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A personal appeal from founder, John T. Haller

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on September 27, 2012 - 9:00pm

John T. Haller pictureDear User,

Today, just after the new 11.0 release of our platform and the start of work on 12.0, I am going to ask you to support with a donation. Why, you might ask, would a a popular software platform like ours need donations? is a software platform that is built differently from most software. It's built to be open, letting you use our portable apps with any other software you like and letting you use any portable software you like with our platform. Our platform and tools are 100% open source software, meaning that the code is available for you and everyone else to examine, enhance and use in other software projects.

At our core, we're a group of volunteers all over the world, over 100 in all, with another 160,000 other members of our community helping to organize, assist other users, and suggest the best apps to add to our collection. Over the past 8 years, we've grown from the very first 'portable app', Firefox Portable, hosted on my personal website, to nearly 600 apps (including tests) used by millions of users in 55 languages in nearly every country around the world. More than 1/3 of a billion apps have been downloaded, all free, double-checked to be free of viruses and malware, automatically updated and 100% legal. Nearly 2 million people visit our website every month to download apps, learn about the benefits of portable software and join our growing community.

But is more than just a software platform and a format. Our goal is to help change the world with software. Software that's not tied to a single computer. Software that can live locally, on a portable drive, on a mobile phone's memory card or in the cloud. Software that's not tied to a locked-down app store that only works with certain hardware or software. Software that can be written by anyone and used by everyone. All delivered transparently, using open technologies, in a secure and stable environment.

Your donation helps us in several ways. Most importantly, it will help us to pay for the increasing costs of bandwidth for software downloads as well as hosting our website, community forums and app store database as well as paying off the personal loans used to enable us to offer many of those downloads. Donations will also help us improve the platform, updater, app store and community website as well as upgrade our site to support multiple languages and new features. is different. It's one of the largest software projects in the world and it's maintained by volunteers. We want to keep free and growing, but we need the support of thousands of people like you.

I ask you to join us and donate today, to help keep free. Together, we're just getting started...

Thank you,
John T. Haller

Make a Donation - Please help support's development and hosting


Glad to chip in, 10 bucks for now but as soon as things pick up I'll get back with more, I certainly owe you guys.


I sent in $10.00 via PayPal.

I actually use Portable Apps not only on my portable drives and sticks (and yes, even an sd card), but also right on the hard drive of my laptop, too. Pretty much the only things that you'll find in the Program Files folder of my computer are the programs that the computer came with -- operating files and so on and so forth. Everything else is in my Portable Apps folder. The only reason I even go to my start menu on Windows 7 is to shut down the computer. I just simply don't use the pre-installed software. I even use the Portable Apps platform AS my start menu for all of my programs.

I'm a faithful user and also believe in progress.

I've had a philosophy (that I'm sure many others have as well) I don't pay for software. If it's good and someone is willing to spend the time to develop something for no compensation, especially when it's *honest* (so glad to know there are still honest people, especially programmers), I'm more than willing to help out, if I can.

This time I can. I said, it's not much, but...

Best wishes on getting the most support that you can.® Companion ™ Custom USB Drive

I have buy in 2012-9-27 a "® Companion ™ Custom USB" 32 Gig. Smile

Did it's like a sort of "donation and/or support" the " usb companion" ? Or i have to make a real donation with the upper button "Make a Donation".

Also, ... $10.00 donation made. Smile

John T. Haller's picture

Glad to hear Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Will help out too. soon as I got back home. Will chip in some amount via Paypal.
You guys do great work and we appreciates all you efforts.

Hey John, thanks a lot! I'm using PortableApps for years and it really helps as I (by fact) don't have the only one PC, but the one at work, one at home, one by my wife, one by my parents and so on... Smile
I've sent my "fifty cents" via PayPal.
Good luck! Keep on going!

Hi, I've tried thro' the PayPal site to pay with my credit card (2x different cards) and they say that I cannot pay using my cards!!!!
I have a PayPal account but I cannot use it!!! They do not like me using my IronKey USB stick so they can get st*ffed...

Sorry guys; I want to donate (I'd put in $50 as I think you're worth it!!) but cannot get through the PayPal red tape!!
If there's any other way let me know!!


Simeon's picture

on the way. You look a bit desperate on the picture... I hope its not too bad!

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

John T. Haller's picture

Yeah, that one was a little sad, eh? I've made it a bit happier one Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hi John,
I've been using Portable Apps for years and spreading the word about it too!
just sent my 10 bucks, keep the good work!

Signature automatically removed for containing links

Just donated $10.00 towards your fund, your software is great, keep up the good work


Ken Herbert's picture

Thought I might as well go for Supporter level.

$5 for the quiet little poke at Wikipedia's recent donation drive, $10 for the awesomeness that is PortableApps, and another $10 for the sexy pic of John.

On second thought, some of us spend so much time here maybe we should be the ones getting paid...

It's a radical idea, but have you considered an address where a check could be sent? Old fashioned, I know, but it still works. I too am reluctant to support Paypal, for reasons I won't get into here.

Al Balmer

Foxzzy's picture

I need to ask why the program inside the installer marked Ver 2.19.4 comes out as Ver after it is installed....

Also, there is a major discrepancy with the Ini file and Icon menu - if you un-check the "Remember Last Played' Option - it always comes back checked the next time you run Coolplayer. I have even eliminated that line from the ini file(s)and it makes no difference.

I anm using this on XP SP3 - and am wondering if thats why it is acting that way???

If that is an normal OS for this Program, then why am i having these difficulties with it?? And, the different version inside the installer??

Would like answers for this before I donate to the cause....




John T. Haller's picture

The app's version is 2.19.4. The launcher that portablizes it (CoolPlayer+Portable.exe) is version That's just the version of its EXE. For most apps, the launcher will show as most are now based on the current Launcher. The only version folks will normally see is 2.19.4 within the app itself and within the Platform as most folks won't be launching the apps directly (of course, they work just fine and dandy when launched directly). If you explore the EXEs within any app (local or portable) you'll find varying version numbers of the different components. What usually matters is what shows up in Help About.

As for specific issues with CoolPlayer+, I'd wager it's not exiting correctly as CoolPlayer+ only saves its settings on exit. And it correctly saved my selection not to Remember Last Played when I just exited and restarted it. So if it's running when you shutdown Windows, it crashes and doesn't save settings to disk. Quite a few apps work that way. For any further issues or any other questions related to this, please post a note in the Other Apps Support forum rather than as comments on a blog post, that way all our devs and users can easily find it and assist (it makes it easier for folks with the same question to find it at a later date with a search as well). And welcome to Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

vf2nsr's picture

basically saying John I appreciate all of your work that you have put into the site as well as all of the time and monies. I have been a user of Portableapps for a long time, longer than I have even been registered on the site. I am not trying to say poor me and just stating my story. I would love to be able to donate a large sum to help the cause, heck I would love to be able to donate even a small amount. Times being what they have for me I find the only donation I can give is some of my time. That is a real big reason I started to develop apps and maintain them as well. My hope is that although I can not give any $$ maybe, just maybe some of the users who use the apps I develop might be able to donate, and sort of pick up my slack. This is also why I try to get apps that sort of get cross advertised on the apps pages, to give more exposure to Portableapps and potentially bring in "New" folks to the site.

Hope this makes Sense...again I am not asking for a free slide just trying to pay my way in an alternative fashion.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss

John T. Haller's picture

Thank you for the kind words, Patrick. And, I hear you on finances being what they are. Trust me, all you and the other devs do is very much appreciated. By me, by the other devs, by publishers and by lots and lots of users. So, you don't have anything to apologize for or explain. Just keep your head held high and keep kicking app butt by developing and packaging more useful stuff for everyone to use. Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hi there, I've just thrown in a handful of $$$ via Paypal (not for the first time, if I may add).

I personally don't mind giving money to good causes without knowing exactly how it will be spent. I notice that you provide little info on how the money is used. This may put off others who are more skeptical than I.

I think sites like Donation Coder, Wikipedia or BookMooch do better fundraising. They include some details about annual server cost, what projects the money is spent on etc. You could also detail what you spend money on (salaries, taxes, hardware, software, hosting). You could then state "we need x $ to fund 2013" or something like that.

A bar that tracks the progress of the fundraising effort would be nice too. I think this may increase donations.

I wouldn't mind either if you adopted a freemium model, as long as it keeps PortableApps on the market. I hate seeing a good tool go.

John T. Haller's picture

Currently, we spend around $25,000 a year on hosting (dedicated box + cloud files + content delivery network) and bandwidth. We've spent a good amount in the past on flying out and negotiating with the big flash drive companies only to have them either decide to do nothing or setup a competing locked-down solution that illegally used some of our software (we got them to stop). We've also spent a good amount in the past and a smaller amount ongoing on legal fees for the above-mentioned negotiations, copyright and trademark stuff, and drafting up agreements for hardware and commercial software partnerships so that we can be self-sufficient and protected. The previous hosting fees, negotiations/flying, legal fees, etc are the majority of the existing personal loans. No one draws a salary.

We've considered the freemium model in the past, but it is difficult to make it work properly without cutting users off from features we feel should be free (and open source), which just feels wrong to me. We've also had the opportunity to be bought in the past for quite a large figure, but the company was going to lock it down, require user-registration and artificially tie it to hardware (ala U3) which would be both morally wrong and a commercial mess. We're open to merger or acquisition routes with the right company that understands how to do things, though.

Don't worry, we're not going anywhere anytime soon. And, happily, all our stuff is open source so even if something bad did happen, interested folks could keep things moving. We're in it for the long haul -- 8 years and still growing -- so you can expect to keep seeing new software, new features and fast updates. Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Pyromaniac's picture

I never realized how much all this legal stuff costs, and the effort you put into this to keep it going...

I do agree with the $x for 2013 idea. Maybe a little bar on the left-hand area with a $x dollars raised so far, and below it, the donation button.

Gord Caswell's picture

We were talking about this on IRC recently, and I agree with what's been suggested. My suggestion was to have a bar in the header, between the logo and the user account links.

Lord_Theren's picture

I had no idea that it cost so much for the development and website hosting. If I had the money, I would definitely donate. (Sorry Sad )

I just want to say that is brilliant and thank you John for all of the software made available to the public and for not selling out to another company.

The fact that you get no salary also got through to me. It just blows my mind that you pay massive amounts of money to put into legal agreements and such out of the good of your heart. If everyone was as generous and good-hearted as you, the world would be a much better place. Keep up the good work!

From the bottom of my heart, -Zack

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Same problem here. I've tried all my accounts and PayPal won't accept any of them for payment. And there's no information being provided about why.

I will be donating a small amount to the project when I can though. I've been using the software here since they had to rename the firefox portable version.

John T. Haller's picture

My apologies for your and others PayPal experiences. We expect to have at least one alternative online this week. We'll be announcing it in the main feed (RSS, Facebook, Twitter, etc) as it seems there's quite a bit of interest.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

I'd be happy to donate but cannot use PayPal. Because of a dispute with them, even with this "don't have an account" option they will not accept my card. Please consider providing at least one other method like google checkout or something to accept donations.

Just sent $100 via Amazon. Back payment for years of use. Thank you to the site and all the folks who run and contribute to it.

$10 transferred.
Will repeat next month.

I have been using it every day for I don't even remember how many years.
I do appreciate your work and effort a lot.
Fantastic job.

John T. Haller's picture

As promised, we've added a Amazon Payments as an option for donating and sponsoring. It's live now, so for folks who had issues with PayPal, please try again. If you'd like to discuss payments and alternatives further, we have a thread for that now, too:

And, thank you for your donations and support!

EDIT - Amazon Payments has been removed. Amazon Payments may not be used by open source projects seeking donations or 'Pay What You Want' style commerce (ala Radiohead's album releases). It can only be used for real physical/virtual goods where everyone is charged the same price for the same service or for donations for 501c3 non-profit charities.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

PPal is a pain, it took three attempts and several corrections - but went thru at the end - hope it helps.

greetings - heinz -

I, too, have submitted a long-overdue donation. Thank you for all of your hard work and constant updating of both the platform and the applications contained therein.

I would love to donate, but unfortunately my credit card company charges transaction fees. Do you have a bank number I can wire my donation to to circumvent the fees?

John T. Haller's picture

In the United States, wire transfer fees are typically $20, which exceeds the average donation size. Wire transfers for small amounts are nearly unheard of in the US as a result.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hi there, I have used PortableApps for many years, both on a stick and on the hard drive. Also find that it works in Linux if you use it.
One of the best computer apps around.
Sent $15. Keep up the good work and keep your head down during Sally.

Just donated $4. It's not much, not much at all I know, but is all I have on my PP account...

To be honest I never used PApps a lot, but there are other software that I used way less and payed way more anyways.

And you guys sure as hell deserve our money!

Like rjcb3 said: "I've had a philosophy (that I'm sure many others have as well) I don't pay for software. If it's good and someone is willing to spend the time to develop something for no compensation, especially when it's *honest* (so glad to know there are still honest people, especially programmers), I'm more than willing to help out, if I can."

I'd rather pay for someone who does his works for free than for someone who charges me.

And a big THANKS from Brazil! Biggrin

Dear John
I have found Portable apps *extremely* helpful over the years. It is simple, intuitive and has copies of all the popular programmes that I use.
I have chipped in before and am happy to do so on a regular basis ($5 every month, if it helps).
I wanted to suggest that actually charging a small amount for the apps is not criminal you know. Programmers have done it on Tablets as well.
Why not have a minimal payment amount ($1) for the apps that you have modified? It wouldn't put people off and would certainly help to keep the effort going.
We all need the $£ etc to live, you know.

Warm regards and Best Wishes.


Lord_Theren's picture

The entire point of is to provide FREE Open Source apps to the public, as well as freeware. A large percentage of the users come here because the apps are FREE. Also, most, if not all, of the original programs were free. People could just forgo the convenience and copy the original programs to their device. So charging money for these apps would not work. I am glad you like this site but paying for the apps is not necessary.

Regards, -Zack

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

I don't mind donating, and have already.

I DO mind seeing the nag screen every time I launch the app!

John T. Haller's picture

There's an issue with shutting down Windows or ejecting the drive without closing down the Platform where it won't save the fact that it showed the What's New box for the current version. It saves those details on exit. Just run the platform and be sure to click the X button in the lower right to close it. That'll save it. The platform only saves some settings and stats on exit and we've discovered that quite a few people never properly exit the platform allowing it to save, so we're going to add a few more save points in the next bug-fix release. Likely tomorrow. Until then, just click the X in the lower right and it'll work.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

I love portable apps, and I donated back a while ago. The constant nag to donate since is wearing on my nerves.

John T. Haller's picture

Just close the platform with either the X or the Eject/Power button. You're shutting down Windows without closing the platform which crashes it, so it can't save its settings. So, it's not saving any options changes you make, any stats on apps, and isn't remembering that it showed you what was new in version 12.2. The comment right above yours explains it as well.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!