U3 USB

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  KingStairs 11 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #714

    Andy
    Participant

    Hands up anyone who would like Jot-Notes to run from a USB flash drive?

    I know I would. True portability. Just plug your U3 USB drive into any Windows PC (except NT of course) and away you go.

    Please tell me KingStairs are working on it.

  • #1128

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    We are planning to release “portable” versions of both Jot+ Notes and myTasks, and work on that is in progress. That’s all I can say at this time.

  • #1129

    Andy
    Participant

    Good to hear. I look forward to helping test the beta release 😉

  • #1130

    glauber
    Participant

    Me too… i just got bit by the portability bug. Jot+ is by far the most important piece of software i run, and i have a bad feeling that the company i work for is going to restrict what we can have in their PCs. When that happens, being able to run Jot+ from a stick will mean the difference between remaining a Jot+ user or frantically searching for a portable replacement. 😯

    I would love to be able to run Jot+ from a stick. ❗

  • #1131

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    A Portable myTasks is in beta testing as I type, and the information from that will be very useful for a Portable Jot+ Notes

  • #1132

    glauber
    Participant

    I saw the portable MyTasks beta. Very cool, please keep us informed.

    I can’t speak for the other users, but i’d pay for an upgrade to have a Jot+ that can be run portably. I use PortableApps instead of U3, but they should be interchangeable.

  • #1133

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    @glauber wrote:

    I use PortableApps instead of U3, but they should be interchangeable.

    I’ve had a look at the PortableApps site: Interesting, but doesn’t really explain how to modify an application to be PortableApps-compatible. Compare with the U3 site, which has a lot of useful information.
    I’ll look into it further once I get Portable myTasks out the door…

  • #1134

    glauber
    Participant

    Yep, they say something like “take one of the existing scripts and modify it.”

    I’m pretty sure that if an app works in the U3 system, it will work fine in the PortableApps system too. And since PortableApps is mostly for open source applications, Jot+ may fit better with U3.

    Having said that, i should(n’t) say that i recently bought an U3 USB stick and went to greath lengths to remove their proprietary partitioning and menuing system from it. I think it gives a false sense of security by having a password protection feature that reportedly doesn’t include encryption. I prefer to use a plain USB drive and fit it with TrueCrypt in “traveller” mode. It’s not as straightforward to use, but at least i know what it’s doing, from a security point of view. I then add PortableApps to the encrypted drive. (Yes, i’m a geek.)

  • #1135

    glauber
    Participant

    I probably don’t understand all the complexities in so-called “portable” applications, but i think the most important things are to be able to avoid using the Windows registry, and to be able to use relative paths (relative to where the app is, probably) to specify where the configuration files go (this is important because the drive letter may change from computer to computer).

    PortableApps uses the Nullsoft installer as a scripting language to manage the variables.

    Portable applications is a change of paradigm. Way back in the day, computers used to be application-centered: you started your application and then used it to open whatever data files you needed. The Macintosh popularized a document-centric view: click on your data file and let the Operating System decide what application it will use to open the file. Really, forget that the applications exist, let the O/S keep track of them. Now, by making applications portable, we’re going back to the old application-centered paradigm. I think this is interesting. Document-centric is more comfortable, but applicaiton-centric is more robust.

  • #1136

    ureadit
    Participant

    Apparently no need for U3. As far as I can tell an .ini file works. Remember .ini files from Win 3.1? /much more friendly than the *x* Regisrty.

    -sc

  • #1137

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    King Stairs Software applications all use .INI files to store configuration etc. The Registry is only used for system-level settings such as file associations and Automation support.
    Strangely enough, Microsoft originally wanted developers to use the Registry instead of .INI files, but then changed back to advocating .INI files (and now XML configuration files)!

    As for U3 support, that is becoming increasingly questionable: The recent MS-SanDisk alliance seems to have effectively “killed” U3, and the lack of a Vista-compatible U3 SDK six months after Vista’s release raises red flags…

    PortableApps is interesting, but this project seems to be geared towards open-source applications, with some hostility towards commercial/shareware projects…

  • #1138

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    An update on U3:
    I just had a response from U3 regarding their missing SDK (pulled apparently due to Vista compatibility issues). They still don’t have an ETA, and their response implied that it was not their #1 priority as I would expect. 😯

    In light of U3’s lack of progress on the SDK issue, and the recent Microsoft-SanDisk alliance, we have to question the viability of the U3 platform and our support for it…

    At this point we will continue to develop and release myTasks Portable (and Jot+ Notes in due course) for standard USB thumbdrives, but support for U3 devices is now on hold.

    We apologize to any U3 users who were looking forward to using our products on their devices and suggest they contact us directly so we can pass their comments to U3’s management…

  • #1139

    Phil_A
    Participant

    I have just been looking into thumb drives for running my OTHER most important app when we go abroad soon (its RoboForm – it logs me into all my sites without the need to remember passwords and urls; http://www.roboform.com/). Having unsuccessfully searched the U3.com site to try to find what U3 actually IS (is it hardware or software, if software what hardware does it require, where is its spec?*) I got more useful info in THIS thread than on there – thanks guys 🙄 ). After a while googling for UK suppliers of U3 sticks, and getting directed from U3 to no longer existing products (eg Kingston U3 Data Traveller) I opted for a normal USB stick with a secure partition, and chose a Crucial 4GB “Gizmo” http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT4GBUFDBLKHA0 which I should have in a couple of days.

    RoboForm USED to market a U3 drive with their portable version RoboForm2Go on it, but today they tell me “RoboForm2Go can work on a U3 device or a non-U3 device, but RoboForm2Go does NOT need it’s own partition, it can be installed along with other data”.

    Your theory that MS/Scandisk has killed off U3 ties in with my experience, and I’m now waiting for my ‘Gizmo’ to arrive and try Jot+ Notes Portable Beta 2 on it. Watch this space!!

    * I conclude U3 is software licenced to thumbstick manufacturers to ‘control’ apps running on their devices, and (I’m guessing) requires a flash drive with a secure partition on it (I may be wrong!).

  • #1140

    glauber
    Participant

    Phil, i know it’s not the same thing, but just in case it helps, i’ve been running Password Safe on a normal (non-U3) stick for a few months with no problems. The only thing you have to do, is to re-find the database, if you mount the stick with a different drive letter. There’s probably a way to write a script to go around this problem, but it hasn’t inconvenienced me enough yet.

  • #1141

    Phil_A
    Participant

    I’ll have a look at that one, thanks.

    It says, under News 15 July 2007, “PasswordSafe 3.09 is ready for download (U3 version here)”. Michael may be interested in the open source code for the U3 version!!!

  • #1142

    KingStairs
    Keymaster

    Oh I already know how to develop for U3: myTasks Portable was originally going to support both U3 and non-U3 devices. I spent a fair amount of time developing a portability module to support both platforms with a single binary.

    The problem with U3 is that the U3 developers have apparently abandoned the platform – there is still no sign of an updated U3 SDK (we’re talking 8+ months now), nor is there any other sign of activity on the U3 development site. 😡

    This company, like most, has limited resources for development and testing. I see little point in devoting those resources to support a platform that is (for all intents and purposes) obsolete.

    It’s worth mentioning that myTasks Portable and Jot+ Notes Portable can still be used on U3 devices; they just won’t be integrated with the U3 environment.

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