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Had enough of portable apps

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reem_151
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Had enough of portable apps

A few weeks ago I was raving about portable apps and how handy the platform launches apps and I can have my settings and bookmarks in Firefox. But recently there has been a lot of updates on a number of apps and now everything has been going t*ts up. Firefox keeps reporting that flash, shockwave, silverlight is out of date. I update and it reports that all is fine. The next time I use it, it reports that it still out of date. Now I can not update cos when I try it asks me to close firefox, I close it but it still thinks it is open. I tried moving the files manually, but still no. I have reinstalled Firefox (loosing all my bookmarks), still nothing but problems. The idea of using portable apps, in particular portable firefox is to make things easier but I have spent the last week messing around with updating the pluggins. What was all the updates about? It just seems to make things worse. Of all the improvements that firefox needed, I would thought that getting the pluggins to update Seamlessly would be a priority.
I can not eject the flash drive neither. I used to be able to but not now, the apps are still running in the background somewhere.

It is all a shame cos I was so happy with the whole concept of using these apps wherever I go, but it seems too problematic

carterrk
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Can't get enough of PortableApps.com!

I understand your frustration. Like everything else connected to computing, there seem to be so many ways for things to get easily messed up.

Due to some recent health problems, lately I'm spending more time in the "confused user" category, and I don't have all your answers.

I also have some experience as a programmer, and I know how hard it is to write a "foolproof" program that can't easily be misconfigured.

If you decide to walk away from all that's offered here, so long, and sorry for all you'll be missing out on!

But, if you are persistent in searching the forums for answers, you'll probably find most of your problems/questions have already been answered/addressed already. And, before long, most likely another forum user will jump in to help.

There are some great programs here, and there's a great community of users ready to help you work things out. Don't give up so easily!

Rick Carter

ottosykora
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but talking abt plugins

>But recently there has been a lot of updates on a number of apps and now everything has been going t*ts up. Firefox keeps reporting that flash, shockwave, silverlight is out of date. I update and it reports that all is fine. I can not eject the flash drive neither. I used to be able to but not now, the apps are still running in the background somewhere.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

NathanJ79
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Flash drives suck

First of all, flash drives suck. They're cheap and they're in the PA logo because they're cheap and probably everybody has one, but they're not so good, especially for anything remotely resource-intensive. Firefox? VLC? LibreOffice? Get a portable hard drive. I paid $60 for a 500GB Western Digital drive. Faster than any stupid flash drive and it can handle more than one read/write operation, which is where flash drives really stink for PA use. I ran Pale Moon Portable (Firefox, optimized for Windows) off my phone's microSD card, and nearly cried at how pathetic it was. Yet, off my portable hard drive, it ran just as good as it did if it were installed. Because it's running off a hard drive.

Second, there are things you can do. I use an extension (all Firefox extensions work in Pale Moon, so you can pretend I don't use a different browser... because fundamentally, I do not) called Mar Mod that adds a bunch of UI tweaks to Firefox. One is a built-in update checker. I don't check updates to my extensions. They check themselves when they start, and if a restart is needed, it can do it automatically, but I disabled that. Now it's all silent. It'll update, and the next time I restart my browser, it's updated. It's so easy.

If you have background-running apps, right-click the taskbar and choose Task Manager. This works in XP and 7. The launchers do need a few seconds to clean up, but they shouldn't take much longer.

P.S.: If you do get a portable hard drive, do not get a Seagate. They are known to fail inside a year. WD is the best but Maxtor is not bad. Anybody else is using one of those three or Toshiba, I think. Maybe Samsung or Hitachi. Most geeks will tell you to just play it safe and stick with WD.

Hope some of this helps.

consul
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size matters and also ...

my usb works great fits on my key ring or my wallet ring so it's always with whatever I use at work or at home.

And my seagates, the goflexes have been chugging along fine.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

NathanJ79
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fair trade

I wouldn't put a flash drive on a keychain unless it was a Corsair Flash Voyager or something similarly designed. And it would need to have a cap. But I never carry my 8GB Flash Voyager -- used only for portability of my Xbox Live profile and my wife's and some of our favorite Rockband songs (DLC) -- on a keychain. Because then you have to take it off. Or have your keys dangling off your computer. Which is less than elegant.

I ran portable apps off a few different flash drives for a couple years. It was nice when it lasted. But once I went to portable hard drives, I couldn't justify the performance hit. I tried running Portable Pale Moon off my phone's internal storage, and the amount of time it took to load *Google* actually infuriated me, and I deleted all the portable apps off it. I would rather use IE8 installed on an XP computer than Portable Firefox/Pale Moon off a flash drive. No exaggeration. It's a fair trade to go from lighter size to smartphone size for the performance gain.

ottosykora
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different things

>I tried running Portable Pale Moon off my phone's internal storage, and the amount of time it took to load *Google* actually infuriated me

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

consul
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clip on,

I have the usb key attached to a tiny chain & clip, which clips on my wallet key ring, a chisco surfshorts. I use a very minimalist wallet that has a the key ring on it, almost like a coin purse with a windows for id's. It's meant so that I lay my wallet down and then it is close enough to connect to a usb port up front of most pc's. If not close enough, I can unclip and plug in. It's on that because if I lost either of the two, I'd be borked, so they both stay together with me. It lays flat so that there isn't pressure from hanging down.
I know too man yfolks who just leave the usb keys everywhere.

I still love my sandisk titanium, I know that there is no cap and that some folks don't like the slider part, but I've been using the same one every since this website came out (or at least 5-6years) and I never had any problems with the slider or dust. Actually, it does have a little protection in that when it's not plugged in, it's in the little exterior pocket so I suppose technically that's a big sleeve.

Hey, my phone is also with me nearly everywhere, and it if worked well enough, I would have had that, but also, that means I gotta carry a phone cord with me too. Smile

I do know that the external harddrives are good and fast, I just won't carry it all the time. At home, my usb is backed to the external and I do run the apps from there then.

Though I also have to say, I suppose I have different user experiences from some others in that I don't find my apps to slow, besides thunderbird/firefox which could be the constant read/writes, but also that the internet connections are borked in my temporary office.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

consul
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4 years

... I updated to this 8gb from a 4gb.
Wouldn't want to misrepresent. Biggrin

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

jwinter
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I thought the same until I formatted my flash with NTFS

I couldn't understand why portable apps running from a flash drive was so much slower than running from a USB hard drive - particularly after I had chosen a flash drive that tested just about as fast as the hard drive.

Eventually I figured that about the only difference was the drive formatting, and after I changed the flash from FAT to NTFS, suddenly it ran like the wind. I think the difference is that when you use NTFS, Windows decides to allow and buffer up write caching - and that makes all the difference.

Of course with write caching on a removable drive you are living a little dangerously - don't think about unplugging the flash drive without invoking the "Safely Remove Hardware" procedure! (and don't accidentally jiggle the power supply to the USB hub with the flash drive in either!)

JohnW

GJansen
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Nothing to do with PA

Hi Reem,

The problems you describe do not seem to be related to PA.
-Your plugins are something you have to do yourself (copying flash and shockwave to the drive, disabling silverlight in your portable browser).
-Why it thinks it is still open can have a host of reasons, perhaps firefox on the pc itself? (ctlr+shift+esc should help). Try updating right after inserting the drive and before running any PA's.
-With regard to your bookmarks. Firefox has a functionality that can export and import, back-up, your bookmarks (ctrl+shift+B, then there is a button that says 'import and create back-up' or something along those lines in the menu). Next time do that before removing firefox.
-The updates are there for security and improved functionality. You don't have to update btw.
-You cannot eject your drive, again, this can have a myriad of reasons. Virus scan running, apps not closed (ctrl+shift+esc again), plugins still attached to the drive, windows running an exe tied to the drive (for language support for instance). There are several ways to find out what happens.

Since the guys here are usually pretty friendly and helpful I suggest next time you don't rant but ask help w.r.t. to your issues. People are bound to respond and that way you can keep using PA and raving about it.

reem_151
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I go to my local library but

I go to my local library but I cannot save any bookmarks so the idea is to use portable firefox and I can keep all the bookmarks on that. There is a feature to sync bookmarks but it wants a specific device. My home computer is fine but I cannot name a computer in the library a device. Firefox is not installed on any of the computers in the library anyway. If I could name my flash drive as a device, then fine but I really don’t think I can.

I had an earlier version of portable FF and looking at the forums, I had to copy the dll file from the library’s computer c: /../.. macromed etc and put it the d: /../. plugin directory, overriding the old one. Same to with the specific shockwave for director and silverlight files. This worked fine but do I have to do this for all my plugins, for every update? After an update of firefox, to 11, the plugins directoy is empty. Any update to flash, silverlight etc updates the files on the c drive so IE that is installed on the machines reports that it is up to date. I copied all the files to the plugin directory, still does not like it.
When I check my plugins, for flash it says:
‘This plugin version has security vulnerability that websites can exploit and potentially harm your computer. It is recommended that you update this plugin or if an update is not available, disable it’.

Like most people on this forum, I am technically minded and love messing around with settings to see what does what and how to fix things. But what about people who are not, people who just open a browser and start doing what they need to do on the internet. Will they see if there plugins are up to date? Will they bother to find a resolution and just switch to another browser? Are we saying that portable firefox are not for them to use? Firefox is brilliant, a powerful bit of software. Why cant mozzilla get this problem sorted so that all the plugins auto-update without so much user intervention.

Ps I love firefox.

Pokémaniac
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Firefox Sync will work just fine

I've been using Firefox sync to keep my stuff synchronized between my local and portable installations for a couple months now, and I haven't had any problems. That won't help with plugins, though.

reem_151
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Your Right.

You right, Firefox on my laptop now syncs just fine with my FF PortApp. I think I was just having a frustrating day. I just wish they could sort out this plugin thing. It was working just fine, but after an update, it all went a bit Pete Tong.

ottosykora
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as said before

'the plugin thig' did not exist and is unlikely to exist in any future and it was not working before and after any update or on any version.

If you have an version which did update your microsoft office, let us know, this would be very special thing.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

ottosykora
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so again

You seem not to understand that plugins have nothing to do with portable apps, with mozilla with firefox .

Plugins are programs, supplied by different authors, different companies and what they do produce is entirely up to them . If they decide that certain plugin will work only in some instances, that is up to them. Mozilla can not solve it, neither can portableapps.

There are many different plugins and they behave all differently and change that also often.
To complain about flash for example, you have to complain to adobe, to complain about silverlight, you contact Microsoft.

Plugins are programs installed and running on your computer and some browsers may or may not try to use them. Some browsers may be alowed to use them , other not. If they do not work, report to the author.

In some rare cases, it is possible to copy some system files to the plugin folder of your portable installation and the plugin function is at least partially available. However this is not always possible and will not be portable really, as files with personal data might be left on the local computer.
With some plugins such operation is not possible at all however.

Plugins are definitely not designed to be run portably, and if some of them work half portable then it is just matter of pure luck.

Update of plugins are not possible to be done by mozilla too (they supply you this page at least: https://www.mozilla.org/en/plugincheck/ ), the manufacturer of such plugin will not give their products out of their hands. The manufacturers only have the responsibility of updates and do that in fact quite frequently. And how they do , means what procedure they want use, is entirely their matter. Some plugins have internal parts to check for updates, other don't. In such case user has to take care of it.
Or do you think adobe or microsoft will listen to open source devs about ideas how a plugin should be updated?

So complaining about plugins here is like to complain in a linux forum about windows.
Or complain in a cooking recipe forum about you bicycle does not work.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

reem_151
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Microsoft's Internet Explorer

Microsoft's Internet Explorer runs Adobe's Flash, Acrobat etc. Google's Chrome runs Silverlight, Flash Real player etc.
Firefox (not portable) runs all of the plugins.
Complaining about Windows in a Linux forum would be a bit stupid, unless that is if Linux needed Windows to be installed and had to access certain files from it to function.

It seems that the different companies do not mind their browsers running other companies plugins and vice versa. Even Firefox (not portable) can update and run these plugins without a problem. In an an earlier version I could just move some files over to the plugin dir of FF PA. Even if this was a pain, I could have written a script to do it when needed. But now there does not seem to be any files in the plugin dir, I tried moving all the files but it still did not like it. Every time I go to the library I spend a chunk of time on this. It defeats the point of using FF to save time and keeping my bookmarks.
Firefox is brilliant with some great coding and features. I just hope that this is something that could be sorted out cos I would like other people without such technical knowledge to use it but they could be oblivious to the fact that there is a possible security risk cos their plugins are not up to date.

ottosykora
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plugins are separate programs

>Even Firefox (not portable) can update and run these plugins without a problem.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

reem_151
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Chrome

Got portable Chrome. It updates flash automatically. No need to install/update to local machine, copy files to the plugins folder etc etc. Just open Portable Chrome and its all up to date. That's what I am talking about, not worrying about the different venders or authors. I much prefer Port FF but if Chrome can do it, why not FF?

John T. Haller
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Licensing

Chrome has Flash licensed from Adobe and includes it. Mozilla Firefox is 100% open source so would not include a closed source component on principle.

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

ranggie4
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Dropbox

I used to run them from my flash drive but then the system administrators disabled the USB port(took me the whole of 10minutes to find out and re-enable it back) but that experience had me turn to another solution. I have since turned to Dropbox for storage.

I'm also a little paranoid. So, I have put the Portable Apps folders and files inside a TrueCrypt file.

Do let me know if anyone needs more info on that but I'm sure there's plenty to be found.

As for the plugins, I sure do wish that Adobe will allow and that someone would make something like jPortable for Flash and even Silverlight. For now, I just copy the necessary files for them both and put them in the \PortableApps\FirefoxPortable\Data\plugins\ folder. (2 files for flash and 28 for Silverlight)

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