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Portable Desktop?

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eddiefb3
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Portable Desktop?

I've been using this site for a while now getting all these awesome apps. But have never posted before. I started thinking about this and wondered if it was possible, or if maybe there is already a way to do it.

Is their a way to take your desktop with you? Instead of using a menu that boots up when the USB drive is in a whole desktop. With your own background picture and icons on the desktop linking to the apps on the disk.

I think it'd be pretty cool to take my desktop to any computer and have it look as if it was mine.

Any ideas? comments?

Lurking_Biohazard
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Have a look.

https://portableapps.com/node/6504
https://portableapps.com/node/1686
https://portableapps.com/node/7356
https://portableapps.com/node/7465
https://portableapps.com/node/5648

I'm sure there are more...
Plus the new menu will have a wallpaper switcher. Not totally what you are looking for, but I thought I'd mention it.

Anyone have any ideas or think we should revisit something?

~Lurk~

rab040ma
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virtualization

The idea of a virtualized desktop makes a lot of sense, if we can find something that is opensource and easy on resources. The current PA model is a lightweight alternative that is "good enough" for most purposes, but it would be better if it could have even more isolation from the logged in user's environment on the host. For example, when you swap the host's desktop wallpaper with the guest's choice, you're making a change in the host computer that needs to be undone at some point, whereas a more complete virtualization would leave the host desktop alone and provide a separate one for the guest, preventing the guest from messing with the host's preferences and preventing a virus running on the host from infecting the guest. Ceedo and Mojopac Freedom and I think VMware have introduced software that moves in that direction, but there's no reason why there shouldn't be an opensource alternative. QEMU can come close, if a linux desktop would do (and it probably would for most geeks).

MC

Joble
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This looks promising

Have an Awesome Day!

roamer
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or

this:
https://portableapps.com/node/7447

that is if the file is ever uploaded again.

OliverK> you don't live on a cow
IRC: It brings out the best in all of us...Especially when tired.

digitxp
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Better Idea

You may as well just load linux onto a portable hard drive and boot it from there

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Joble
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hahahahaha,

actually, I do that too.

Have an Awesome Day!

digitxp
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I don't...

I don't actually do that, I have no need for a virtual desktop.

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rab040ma
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If the idea is to have an

If the idea is to have an environment to take with you, you'd need to take into account that a lot of computers are "locked down", which might mean they try to keep you from booting from CD, DVD, or USB drives. So the idea of running in a QEMU virtualized linux desktop running in Windows makes some sense. Of course, if they restrict you to just installed software, that would be a problem too.

MC

consul
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booting from cd, dvd, or usb ...

if the host restricted you on that in first place, you wouldn't be doing anything in the first place. Smile

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

rab040ma
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That's sort of tautological.

That's sort of tautological.

I'd assume the host allows you to do some things, like use a web browser. The question is whether it is so locked down as to prevent you from doing useful things, which includes mounting a USB, finding files on it, executing programs there, etc. Sometimes they allow some things but not others. (Asking is probably a better way to find out what is allowed than trial and error.)

If they've gone to the trouble of locking some things down, they have probably locked everything down. One could ask if they'd relax it a bit for you, but if they don't want you to use your own apps off your USB drive, or boot from it, you should probably respect their preferences... You'd want them to respect yours, if the tables were turned.

MC

LOGAN-Portable
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VirtuaWin Portable 3.2.0 (r1)

I made a quick PAF installer for VirtuaWin but this is possibly not what you were looking for. Mainly because it still shows the host's desktop and icons.

Now I'm continuing my search for a real vertual desktop application and not a kind of windows manager to manage multiple desktops like this. (Oh I haven't checked it out to see if it actually supports clean desktops and such.)

I also don't like the next doesn't work when reaching the last and loop to the first. [Edit: can be set in SETUP]

Anyway, here it is:
http://www.albartus.googlepages.com/VirtuaWin_Portable_3.2.0.1.paf.exe

Patrick Patience
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Haha

I've done VirtuaWin portable, and it was just bumped to the top of Beta Testing a couple of hours ago...did I miss something? Blum

Also, I dropped it for now, because a lot of the Modules use the registry, specially the wallpaper one.

LOGAN-Portable
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Oh sorry, I didnt notice

Oh sorry, I didnt notice that one, just the one where the link gave a 404.

Anyway I rather would see something integrated with PAM, like a desktop folder and a desktop that would act like a regular desktop (with all messy icons and stuff) that when PAM is started on an other PC shows the same desktop again.

I was hoping the virtua desktop (or some other I found) did this, but it still showed my messy desktop Smile

Patrick Patience
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Yea

Forgot, the download's down cause the app is useless if modules are used. Blum

dragonmage
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Couldn't the same concept as

Couldn't the same concept as Convey be applied to the Desktop folder? It would have to move the "current user" and "all users" desktop icons into seperate folders, copy in the "portable icons" (with correct path), then on eject delete the "portable icons" move the host's icons back to their respective folders, then delete the temporary holding folders...

Seems to me that someone should be able to do that. The only ones that would probably cause trouble would be Recycle Bin, My Docs, etc...

Riax
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It could work, but...

Quote from rab040ma:
For example, when you swap the host's desktop wallpaper with the guest's choice, you're making a change in the host computer that needs to be undone at some point, whereas a more complete virtualization would leave the host desktop alone and provide a separate one for the guest, preventing the guest from messing with the host's preferences and preventing a virus running on the host from infecting the guest.

Moving files around on the host machine isn't something I'd want the PAM platform to do on my flash drive. If something were to happen while PAM was running that caused it to terminate abruptly, the changes that were made would not be automatically reversed. Then, if you restarted PAM, the settings that never got changed back could potentially overwrite the original backup that PAM made the first time before it crashed. If that happened, the host's original desktop state could be lost.

If some kind of portable desktop feature were to be implemented, I'd want it to be completely detached from the host machine. And actually, running some kind of portable virtual PC using Linux wouldn't be such a bad thing. That way, you'd have an entire operating system, not just a desktop, all to yourself while using a public machine.

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

dragonmage
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I'm sure I won't sway your

I'm sure I won't sway your opinion but, I was thinking it would be a seperate program , not PAM itself doing it. As far as a crash goes, it could store information for each comp (like geek.menu does for wallpapers , or the program on load could check to see if the temporary folders exist if they exist then the program would prompt to restore the host icons then restart.

LOGAN-Portable
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I want a portable desktop too

I want a portable desktop too but this thread as well as others get sidetracked.

A portable linux is not a portable desktop.
Links to earlier threads without good suggestions are not helping.
Should be a bit like mojopack but being open source and not use host registry and so on.

I wish the PAM launcher would include a desktop folder and on start it makes one window cover the screen and show icons from this desktop folder with relative paths.
All portable apps and other apps started after the portable desktop is shown should be kept ABOVE the portable desktop. It should not change the original desktop, only hide it.
The portable desktop window should act like the real one with icons and open windows but not use the original desktop to do it. Closing the portable desktop should close the window and all settings and files on it should already be stored on the USB stick.
Deleting a file from the portable desktop should move the files to a recycle bit on the USB stick (not the host computer's recycle bin).

Idially a 'desktop window' that starts together with PAM would be great.

I checked a few suggestions but most are just a desktop manager style or desktop enhancements. To many times I see suggestions like BartPE or portable linux. These are complete operating systems, take to long to load.

Hopefully there's an open source solution floating around that will offer a portable desktop...

roamer
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Well,

that's a comprehensive list, although I aggree with everything on it.
But...Perhaps it could be a package that creates and manages a portable desktop.
The shortcuts could be mananged by ASuite. Although it does use the host desktop for a little while (but I don't mind).
Combined with PortableApps Platform Beta (or one of the mods like geek.Menu) you would have wallpaper.

The rest of the list, I can't think of an app/apps to control them.

OliverK> you don't live on a cow
IRC: It brings out the best in all of us...Especially when tired.

rab040ma
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You're quite right

You're quite right about what would be nice. The issue is what is possible. The sidetracking is exploring practicalities, which have a lot of compromises from what would be nice.

The first consideration is security. The only way to be sure about the software running on a machine is if one boots to one's own software -- from scratch, not just running on top of the OS that may have been compromised by previous users. That's an absolute, in today's computer climate. So if you don't want the extra time for booting a CD (or even a virtual OS), fine, just understand that there is a compromise and increased risk.

Many of the features that would make virtualization possible require Administrative privileges. If you want the software to work on relatively locked down public workstations, you need to work around that.

About the closest we can come with existing technology is a QEMU virtual machine. The easy and/or legal way to do that is with Linux, but I understand one can run XP on it also. It takes about as long to come up as booting from a CD. They've separated out the drivers that need Admin, so it can work without admin privileges, but the docs say things are much faster if you can get the drivers loaded. It also requires a larger RAM to work smoothly than a lot of public workstations. If you eliminate a virtualized OS environment, that's fine too, just makes it harder to implement without inventing something from scratch.

Most of what you describe will be slowed considerably if there is a requirement to store all files on the USB stick, assuming the USB stick uses flash memory. You can get a lot of speedup if some files can be written to a hard drive, e.g. the TEMP directory. You can get some speedup by using a mechanical USB drive, but not as much as using the PC's internal drive (I'm told, haven't measured it myself). (I was appalled to see how long one program took when I told it to write its INI file directly to a flash drive, compared to writing it to c: .) I'm not saying it can't happen, just pointing out that there may need to be some compromises.

Each drive on a PC has its own Recycle Bin, so expecting the USB drive to have its own is not too unusual.

Those are just a few practical considerations, perhaps more of a wish list or project description. Certainly not trivial to implement.

When you see all the difficulties, the genius of John's design is apparent. It is "good enough" without being too complex. It gets the job done, with a good balance between usability and complexity. But it may also be whetting the appetite for the next step up.

MC

LOGAN-Portable
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Much of the points you make

Much of the points you make are very valid, but if I understood the original poster's request and the other requests correct it was the desire for taking the desktop with them without making it a full blown OS. (A full blown OS would render portable apps obsolete by it's very nature as well...)

I understand the suggestion of Linux, but then again, I think it's just the desire to have our own messy desktop on USB that runs the (Windows) portable apps. The use of your own messy desktop is of course optional and used only if the PC is capable enough to run it proper.

Booting from CD-ROM or USB a complete OS is to me much less desirable as you need to restart the PC, which may or may not be possible and depends on boot settings as well. (My own PC is not capable to boot from USB stick at all). And for this you could use many of the Linux Live CD's available right now.

Admin rights is also always an issue when using a host computer. Lucky for us many portable apps don't need them at all. And it's to think a 'portable desktop' also should not need them. I see it as just another portable app. I'm sure there are also many locations who prohibit the use of executables altogether to protect the host computer from abuse.

The Portable Apps menu is a great thing because it makes it possible to easy navigate, backup and install portable applications. The compromise in this is the apps need to be within the requirements (ie, no use of admin rights for one).

I hope we'll find the perfect Portable Desktop for our Portable Apps that is able to work within these boundaries. And if it doesn't exist right now... who knows, someone sees it as a great project to develop.

And of course exploring possibilities is always good to do, especially when they lead us to new opportunities.

Lead the way Smile

consul
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blow up PAM ...

"but if I understood the original poster's request and the other requests correct it was the desire for taking the desktop with them without making it a full blown OS."

It seems more like s/he wants one thing. A Full screen PAM. So when one plugs in the USB key, instead of the PA menu being this 6* 10 rectangle that pops up and fades away on the bottom right corner of the host desktop, it opens up to maximum height and width, and persists.

Surely this is something someone can modify the original PA menu to do? I've seen variants of this on a smaller scale. I think I've seen or heard of folks that have done the new folders and movement of folders.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

LOGAN-Portable
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dont confuse a desktop with

dont confuse a desktop with the start menu Smile

consul
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I wasn't ...

which is why I said it seems he wanted what pops up in PA menu but that it should fill the whole screen, and not go away.
A desktop is just another way of looking at a folder, which is what the PA menu is like.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

grannyGeek
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Is the discussion wandering away from the original request?

I also think the original poster is simply asking for a way to carry their wallpaper and shortcut icons with them, with the shortcut icons pointing to apps and documents installed on the portable drive.

Years ago there was some interest in creating "HTML Desktops". How it worked was to make an HTML page, using a wallpaper picture as background, and lay small graphics on that to be hyperlinked shortcuts to various files or apps or batch files.
Then assign that html page to be your desktop wallpaper, and click the hyperlinks to activate the files. (sadly, mine always popped up a message "do you want to Open or to Save the file?", which was a pain.)

I wonder if some creative soul could take that idea and turn it into a workable portable solution?

José Pedro Arvela
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I will try

I will try. I like the idea. I didn't posted anything, but I thought of an app that becomes a "chromeless" maximized window whit custom settings (why chromeless and maximied, for allowing the start menu bar to display the open windows and to show them).

But I liked more your idea. I think that we could even use xul (which I don't know how to program in) and a custom Firefox set to use our xul desktop as our custom chrome. Like this:

"path to portable firefox" -chrome "path to custom xul desktop"

Meanwhile, I am doing a very simple html page as desktop (my skills aren't very good).

Blue is everything.

Riax
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Several problems with trying to use a "portable HTML desktop"...
  1. It requires that Active Desktop be enabled. This isn't really a problem unless you're using a system with Windows 2000 or earlier, since it's not as easy to disable in Windows XP. (I don't have a clue about Vista, though.)
  2. The page displays under the local user's icons. There is no way of making the page detect where the local user's icons are, making it impossible to prevent the "portable desktop icons" from displaying behind the local user's icons.
  3. Windows renders the HTML page by running an instance of the rendering engine of the installed version of IE. Besides eating up processing power, if the "portable desktop" was loaded on a system that didn't have IE7 (or, at the very least, IE6) installed, the prominent CSS quirks of whatever version of IE was present would cause the page to render undesirably. IE6 and 7 also behave undesirably if the proper (X)HTML DTD is not correctly defined (though, it should be mentioned that IE7's behavior is an improvement over IE6's in this case).
  4. Unless a web server with some sort of server-side scripting support (e.g. PHP, ASP, or ASP.net) were to be autorun from the portable drive, there would be no way of displaying the actual contents of any folder; you would have to hard-code whatever you wanted the "desktop" to display into the HTML page.
  5. Even if you can deal with everything above, there is no way to make any portable application force Windows to display an HTML page on the desktop. The only way to accomplish this is to manually add it in the Display Properties control panel.

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

José Pedro Arvela
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Several solutions

1. It does not. A portable desktop can use a fullscreen window (Vista does not have Active Desktop).

2. Did not understand, but it seems that you say that if we use active desktop, then, the original desktop icons will still be there. First: if we choose to use AD (lets abbreviate like this) there are some registry keys that can be modified to hide the main icons, and the other ones could be moved to another folder meanwhile.

3. Again, AD. All we need to do if we choose to use AD is to use well done and badly designed html to IE render it as we want maintaining correct display for good browsers.

4. One term: JavaScript (at least for open the folders on another windows).

5. I don't know programing, but I think that (as almost any other Windows app) it uses the Registry, so modifying it is the way there (as I suppose the wallpaper changer works).

Blue is everything.

Riax
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Several problems with your several "solutions"...

I posted in reply to grannyGeek's post. I made my post to disprove the belief that, except in the cases of points 4 and 5, one could simply use (X)HTML, CSS, and possibly JavaScript to create a "portable HTML desktop" without the need for any applications to run whatsoever.

In the case of point 4, and in reply to your "solution," I wasn't talking about opening any windows. Without help from a web server application, it is impossible to make an (X)HTML page display (not open; I chose the word "display" for a reason) the contents of a folder -- even with the use of JavaScript or any other client-side browser scripting language that could possibly be interpreted and executed by IE.

As for point 5, any computer with halfway decent anti-malware software installed will prevent any program from enabling Active Desktop or adding a web item to the desktop unless the user has either Angel explicitly defined the path to the program's executable as trusted or (b) given approval for doing so after being prompted with a confirmation dialog.

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

José Pedro Arvela
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Chill out

Ok, I just think that it is possible. And neither you or him specified that the portable desktop shouldn't run on top of any app.

In the case of point 4 I didn't understood the meaning, but now that I understood that I see... it is hard to solve, but I am almost sure that (even being necessary XUL that only work on Fx) it is slightly possible, and the point is not to detect what's in a folder (this desktop is a web page, not a folder), is to add shortcuts (and that's pretty easy with javascript). Also, in this case, the only thing important is to have some default shortcuts right in the beginning, and nothing else.

As for point 5, I don't see any anti-malware software blocking any user of changing the actual wallpaper swapper in PAM. And if it refuses, it is only necessary to say the app to let the Active Desktop run some other app.

And Chill out. I am trying to give several solutions for making others live better.

Blue is everything.

David Dixon II
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tyvm for this insperation to

tyvm for this insperation to look up one of these html desktops. ill check it out

Na na na, come on!

solanus
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Cylog Toolbox can be configured...

There's a pretty cool app called Cylog Toolbox. It's freeware.
The initial setup takes a bit work, but it can function as a configurable desktop with relative file paths.
The software allows you to make multiple toolboxes, and allows you to arrange icons in rows or columns.

To set it up as a replacement desktop, you could make one large toolbox, which would cover the existing desktop icons, and would contain your custom icons.

In the toolbox properties, make the icon width=128, icon height=36, number of rows=21 and number of columns=8. This will make a toolbox of 1024x756, which will completely cover your existing desktop.
Under Shortcut display, choose Icon and Text.
For background, choose a bmp file of your choice; or you can choose the existing background (I think it will also use the PAM background).

To add shortcuts, you can right-click and add, or you can open explorer and drag the files right onto the toolbox. You can also move them around in the toolbox by dragging them.

The application has a lot more options, so check it out!

http://www.cylog.org/utils_4.asp

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Riax
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After toying with ToolBox a

After toying with ToolBox a bit, I'm impressed. I really only have one problem with it: as I move between computers, they're almost never set to the same resolution as the system I was previously at. Though I'm sure, if a launcher was made for this application, resolution detection could be added and used to set the size of the ToolBox before it opened.

EDIT: Nevermind. If I simply make the ToolBox big enough to cover the largest resolutions I'll encounter, It will simply extend beyond the available screen area if I'm at a lower resolution. Smile

EDIT 2: Hmm... I can't seem to keep the ToolBox from displaying on top of the taskbar. If it weren't for that, I'd definitely be using this as my portable desktop.

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

solanus
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Taskbar settings, or resize, or another toolbox

In XP (and maybe in 2K) the taskbar properties have a setting "Keep the taskbar on top of other windows"; if this is checked, this should solve the problem.

It's quite likely that this is not configurable on public machines, though.

The other options are a little more effort:
1. You could make a second toolbox to make up the extra space, but you'd have to actually delete it (can't just hide it) and recreate every time.
2. Open the Toolbox properties and add or subtract rows to adjust the bottom.

Most systems you will encounter should be 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. If you subtract the taskbar, you get heights of either 565 or 733. You can tweak the tile height, cell spacing, and border spacing, and number of rows to get it close.

Here's what I got:
Leave the Windows border checkboxes (3d and line) checked.
Set your tile height to 36, and the border spacing to 4.
That will give you a toolbox sizes of 552 for 15 rows, and (still leaves 13 pixels peeking at the bottom, not too bad) and 732 for 20 rows.

Anyway, it's a quick adjustment you need to do only when starting it on a different resolution computer, and it's pretty quick.

P.S. Hey, when you are running this, you can click on the icon in the system tray, and it brings the toolbox up to the front, similar to the Windows Desktop icon in the Quick Launch toolbar.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

Riax
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The default setting for that

The default setting for that in any version of Windows that even has a taskbar (Windows 95 and up) is "enabled". Enabling something that's already enabled is kind of, by definition, impossible. I have a feeling that the window class ToolBoxes use is the culprit; it's allowing the window to be in front of the taskbar.

If there were a different way of positioning the ToolBox, this wouldn't be a problem. I think there should be a way to set the "hotspot" for positioning ToolBoxes. Either that, or if you supplied a negative number, it would position the Toolbox using the opposite corner. For example, say I gave the ToolBox a position of (0,-35); this would position the ToolBox using the lower-left corner. If I gave a position of (-100,-35), it would position it using the lower-right corner. Just an idea.

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

solanus
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Huh...

On my XP box, the toolbox does not overlap the taskbar.
Amongst the settings are the ability to keep the toolbox on top (I keep that disabled) and the ability to snap to the screen edges (I keep that on). I position it at the upper right, and any addition or subtraction of rows affects the bottom of the toolbox.

I've tried this on another XP box, and it still doesn't overlap the taskbar. Not sure why this is happening on yours.

If you have suggestions about this prog, I'm sure that the developers would be open to them... by their website, they seem fairly open.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

grannyGeek
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workaround for Toolbox covering taskbar

First, SOLANUS, thank you for ToolBox suggestion. VERY nice find!

Toolbox is working quite nicely to make a portable desktop, now that I'm getting used to its ways. I made my toolbox 1280x960 for my 19" monitor, and on 17" 1024x768 let the the excess slide off the right and bottom edges.

Like Riax, I did have some problems with a full-screen toolbox covering the taskbar, even though I do NOT have "toolbox stays on top" enabled.
KLUDGY SOLUTION:
always keep just a few pixels of the "real" desktop exposed along one edge (doesn't matter which edge) and then the taskbar always seems to stay on top.
(discovered it by trial & error, and I don't know why, but it works). When I restart the app, it is back against the screen edge, and I have to drag it away a few pixels, and then click an edge of the taskbar, and I am back in business.

some minor things to watch out for while using Toolbox :
If I open any of the Toolbox configuration windows and then navigate away from that window without closing it, it seems to hold focus even though it is no longer visible --- it can be a little tricky to get hold of things again.

And do not use setting "stays on top" when you are using a full-screen toolbox, you will never be able to access any other window ( a rather treacherous setting IMO, I had to exit and then change the ini file WinState from 0 to 1)

I notice that the app starts up using 10 - 12 mb ram, and continues to suck up more and more ram during configuration, but restarting Toolbox took it back down and it seems to stay level during normal usage.

All in all, I really really like this utility, it's a keeper.
It's great to have my most frequently used portable-drive shortcuts so easily available.
I hope eddiefb3 gives this one a try, it just might be his answer.

Thanks again.

niolonra
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sideslide

I'm several months late to this, but did anyone suggest sideslide?
http://www.northglide.com/sideslide.html

It's not opensource, but is free and portable.

Rich

paqman
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Here's your answer

Yeah, I'm joining the discussion late, but in answer to the original post, I don't think anyone has mentioned mojopac. And you can install portable apps on it as well! Better have a fast flash drive though. www.mojopac.com

grannyGeek
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MojoPac has some drawbacks though.

Primary problem is that it requires Administrative Rights to run, or an administrator to install the "Usher" software on the host machine so the guest user can run their copy of MojoPac. I don't foresee that happening at my local library Sad

I could not even ACTIVATE my copy, because I don't have admin rights on any machine that has internet access (sad, I know, can you believe there are actually people like me who have no internet at home? I'll bet there are thousands of us, and we are all bitter about MojoPac, ha ha.)

I wish there was a way for me to use it, it does sound like a lovely way to compute in your own personal environment.

niolonra
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toolbox

Actually... I now like toolbox better than sideslide...
Smile
Rich

jwaxman
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Portable Desktop?

Back to the original idea.

The PortableApps Menu Beta can already temporarily change the wallpaper on startup without making permanent changes to the host machine.

XP and Vista keep track of a path to grab the Desktop icons from.
ie C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Desktop

They keep track of a separate path for the list of items in the Start Menu.
There's another setting for the path to My Documents, Favorites, etc

There are lots of tips on the web that describe ways of changing the paths that Windows uses for these permanently in the registry.

The question is -- Is there a way to temporarily change the path that Windows looks at for these for the session without changing them permanently in the registry?

Anybody know?

rab040ma
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At the risk of getting booed

At the risk of getting booed off the stage, I'd suggest you look at Mojopac ... at least so you know what can be done. How to do it is another matter.

MC

sergentsiler
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althogh...

i dont believe it is OSS but, MOJOPACK! mojopack apparently allows you to put your desktop enviro over another comps temporarily. i am actually going to try it today, so i will let you know how well it works.

Zoop

Riax
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This has been mentioned

This has been mentioned before, but for MojoPac to be a feasible solution for the majority of users, every computer they use save their own will need to be logged into using administrative credentials or have the MojoPac Usher software installed. From a network and systems security standpoint, letting people use public workstations with administrative privileges is out of the question, and installing MojoPac Usher on every single public workstation is, at least on a college campus, a monumental task.

Long story short, unless college/library/internet cafe network administrators are willing to put in the effort of ensuring MojoPac Usher is installed on every public machine they're responsible for, MojoPac just isn't a workable solution. Any software solution that requires administrative rights or something to be locally-installed is not, in my eyes, portable.

ToolBox has come the closest to being my portable desktop solution of everything that has been suggested in this thread. As I used it, however, I found myself actually wanting access to the host desktop over the ToolBox I had configured. So, I don't currently have ToolBox in my autorun routine, but it is still installed for when I go to the library and come across a workstation with six dozen desktop icons. (I wish I were exaggerating.)

Her song leaves the other side in flight for their lives now;
They are not long for the world.
No one leaves; line up for inevitable wipeout.
All you've done - now it's what you deserve.
Machinae Supremacy ~ Laser Speed Force

solanus
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That's pretty much how I use toolbox

and since it can be configured to be any size, I've been making it 1/2 the screen wide. That way I can move it aside if I need to get to the host desktop.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

solanus
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That's pretty much how I use toolbox

and since it can be configured to be any size, I've been making it 1/2 the screen wide. That way I can move it aside if I need to get to the host desktop.
Sorry about the double-post!

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

asabi
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Found a combination that works

I am now using Yod'm 3d

It is fully portable, I changed the ini file for the desktop icons, specifying only the recycle bin, and now the original desktop icons don't show anymore, and I am using toolbox to show whatever I want ...

You can also specify a wallpaper for each desktop ...

Hope it helps. Took me a while to find that ...

Cheers

jwaxman
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QuickWayToFolders - Portable Desktop Achieved!

From the author's site:
QuickWayToFolders provides quick folder content access.
The four display possibilites are
- Desktop : Act like your desktop, with possibility of navigate through subfolders
- Small Browser : Act like windows explorer
- Menu : Display folder content in menu
- Multiple Folders Menu : Display multiple folders content in a single menu
Each entry is added to the taskbar notification area (near to windows clock).

http://jacquelin.potier.free.fr/QuickWayToFolders/

This program now supports relative paths and an "always on bottom" mode.
As a result you can now set this program up just like rainmeter or rainlender. You can really have a full screen or partial screen portable desktop pointing to a folder on your usb drive.

computerfreaker
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Really portable?

Is this app really portable? Sorry I'm not trying it for myself, but I'm on a machine with admin rights and I don't want to get sprayed with registry keys, settings folders, etc... especially during the school year. Blum

Looks like this could be a killer app if it's completely portable...

"The question I would like to know, is the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. All we know about it is that the Answer is Forty-two, which is a little aggravating."

saruto
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new idea on how to do this

seriously i don't think its about finding an app to do this its making our own and we should start from the type of desktop like this http://x.cygwin.com/ and then moving up note that is the xorg desktop for windows

Xyno
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???

So what you are trying to request is an app that switches the desktop background when you put in your drive and when you take it out, it switches back to the original background?

"I think,therefore I am.
I destroy, therefore I endure."
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Jedi_Master_Revan
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I don't think this is exactly

I don't think this is exactly what you mean, but I have an idea that might be somewhat along the lines of what you want (XD I've been hoping for something like this for a while).

A program to remove the icons from your desktop, and replace them with icons for all of your portable apps, along with icons for your documents, music, pictures, etc. (the ones on the flash drive.) Would that work?

I have no idea how to implement something like this, but the PortableApps Platform already has an option to get rid of your desktop icons, and EraserDrop Portable makes an icon-ish thing on the desktop when you run it, so I suppose someone could figure out how they did it, and make a program that would make icons like that for all of the portable apps on your flash drive. (Or integrate it into the PortableApps Platform XD)

Just throwing some ideas out there, I thought they were cool, but like is said, I have no idea how to pull it off.

------------------------------------------
"When you always know what is right, where is freedom? No one chooses the wrong, Jacen Solo. Uncertainty sets you free."

coolone2
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I know one.

if you mean you want to go to a different computer, take all your programs, desktop, icons, and everything with you, I know what you mean.

http://www.mojopac.com/

This is a fully functional version, but you can pay for extra features. It isn't nagware.

portable app

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