Can I just download OpenOffice 2.1 and install it over top of the current portable 2.0.4 version?
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Yes. It works for me. If you want to reduce the size to roughly John's package, you will also need to UPX all the exe and dll's and recompress all the jar's.
Do you mean that you downloaded OO.o 2.1 directly from OO.o site and just installed it over OO.o-2.04-Portable, and it works fine?
The only thing I did not do was leave off some of the modules (to save space) as John did (I do not know which modules he left off).
The package is 149 Mb on the USB drive (FAT32). It works well, starts up fast and has not failed me yet. Ciao