If you have a job that doesn’t occupy the entire day, have you thought about writing porn at work but were afraid that the IT department would catch you? Portable versions of LibreOffice might be something to think about.
You’ve likely heard of LibreOffice, an open source or free replacement of Microsoft Word but what is a “Portable” version?
PortableApps is a software package that allows the user to run Windows programs on a USB jump drive without requiring software to be installed on a desktop PC. What does this mean for the typical worker in a corporate environment?
Most of us, as a minion of corporate America, use a computer that is locked down. Without Administrative privileges, a user cannot install software on their desktop PC. Plus the fact that corporate IT regularly sweeps user PC’s to see what their serfs are up to.
This reminds me of the scene in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail when King Author rides through a field with several workers. One of the workers asked, “Who’s that?” A worker replies, “Must be a king?” First worker, “How do you know he’s the king?” Answer, “He doesn’t have shit all over him.”
What’s a worker bee to do? Into the ring, PortableApps steps up to solve a problem. Keep in mind that what I’m about to tell you might get yourself into trouble with your employer, and so I have no responsibility for anything that happens to you.
Using a USB jump drive or thumb drive, you can install applications which run off the USB drive without requiring installation on your desktop PC. Furthermore, when you exit a program, it deletes the temporary folder created to completely erase any trace that it ever existed.
In plain English, this means that you can pull a jump drive out of your pocket or purse and plug it into your locked down work computer. Then run word processing and graphics applications that allow you to do work that would normally require Word, Excel, or PhotoShop. Then after you exit the programs, pull the jump drive out, and all traces of what you’ve been doing are erased.
There are a ton of programs, which have portable versions, that can be run from a thumb drive. It is a little slower than having the software installed on your PC, but slower is better than nothing. The program itself runs at typically the same speed, it just loads slower as a USB drive is slower reading than the hard disk.
For an Indie author, especially the paranoid type, being able to work on your latest masterpiece without worrying that your employer might find out that you’re a pervert can be a definite advantage for those who have free time at work.
If you haven’t tried LibreOffice, it is an open source clone of Microsoft Word and can easily read and write Word files. A Word user should feel right at home with LibreOffice, and it’s completely free!
Portable applications are available for GIMP, a PhotoShop clone, along with most of the other programs used by Indie authors to create and publish their stories. It typically takes 2gb of space to install a full suite of programs, which leaves plenty of space to store your work with an 8gb or larger jump drive. With jump drives selling for under twenty dollars, consider giving this a try.
Below find step by step directions on installing PortableApps onto a jump drive along with a common suite of useful programs.
Installing PortableApps On a Jump Drive
- For Windows PC’s, go to https://portableapps.com/ and install the PortableApps program on a jump drive. I suggest at least an 8gb drive or larger. For this article, I downloaded “PortableApps.com_Platform_Setup_15.0.2.paf.exe” to the Downloads folder of my desktop running 64bit Windows 10 Professional.
- Run the program you just downloaded, which in my case was version 15.0.2 (the latest as of 8/18/18). Go through the normal installation questions and select “New Install” when prompted.
- Plug a USB Jump Drive into your computer and select “Portable” as the Install Location. The installation program should default to the jump drive but if it doesn’t, select the appropriate Jump Drive. Okay the “are you sure” question to Install. Then click Finish when the installation is complete. This should automatically run the PortableApps program on the Jump Drive.
- Go through the list of available programs and check the ones you’d like installed. I’d suggest you include LibreOffice, GIMP, Note++, IrfanView, JPEGView, Fotografix, Inkscape, Scribus, Sigil, Kaspersky TDSSKiller, 7-Zip, Don’t Panic, and FastCopy to start. Feel free to add any others that strike your fancy. After you click Next, wait for the apps to be installed. Depending on the speed of your computer and Internet connection, this could be a while. There should be an icon in your taskbar showing the progression of the installs. I’m on a 300 Mbit cable connection and using an i7 computer, and it still took me 10-15 minutes to install the apps selected above.
- Assuming that you don’t get any errors, installing at a minimum the above list of programs will enable you to read/write Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, edit graphics (aka PhotoShop) and create covers (aka CorelDraw). You will probably have to agree to a few license agreements along the way, and hopefully, you don’t end up like Kyle from South Park when he agrees to be a HUMANCENTiPAD! Much less the cuttlefish!
- One of the recommended programs I installed in this How To guide is “Don’t Panic,” which is what we used to call a “Boss Switch” that hides your work. If you’re doing something that you shouldn’t and your boss or co-worker starts heading towards your desk, press the hotkey combination, and your program(s) are instantly hidden. Remember that I’m not recommending you screw off at work!
Currently, my story de jour is still House Party about surprisingly a house party. House party is an acronym of a swinger’s party with a number of twists and turns from my normal fare. I’m still not sure how it’s going to turn out but will hopefully be HEA in the end!
House Party is currently over 52,000 words and going strong despite all efforts to end the story. Amazon has a 30-day cliff, and if you don’t publish on a regular basis, you get kicked to the curb. But my characters don’t seem to appreciate the fact that it’s Publish or Perish!
Thanks for reading and if it’s the 24th, it’s another bit of smut from Larry Archer. Visit me at LarryArcher.blog for more pervy stuff. Sorry, I can’t offer any cooking or house cleaning tips but if it involves abusing yourself, drop me a line: Larry [at] LarryArcher [dot] com.