Sunday, January 08, 2006

Which is cool and which is not ?

A famous site that claims to be "news for nerds, stuff that matters" is running on the main page a "story" on the things you might want to do with your iPod ... but the third coolest thing is about some "iPod socks" :(

If your love for socks is not that big then here is something a lot more useful to a real geek - make your MP3 player the new home for a great office application suite that will now be "at your fingertips" on any Windows computer that can see the files from that device !!!

I already had a post on booting stuff from your MP3 player but this one is also perfect for people that are not that so thrilled about leaving their warm Windows world and suddenly booting into Linux :)

You need:

- any MP3 player that can be seen as standard storage device (ideally formatted FAT32); if you are not crazy about the MP3 part it can also be any USB stick or portable USB disk (anything over 256 MB is usable; USB2 is also recommended);

- get Portable OpenOffice.org - it is an archive (ZIP) of under 75 MB;

- extract it to the root folder from your storage device - the result should be a folder called PortableOpenOffice of under 160 MB - AND THAT IS YOUR INSTALLATION !!!

- only on the very first run (and only from the first computer) you will be asked some things to personalize the programs - but all settings will be saved inside that specific folder; everything is relative to that folder so it should work equally well from any (Windows) computer where you can plug your storage device; nothing is placed into the registry, no associations are changed, everything is pretty much self-contained !!!

- with the programs from that folder you can now open / edit / save / convert or export as PDF a large variety of files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations - even on computers that do not have those programs installed! there are also programs for handling drawings and pictures and databases!!

- for certain more advanced features and wizards Java might be required so if you have plenty of storage on the device and if you can install things on the computers where those files will be used you might also want to place on that device a Java Runtime Environment installation kit (around 16MB);

- you can also add your files/documents on that portable device in some folder - so you will be able to continue writing on your novel even if your own computer is far away :)

- you will probably be able to run the programs on a large number of computers but generally a P3 over 1 GHz with at least 256 MB RAM will provide a decent experience;

- it is however a good idea to remember some things about safety when sharing computers, applications and files ...

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