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PortableApps.com Update (November 11, 2008)

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John T. Haller
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PortableApps.com Update (November 11, 2008)

Greetings all and welcome to a long overdue PortableApps.com update. Much has been afoot over the last few months, so I thought it time to get things back up to date.

App Releases

We've had quite a few new apps released by many of our new app developers over the past few months. ConvertAll by Travis, DVDStyler by Zach, Frets on Fire by powerjuce, WinWGet by Patrick, Celestia by Nathan, Stellarium by Kevin, BPBible by Chris, JkDefrag by Travis, Xenon File Manager by John, SpeedCrunch by Patrick and aMSN, Cornice and AppCompactor by me. We've also had updates to nearly all our apps like FileZilla, Firefox, Sunbird, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Task Coach, GnuCash, etc. Big thanks to all the developers for helping make this happen.

Upcoming App Releases

We've got a number of big releases coming up, too, including InkScape, Songbird, XChat, Virtual Volumes View, Assault Cube, XN Resource Editor, HM NIS Edit, NSIS, Money Manager Ex and Blender.

Our biggest next release is, of course, OpenOffice.org Portable 3. We're working more closely with OpenOffice.org on this one so the release is a bit more official. Testing has gone well and we're finalizing the graphics and packaging.

Release Team

To speed up new releases of apps and to get me out of the loop, we've been setting up a Release Team to watch releases from Development Test to Pre-Release to Release stage. Consulting with our other moderators and developers, we've picked the founding members of the team. They'll be announced and the special mailing list and wiki pages to which they all have access will be set up on the website on Wednesday, November 19th.

Translation Team

Over the next couple weeks, I'll be reaching out to our current translators as well as new ones to setup our official translation team. Members will have access to a custom mailing list for developers to request translations for PortableApps.com Format apps and their own custom pages for supporting their language for the installer, launcher and platform/menu. All will receive credit within the menu and on-site as well.

IRC Moderators and Live Chat

With the assistance of our IRC channel founders, moderators and developers, we've setup a system for our IRC members following Ryan's recommendation. Our forum moderators, developers and power users are now part of the IRC hierarchy and can help give assistance and ensure the channel stays useful.

We've also setup our Support Chat page on the site with directions for configuring Pidgin, Miranda IM and XChat for use on our IRC channel as well as a Live Support Chat page on the site so people can chat with us right in their browser window courtesy of Mibbit.

PortableApps.com Installer and PortableApps.com Format

The PortableApps.com Installer has reached a stable point. From here, I'll be releasing the auto-building that builds installers based on the info in appinfo.ini. This will allow all users and developers to package apps in a PortableApps.com Installer without writing any code. The PortableApps.com Format will be enhanced to utilize the new entries I proposed back in May. This will also mark the advent of multi-lingual installers in our official lineup allowing us to better serve our non-English users. This will be coming out on Monday, November 24th in a test release. This will also mark the debut of outside developers being able to package non-GPL, freeware and commercial software in PortableApps.com Format officially.

Hardware and Software Partners

I've been working hard behind the scenes on a number of partnerships with hardware and commercial software vendors that will allow us to increase the exposure of the platform, increase the amount of software on the platform and ensure the future financial stabilty of our project. I have our contracts completed with our legal counsel that allow them to use our trademarks, etc and I'm currently in negotiations with more than a dozen vendors of flash drives, MP3 players and wireless USB modems. This will allow us to add hosting of non-open source software, additional translations and even allow us to fund development of open source software directly in the near future. I'm flying to California today for some of the negotiations. I'll keep you all appraised of the progress.

Platform/Menu Release Schedule

The new Platform has been a bit behind schedule (mainly due to hardware and software negotiations) but is shaping up nicely. Alpha 1 will be released on Monday, November 17th Wednesday, November 19th and will contain some of the new features ready for testing like renaming icons, hiding icons, pinning icons to the top or bottom of the menu, full PortableApps.com Format support (faster loading by loading icons directly rather than extract from launchers and enabling us to use a generic launcher for apps), auto-close of running apps on eject, custom icons/names/location for right-hand icons, right-click menu on icons allowing RunAs Admin/Explore/etc, Simple PortableApps.com Theme support (zip files containing PNGs and color defs for all elements) and OEM branding.

Alpha 2 will follow approximately 2 weeks after with more of the new features including categorization (aka folders, both automatic for our apps and custom), auto-detect of ejection, simple password protection (with hiding of folders), Advanced PortableApps.com Format support (menu size and all element positioning allowing different shapes and layouts), TrueCrypt integration, application removal, built-in updater and other features that have been previously discussed.

Newsletter

We've ironed out the issue of processing our bounces from our newsletters and will send out another monthly newsletter following our Alpha 1 release. Also, on Ryan's suggestion, we'll be having community contributed sections of subsequent newsletters where we have guest writers from our developers, moderators and users.

Press and Popularity

We continue to get lots of great press including mentions in lifehacker, Download.com's dispatch newsletter, Channel 9 in Australia, Information Week, Computer World, Wired, various US and international newspapers and other publications. We've surpassed 80 million apps downloaded and are closing in on 100 million. And our website traffic is still head and shoulders above our commercial competitors. Congratulations to all the developers, translators, users and others for helping in our success.

Community Logos

When I return from CA next week we'll be starting our community logo program allowing users to put PortableApps.com banners and buttons on their websites, blogs, emails, forum accounts and other locations online. Eventually, we'll even be tracking references in the same way as SpreadFirefox.com with a leaderboard of those who are referring the most new users.

Conclusion

That's it for now. I'm pretty psyched about what we've been doing and, especially, about what's coming over the next month. Until then, have a good one.

Kind Regards,
John

UPDATE (November 16th): I switched the Alpha 1 release from Monday to Tuesday as my flight got canceled on Friday morning and I got stuck in Atlanta when they shut down all NYC airports due to fog, so Friday wound up being a non-work day. Rather than rush it, I'll release it the following day.

UPDATE (November 18th): I'm offline this evening to deal with a family illness. So the release will be tomorrow but probably during the day rather than at night since I only have a few more hours of work left on it.

wk
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good to hear about the progress...

I´m very curious on the new menu, perhaps one of the final steps to abandoning the R3x mod ;))

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Great news!

Way to go John! All of this is great news! I'm looking forward to all the new releases and work that you have been doing. Keep it up, I know it's appreciated by many!

Steve Lamerton
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Awesome

John, I really look forward to the next month and indeed the future of PortableApps.com!

Thanks for all your hard work

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Sweet :D Glad to hear of the

Sweet Biggrin
Glad to hear of the progress and really really glad for the update.
Also really excited to see NSIS/HM NIS close to going official Biggrin

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
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Don't wanna live my life in the real world

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No!

Seems like there's a lot of work to do. Please stop this process! I'm not ready. Yet.

Life is crunchy, anywhere

John Bentley
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Oh! Yeah! I'm excited for the

Oh! Yeah!

I'm excited for the new menu and freeware apps.

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cowthink 'Dude, why are you staring at me.'

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All this

sounds very nice. Thanks for your ongoing effort!!!

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

powerjuce
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Thanks a lot John...

You have done a lot of work, and I really want to thank you for it.

Thanks for everything you have done to keep this project going and thanks...
for everything really!

powerjuce

Please search before posting. ~Thanks

Chris Morgan
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Sounds good!

(Just a note for the record, it is Inkscape, not InkScape.)

Glad to hear all this, it sounds good Smile

MP3 players? Wireless modems? What sort of bundling would you do with them? Make it the modem a file server as well?

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

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Thanks

Sounds good John Smile

Ryan McCue
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Nice.

A basic summary of John's post:
"PortableApps.com rules. That is all."

Let me know when you want to start work on the newsletter Smile (Or anything else for that matter.)

With regards to said format and installers, should we wait for these? If they're a large update, I'd prefer to wait to avoid doing the same thing twice.

Thanks, and great work.

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

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Thank You for the update, John

... and please check Your Mail for the last updates to OpenOffice.org Wink

Paid for Software more or less?
What You need is OSS!

m-p-3
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The PortableApps.com project

The PortableApps.com project in my opinion shows that it is possible for an open-source initiative to not only be on par with commercial softwares, but also be a leader in innovation and technological progression.

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Alright!!!

Thanks John for the great news and for your hard work on this project. I'll have to keep an eye on it whenever it goes public, I'll have to buy stocks and it will surely make me a MILLIONAIRE Biggrin

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -- Robert Frost
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: baby ain't mine." -- Adam Holguin

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Thanks : )

Seems like Christmas is coming early this year ; )

Neorame - Maybe make a Christmas theme for the new menu?

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John T. Haller
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Atlanta airport, 5am

I'm awaiting my flight from Atlanta back home to NY after not sleeping on the last flight. It's been worth it, though. The meetings went well and, at the very least, it looks like I may have convinced one of the big flash drive makers to go with another closed, proprietary, incompatible system. I'll keep you posted as further discussions unfold. I think I may try and get a few minutes before my flight. I'll be on IRC later today.

Best,
John

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

MarkoMLM
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Great news!

... wish You a good flight Wink

BTW: I saw the hint for the built in updater in Alpha2 ...
... could You send me some more informations about it, cause if this works I'll drop the PortableApps.com Updater development (or use the same database like the built in updater untill the final Suite isn't released).

Paid for Software more or less?
What You need is OSS!

m-p-3
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Do you mean that they might

Do you mean that they might consider bundling some PortableApps applications on some of their flash drives in the future?

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LOL how is that good news, I

LOL how is that good news, I thought the idea was to not have closed, incompatible systems?

m-p-3
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I'm really hyped for the new

I'm really hyped for the new Menu, I gotta get it when it comes out Smile

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Thank you for all the work

Thank you for all the work you (and the other developers) do Smile

I love the apps and hope the site keeps on as it has been, getting better and better

John T. Haller
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Alpha 1 back one day

I switched the Alpha 1 release from Monday to Tuesday as my flight got canceled on Friday morning and I got stuck in Atlanta when they shut down all NYC airports due to fog, so Friday wound up being a non-work day. Rather than rush it, I'll release it the following day.

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

horusofoz
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Cool

Thanks for the update : )

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huuthang48
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Please tell me what kind of

Please tell me what kind of topic guide write code portable

m-p-3
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Alright, thanks for the quick

Alright, thanks for the quick notice Wink

And also thanks for the bunch of updated applications on monday Smile

John T. Haller
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One more day

I'm offline this evening to deal with a family illness. So the release will be tomorrow (Wednesday) but probably during the day rather than at night since I only have a few more hours of work left on it. And yes, I'm working tomorrow even though it is my birthday.

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

wk
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So all the best wishes and ...

a spare day off should be taken for granted..;)

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
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ASJ
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Happy B-Day to you

Happy birthday John.
Keep up the good work - but don't work too hard.
One shouldn't have to work so hard on their birthday. Besides, you only have a birthday once a year.

BTW, I hope everything will be fine with your family.

Take Care,

Al

Don't be a pin-head!

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Happy Birthday!

Don't work too hard on your birthday! Thanks for working so hard on this project though.

Release Team Member

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Seriously, take the day off

Seriously, take the day off and enjoy your birthday. One day is not going to kill us all, even if I'm so impatient to try those new releases Smile

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Happy birthday John :-)

a lot of gifts and good luck with all Your plans.

Paid for Software more or less?
What You need is OSS!

alpha1
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typo :P "We've also setup our

typo Blum
"We've also setup our Support Chat page on the site with directions for configuring Piding Miranda IM and XChat "

Lead, Follow, or get out of the way.

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Happy Birthday : )

Happy Birthday : )

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Zeno

Hello tortoise,

I'll catch you. Someday...

MrAchilles Wink

Life is crunchy, anywhere

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Release Date

I understand that you had a birthday and some family things going on. Just wanted an update on the release since it's now Mon the 24th.

Thanks

wk
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Please, relax

this will be an alpha release, though surely stable. It´s not meant to replace the official 1.1 release; it´s for testing purposes, step by step implementing the new features, providing a basis for themers and testers

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
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Welcome to Portable Apps

I see by your profile that you only registered 2 days ago. As you spend more time here, you will realize that all release dates are wishes, not deadlines.
Think of every release as an unexpected surprise, whenever it comes out!

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

powerjuce
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lol

lol

Please search before posting. ~Thanks

Ed_P
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hahaha

As you spend more time here, you will realize that all release dates are wishes, not deadlines.
Think of every release as an unexpected surprise, whenever it comes out!

I wonder what the USB vendors think about this approach for including PortableApps on their devices. [bg] Businesses involve resource allocations, project plans, dates, and commitment to assigned delieverables. Telling them you can't make a date because the developer has exams doesn't fly that well.

Ed

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Once Again

This is the second time I've seen this exact same remark -- I believe from you, Ed, but I am not sure -- (which curiously now seems to have been deleted), so I will supply the exact same answer I gave last time.

The reason our timelines changed is BECAUSE of negotiations with large-scale flash drive manufacturers and their requirements for the 2.0 release. When working on a contract with a large manufacturer you provide them a solid release schedule with dates and stick to them as a part of the contract. We're not yet under such a contract or obligation with any of our partners but are adjusting our included functionality to meet their needs. A post of a schedule in a forum is NOT a contractual milestone.

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

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That would be my fault.

Sorry John that post was in the forum I put asking for an update. I deleted it because people wouldn't stop winning in that post.

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PortableApp's been a lifesaver for me!

Just wanted to say thanks for this package! I have been using MojoPac for about a year and had come to depend on it completely, since (1) I'm a contractor and bounce around between jobs, (2) I work from home sometimes and have to carry stuff with me, and (3) I'm also teaching two evenings a week.

Then MojoPac 2.0 downloaded automatically and screwed up most of the apps I depend on every day. Moreover, it can't be uninstalled and can't be downgraded to the previous version.

PortableApps gave me back most of the travelling applications I need, in a form that works even better for wandering souls like me.

My profound thanks, again!

-- Charles Ott

Charles Ott
charlesott.com

anfly
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Спасибо, Джон! Твое

Спасибо, Джон!
Твое бескорыстие и профессионализм вызывают уважение...
Большое спасибо!

Thanks, John!
Your unselfishness and professionalism cause respect...
Thank you very much.

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Awesome!!

I am Totally looking forward to these new releases, particularly the new menu features. Also, being able to get non-open source software is gonna be pretty sweet.
Can't wait!!!!
-Cam

!!

cmiehs
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Suite

Would it be possible to add all new releases in the suite? Now, after downloading the Suite, it is necessary to download again almost all programs (newest version) and install over the older ones. A lot of lost time. Tank you for your wonderful work!

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The apps in the suite are

The apps in the suite are updated when a new version of the suite is released. It would be too much work to update each of the suites every time one app in it is updated. It would be a never ending task.

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

m-p-3
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Why not just get the Base

Why not just get the Base version of the platform instead, and then install additional applications?

solanus
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And use PA Updater

The best suggestion I have seen is to install the Base version, install the Portable Apps Updater
https://portableapps.com/node/16779
and then use that to get the individual apps.

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

FluXulF
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Platform

I agree: Just have a page with the PortableApps Menu (platform) 'cause that's what it's really all about and drop the Suite altogether. Suites never work anyway, either some of the apps aren't updated to the latest version and/or you already have some of them installed. A Suite also rise the question of why these and not these apps?! Just think of e.g. Google Pack (http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_installer.html) or Windows Live Essentials (http://download.live.com/) which just emanate bloat. In the case of Google Pack you can at least deselect the apps you don't want but still it never really works. And the message of bloat is just the opposite of what PortableApps should be sending... isn't it all about making it easier and simpler? Also remove "PortableApps.com Menu" and "PortableApps.com Backup" from the applications page (https://portableapps.com/apps) as they're the framework upon which all of the other apps rely and not apps themselves as such and both link to the Suite page anyway. Actually remove "PortableApps.com Backup" altogether as it ain't a standalone app (to the average user) and you can't download it by itself 'cause it's an integral part of the menu... as the upcoming (?) updater hopefully also will be of the next version of the menu.

And how's that next version coming along? Not to be pushy ('cause I've read all of the above comments and I agree about releases coming out when they come out and John not getting paid and all) yet still I can't help wondering what's going on as it seemed like it was so close ("I only have a few more hours of work left on it.") but that's a couple of months ago now!? I'm not pushy, just curious and excited about the next release and look forward to see both the backup and updater being integrated into the menu. Also I hope there'll be support for non-PortableApps apps, which I've got a bunch of "installed" in the PortableApps folder. PortableApps does a great job of discovering the icons of the executables, but sometimes there's more than one .exe in the folders and it would be nice to be able to hide some of the icons and separate the non-PortableApps from the "legit" versions by means of folders or similar.

Finally how about renaming the StartPortableApps.exe to simply PortableApps.exe and edit the Autorun.inf accordingly like I've done:

[Autorun]
Open=PortableApps.exe
Action=PortableApps.com
Icon=PortableApps.exe
Label=PortableApps.com

It just sends a much more lean'n'clean message, a message which says: "Why make it any more complicated than it has to be!?" Wink

Edit: And in that same spirit of simplicity and consistency, could you please rename the "Music" folder to "Audio"? Not only is audio more consistent and more "proportional" with video (as "Music" would be to "Movies" or similar), but it's also more encompassing of e.g. audio-books and other "speech-based" forms of audio which wouldn't typically be categorized as music, but still don't belong under either docs, pics or video.

Edit: And put "Backup" (and upcoming? "Update") under "Options", as they're both more in line with the other menu-items in Options like: "Install a New App" & "Get More Apps..." and it would make the PortableApps menu look cleaner as well with just the 5 "folder" links and then 3 (Options, Search, Help) "control" items.

Best of luck with the continued efforts towards making not only the coolest portable platform around, but also the easiest and simplest way of installing and maintaining apps on a Windows machine Wink

Yaara
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Translation Team

i'd be happy to be part of translation team

Chris Morgan
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Language?

Hebrew (seeing as you have Israel as your location in your profile)?

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

crookadile
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Anyone know where this Alpha

Anyone know where this Alpha release is,I can't locate it anywhere.

horusofoz
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Don't think its realeased yet.

Patience but. When it is it'll probably be more stable than most betas as John has a (Sometimes annoying :-p) perfectionist streak. Basically it'll be well worth the wait Smile

PortableApps.com Advocate

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