Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Monday, May 24, 2010

Portable Software What is portable software? It is software that can be run on a computer without installation. Windows software normally requires installation, so that the Windows registry has the necessary data to run the software. Some Windows software exists in special portable versions. Other Windows software makes no mission-critical use of the registry, and can be used as portable software even if it was not originally designed to be used that way. In these cases, copy the program's folder from a computer that has it installed. The easy way to do this is to right-click the folder > Send to > and select the flash drive. As a genealogy researcher, I am sometimes in Family History Centers, libraries, archives, and homes where I can not install the software I wish to use on their computers. Portable software is frequently the solution. I have "portable" freeware on one of my flash drives, so that I can use it without needing to install it on the computer. Some of my favorites are these: PAF 5.2 Personal Ancestral File genealogy software PAF 4 Personal Ancestral File genealogy software PureText (I would find life awkward without it!) Irfanview (graphics viewer/converter - a regular Swiss army knife) Firefox portable (so I can use IE and Firefox - for different views of the same family in nFS) NoteTab Light (multi-document notepad, copy the folder from a computer it is installed on) Kompozer portable version (the improved version of the web page editor NVU) GEDview (viewing GECOM files) iMage (image editor) Skype (just copy the Skype folder from any computer it is installed on) Foxit (when a PDF will not open in AdobeReader, it will usually open in Foxit) OpenOffice portable version (for using Microsoft Office files) FileZilla portable version (FTP program) Steganos Locknote (for encryption of my usernames and passwords) Pstart (the menu that gives easy access to all of them) A disadvantage of using portable software is that you need to open data files from the software's File menu. (Double-clicking a data file will not open it.) Other than that, I like the fact that I do not need to install my software on someone else's computer in order to use the software and data files. PureText is a tiny program that strips any codes from text in the Windows clipboard. I love to paste census transcriptions etc. from the internet into my PAF notes. PureText saves me the trouble of having to run it through Notepad to eliminate the HTML encoding. I keep PAF4 around because PAF5 cannot open files from PAF2, which I still encounter from time to time. PAF4 and PAF5 can be run simultaneously. Another indespensible free tool ClipX is probably not portable, but it is a free clipboard extender that will save multiple separate items (even images and entire folders of files) and allow me to select them and paste them in any order. Without it I would feel that I had one hand tied behind my back. -- Bill website: blog:


Blogger Renee Zamora said...

I love portable apps. Thanks for sharing your list.

Friday, June 18, 2010 at 9:10:00 PM MDT  

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