Hacker for Hire

Holy Firey Bits Batman!

Wyatt • • Rants and Technology

Where’s the fire? In my pants? No … you pervert … my laptop hard drive burst into flames. Ever since I got my Tecra M4, I’ve had issues with it overheating and locking up. At first I thought it was the processor; however, a simple little application to monitor processor temperature showed me I was looking at the wrong place. Once again, Linux saved my ass by telling me that my S.M.A.R.T drive status was in a pseudo failed state due to the hard drive overheating about 50% of the time that I used it. Problem was that I needed my laptop at my job(s) and I couldn’t bear to part with it for more than a few days; hence, the 3 weeks Toshiba said it would take to fix … totally unacceptable.

Fortunately, now that I’m off contacting and using other people systems I could get it in for repair. The “closest” service location is basically the Cincinnati Airport (which is not in Cincinnati, go figure). The next closest place is Columbus. Well, I figured that when all the black stuff on my system’s display turned permanently red, I should take it down to Pomeroy (not that I wanted to … I don’t really trust their low level technicians from prior experience) and loose it for a week so I didn’t have the urge to kill someone (staring at a read screen with green text does that after 8 or so hours). But that’s just a side story that leads up to the real blog post.

The real reason for this post is my admiration for a little website call Portable Apps. From their site:

A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer. When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug, none of your personal data is left behind.

This is exactly what I needed being as I’m not allowed to install any applications on the systems at work. The best part is that these apps are completely independent. I.e. for Gaim, I don’t have to install any GTK bull or anything like that. Portable FireFox is awesome in the fact that I can package all my extension and everything with it and it runs just like normal … well a little slow down due to running “off” the USB drive, but that’s because this system is only USB 1.1 I believe. The other nice part about it is that applications like FireFox don’t have support for profiles. So even if I could install the applications I wanted, everything I did could be accessed by someone else at work … and that wouldn’t be very good for a security guy to allow :-). All in all, I recommend these apps to people even if they own their own system being as they can take all of their private information with them … of course, the down side is that you are taking all of your information with you … and keeping it in one spot. With something like a USB memory device, the implications of loosing something like that should echo clearly enough :twisted:.

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