Whilst developing my latest website I came across a very useful set of tools that run from a USB key. These can be downloaded from:
One of the problems I currently have is that on any given day I could be using any of at least three seperate PCs (depending on whether I’m on-site, in the office or at home). This makes trying to set-up a development environment for Web Developing a bit tricky. I could just use my web-hosting space, but don’t always have FTP access.
Thankfully I managed to find a solution. Having recently purchased a 4GB USB key I decided to start looking for apps that could be run from it. These would then not need installing on all the machines and I could take any updates between machines without any problems. Having used LIVE CD’s before for various Linux flavours, I knew this would mean packaging the software and making executables to run.
In my search for answers I stumbled accross PortableApps.com. Here you can find pre-packed apps that will run strainght from a USB key. Amazingly this includes XAMPP that includes Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, etc all in one package. You can also get Notepad++, which has proved to be a big help with coding PHP and CSS. There is also a version of GIMP for editing images.
There are versions that can be installed to your USB key to give you all the apps and user settings you want, from any PC you care to use. However, I have found just using the individual apps meets all my requirements.
Overall, a very useful set of tools. Check out the PortableApps.com website for a full listing of all the apps.