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it'll be nice if it was possible to download just "Writer" (or "Calc",...).
Unlike, say, Microsoft Office that is several individual programs loosely related, OpenOffice.org is really a single program with multiple functions. Try installing a local copy of regular OO.o with just writer, for example. The total install size isn't really that different from a full OO.o install. So, it doesn't gain you anything.
Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!
Have to say, the idea of the portable apps is a gold-mine for those of us teaching this sort of thing to new users and it would be a great idea if we could use the Open Office app for classes. Unfortunately, being poor old education sources, we don't get given massive, state-of-the-art devices to use... my own USB device is just 128Mb and so is not big enough to hold the app at all!
Now, far be it from me to suggest such things, but surely to goodness there are things that CAN be stripped from the app to make it smaller and much more portable? Things that spring to mind are the not-yet-great database app, the standard Impress templates, piles of clip-art and so on. There must be a way...