[This project has been discontinued due to license compliance issues. Thanks everyone who assisted with your ideas and feedback.]


  • What is this? - this was a project dedicated to building an up-to-date collection of great, free portable software for easy installation and use.
  • What's in it? - list of included freeware
  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software. I haven't worked out how to solve licensing issues. Download


Monday, July 4, 2011

Things holding up Kitchen Sink's next release

So having gotten a number of emails and messages asking me to start back up with the project, I decided to identify the problems in the hope that someone can help me overcome them.
  • Automation software to download programs and program updates.  Updating the Kitchen Sink manually is now a full day process and not simple.
  • Similarly, a way to automatically download and store code to be in compliance with the GPL.  Right now, there are several programs that you have to dig for the code on some websites, and that goes from difficult to tedious really fast.  If I have to do that once and then in future updates that will happen automatically, that's fine.
I've looked into a few automation programs to help me out with this but so far every program I've tested has been over my head in terms of required technical skill.  If someone has recommendations for an easy-to-use program, I may be able to get back underway.

I can't just skip the open source programs and leave them out; some open programs are also the best programs for their individual task (BleachBit and VirtuaWin come to mind) so quality will be dramatically reduced without them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Possible future solution to Kitchen Sink

1. Although somewhat down the road, a discussion over at Nozavi's Apps has yielded interesting possibilities including:
  • An application updater
  • A way to include PortableApps programs without having to host the source code.
  • Can re-include Firefox!
2. I've started to seriously consider making the Kitchen Sink into a non-GPL software distribution.  I loathe this idea, but the increasing selection of software from PortableFreeware.com and the lack of an ability to download the best and brightest all in one file is very troubling.  GPL authors who put their source code front and center will of course be included (like BleachBit!).  I'll probably drop the source code into the distro in a separate 7z file included in the distro.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hard NOT to violate GPL

For some reason, many of the people who create this great software for some reason hide their source code.  However, in order to redistribute their software, its required by the GPL that you include the GPL or at least make the GPL available on your own servers.  Since I don't have a server of my own, obviously this means a 2nd torrent with all the source code packaged into it.

Here is where I'm stuck: this process is slow and more than doubles the burden of keeping all my software up to date, which was already a task within itself.  I don't want to violate the GPL, a license that has given me so much.  I don't want to distribute something that doesn't have the whole tool chest inside it.  I already had to take out Firefox and Thunderbird and I'd rather not remove any more.

The search for solutions continues and please do comment if you have ideas.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alt+Tab Replacement: TaskSwitchXP

A portable alternative to this great, low memory tool that makes it easier to navigate your open programs.  There's a portable version but it doesn't quite work right so I generated a howto.  Future versions of Kitchen Sink will of course have the update.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thoughts on open source software

In the Kitchen Sink collection and elsewhere, open systems have notable behaviors.  In open software, you can look inside and see how things work.  You might speak the language that a developer can, but someone with expertise can.  We assume that if there's anything ugly inside, someone would notice and say something.

Why the GPL is a big deal

Redistribution.  Many other software licenses will not let you distribute their stuff unless you follow their rules.  The GPL's only rule is that you either include the source code or make a reasonable effort to provide a place of your own to download it.  Its been a big success, but what it really makes it work is that nobody owns it.

I've run into other problems with open licenses that do not enable the user to do what they want with the software.  True, the MIT and BSD licenses are even MORE free, but the tendency is for this software not to grow and evolve the way the GPL license does.  This is because the GPL seems to create a share-and-share-alike approach that stacks the efforts of one person with the efforts of another.  Encouraging everyone to contribute seems to lead to a more substancial result.

The GPL has really great staying power; once its out on GPL, it never seems to go away.  That's not the same for freeware or other licenses and the GPL means no one is going to take it over or force others to quit distributing it.

From an end user perspective of someone who works with 100s of software programs all the time, the GPL seems to spawn programs which are stable and rarely crash, but frequently carry less polish and have the sense of an unfinished product.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notetab ++ Customizations

I have absolutely fallen in love with this program. So simple and easy to use and scalable (in terms of what you might want from a text editor) without overwhelming you with features and gadgetry.  Saves everything as simple text documents, which is unsurprisingly the most portable format in existence.

Here's some things I did to make it better.

Theme of choice: Zenburn (shown below) - easily the most readable and clear theme.

How to enable:  Settings - Style Configurator - Select Theme - Zenburn

Lots of tabs?  Multi-line.  This lets me have all my tabs visible at all times.  If you have 20+ tabs, this can get messy, but for the 10 or so tabs I have this is beautiful.  To enable: Settings - Preferences - General tab - Multi-line checkbox

(screencap and preferences box below)

Frequent backups.  This takes up a LOT of space, but its fantastic to have absolutely every last edit you've made available to you.  To enable: Settings - Preferences - Backup/Auto-Completion tab - Verbose Backup

Friday, May 21, 2010

Status update and fix

Note!  Found a bug in my config for the Sylpheed e-mail client.  See the "how to extract" part of the official portablefreeware entry.  Create a "Profile" directory and add the " --configdir profile" to the "command line parameters" portion of the PStart menu.

The next version of Kitchen Sink is coming up rapidly.  After more than 100 changes, I've admittedly lost track.  Expecting the next release in the next few weeks, which falls against my monthly release date plans.

Additionally, a source code web site should be available in the next few weeks that will contain a huge archive of all the source for all the included software.  I also hope to have a wiki online soon to help encourage participation beyond the portablefreeware.com forums.