked over the Official Pidgin Website and I have found some instructions for making Pidgin portable. As I wrote, I'm testing said build right now. The people behind Portable Gaim haven't made their own "Official" build either but I don't think we need to go to them for one anyway(Haller-PX).

So for now Use Meebo and Gaim(portable).

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Apping your USB, pt1

I'm going to start things off with a simple app for browsing the web. Safely, securely, and requires no set up out of the box. Firefox portable. Its pre-configured to not store any cache or cookie data and works with most extensions like Sage or Chatzilla. I can still store passwords if you wish, and because its Firefox, you can set a master password to keep anyone from gaining access to those passwords should you misplace your USB drive.

All you need to do to "install" this app is download and run the executable. You can then have tell the executable where you're planning to extract the files to. I'd exctract the files to: "[Drive]:\Apps\Browsers\" because it not only keeps things organized this way, you know where to look. And if you're wondering why I choose to label the folder "browsers", I'm about to get to that. Firefox doesn't run ActiveX without the aid of an additional Add-on. But we don't want to waste the time with putting an addon on our browser that will only sow us down when we aren't using it. A browser called Maxthon is what we're going to use for ActiveX. Its portable just like Firefox, but you have to set it up after installing it to your USB drive. All you need to do is disable cache and cookie storing and set the bookmarks folder to somewhere on your USB drive( ex. "$Maxdir\favorites\"). I should mention that Maxthon is based of the IE engine, and I only use it for those few sites that run ActiveX.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Not the first post.

No, this isn't really the first post, its just an place holder for the first article. I'm going to start off by discussing what make apps "USB friendly". Some will say that size is more important than number of writes to a device. Another weighing factor is whether the app leaves a trace of itself on the system or not(but its basically a given that any trace should be minimal if not none). I'm one of those people who considers few writes to be more important than small size. Writes wear down a USB drive over time, and it wears out you'll need a new one. Call me cheap, I hate to toss out perfectly good devices before I get the mileage I paid for. I had a USB drive die on me because I was running a lot of apps from it that made heavy writes to the drive.

Lesson learned, price paid: $45 USD.