Why Portable? Why NOT?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bellgamin, Sep 6, 2010.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    More & more applications are now available in a "full install" version AND in a "portable version". For example, the Iron Browser is available in both versions.

    I would appreciate reading any comments you might care to offer concerning the advantages & disadvantages of using portable versions.
     
  2. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    I`ve been using portable Thunderbird for a long time - I can reinstall the OS as much as I want without ever having to re-input all my email account details. :thumb:
     
  3. culla

    culla Registered Member

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    exactly i run almost everything portable works perfectly i even made a portable os xp to try works but a bit slow :D
     
  4. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    A few thoughts... As already noted, being portable means your app can go with you and still have all your settings. Especially when using flash drives.

    You can run a portable app and if you don't like it, just delete it and there are no file or registry leftovers to deal with.

    In Vista and Win 7, if you leave the app folder outside of the Programs Files folder, permission issues can be more manageable.
     
  5. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    All I've heard of are advantages. Is there really even a single disadvantage?

    Here's one (not really)... if you're addicted to a particular app, and the "OEM" doesn't provide it portable and you're not a tech genius, you may have to wait (and wait) for an update of the portable version.

    A real example...
    The Oracle effect is evident because portableapps.com (the site I trust for portable apps) is waiting (and waiting) for certain clarifications (from Oracle) relating to OpenOffice 3.2.2. Meanwhile, 3.2.3 is nearly ready. I understand that Oracle's legal team is a bit busy these days so it could be a while and I'm stuck on 3.2.1.
     
  6. culla

    culla Registered Member

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    disadvantage portable programs open a bit slower :D
     
  7. Nek

    Nek Registered Member

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    I believe what you've mentioned is probably one of the two "disadvantages" I've encountered so far -- the other one being association of file extensions. Though I must say this is a highly subjective "disadvantage" as it depends on your computing habits. Take extracting archives as an example. A good friend of mine tested 7-Zip portable but found it extremely tedious because he couldn't drag, extract and drop files via the right-click context menu like he normally could with an installed file archiver. Unfortunately he isn't one to fiddle with and tweak applications (note: some portable apps allow you to fiddle with some settings to integrate them to the shell context menu). That was the deal breaker for him.

    Like what HAN and Fad said, as apps' settings are stored in their folders (no need to reconfigure in the event of a format/backup restoration), portable apps do not clutter the registry and are extremely simple to back up (simply copy and paste to your backup location).
     
  8. guest

    guest Guest

    I have used portable apps in the past, but not anymore.

    5 advantages:

    - (everytime) better management of the installation;

    - (everytime) more complete uninstallation;

    - (everytime) can be installed directly into portable devices;

    - (usually) custom settings can be saved on portable devices;

    - (usually) settings tend to come tweaked/optimized for less "impact" by default.

    5 disadvantages:

    - (everytime) not easier to install/uninstall;

    - (everytime) updates are released first for the not portable ("full install") version;

    - (usually) may require more of your time to get tweaked and ready for your needs;

    - (usually) greater potential of having some extra bugs causing it to be less stable than the "full install" version;

    - (rarely) may lack some features from the "full install" version.
     
  9. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    Sure, the main disadvantage = more hassle to get them to play nice with other apps. Examples:

    --I had to manually add paths for FireforPortable and IronPortable to CCleaner to keep them from ballooning. (Extra customization is often required with portable apps)

    --When I install some app, say Videlia bundle for Tor, it doesn't see PortableFirefox so I have to add the TorButton add-on manually (common problem with installers that look to default locations or the registry to add plug-ins or add-ons).

    --Every time I run 7zipPortable I get a pop-up from Online Armor asking me to okay it and I have no way to 'white list' it (regular exclude/trust/always allow doesn't work).

    You could put those all under the category of: Portable apps come with a greater risk of problematic interactions with other programs.

    As a rule of thumb, when given a choice I use "full install" option for apps I intend to use a lot and that will interact frequently with other programs. Otherwise I prefer "portable installs."
     
  10. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Re. CCleaner and browsers .... I rarely run any browser outside Sandboxie and so I was and am not aware of the problem.
     
  11. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    I must admit that I'm something of a portable junkie.

    To start with I 'portabilized' things like Video Converters so that I could have 2 or 3 alternatives without cluttering up my system with codecs and registry entries;but since then anything that can be used/made portable is for me.

    I use a combination of simple portable apps. along with application virtualization (Symantec SVA,Evalazer) just to keep my system as virgin as possible.
     
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