[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  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software.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


Saturday, November 28, 2009

.NET isn't portable

Wrote up a big long shpeil (scroll to 5th entry down) about why .NET applications shouldn't be considered portable.  I'm sort of proud of my argument, although I wish it weren't the case.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SlickRun for Kitchen Sink

I've been absolutely captivated by SlickRun lately and created a specific data set for Kitchen Sink.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On hold for job seeking

Things have gotten much tighter on my side and the search for work has taken on a bigger role. Anyone looking for a documentation guy, technical writer, or software tester, please email me!

For now the project is unfortunately on the backburner.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September update

  1. License cleanup progress - I'm about 3/5ths way through. As I'm seeking employment at the same time I do this, its slow going.
  2. Mac/Linux version - considering creating a non-Windows version for use in WINE and Crossover. I think a freeware package for those software tools would be very popular and those projects might even send users to me as a way to get started right away with some free software. Not containing Firefox wouldn't be a problem, since users would probably already have it. Seems like a good idea but easily 6 months away.
  3. No ads - After a discussion with a friend of the project (thanks Wes) I've decided to disable advertisements for this page. There are a number of licenses included that claim their software cannot be distributed for commercial gain and we decided even advertisements fit that criteria.
Timetable for the 1.1.2 release looks like it will be what the 1.5 version was going to be: October 1st.

Update: After spending a huge chunk of my week on the latest update, I decided to bring back the ads.  It was only a few dollars and I decided Google would just make the money if I don't.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Free portable Ashampoo Office software

Really enjoying this Office suite, usually less than free.  Note that it takes a few steps and you have to give an email address to get a registration, but so far very worth it.

Thanks to Joby and Ennovoy over at PFW.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Its not looking like Mozilla is going to give me permission to distribute Firefox as John Haller predicted.  This brings up the question, would anyone want to download something called "The Kitchen Sink" that's missing Firefox?  Additionally, as I make my way through programs and come up with a license list, I'm finding that non-redistribution licenses are gradually chipping away at included programs.  This is attacking the basic point of the project. a tested, single-source, everything-in-one-place freeware tool.

By this rationale, it looks like either my self-updating idea is going to happen or this project is going to hit too big of a snag to continue.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Self-updating program

So I keep running into licenses that don't allow for redistribution or won't give me permission for a variety of reasons.  This isn't the Kitchen Sink if its missing some 30 different programs I want to put in, and my project loses all distinction as being the go-to place or portable software.  To get around this, I'm going to try to work with the Lupo project to set up a self-updating program to pull all the programs in question from their respective web sites.

It will be difficult but if I can pull it off, I can kill several birds with one stone:
  1. You will be able to download the core Kitchen Sink almost anywhere -- it will be tiny compared to the previous version
  2. I can get around almost any license issue I've come across so far
  3. It will self-update and (hopefully) keep all your settings the same each time it does
There's plenty of precedent for a program like this.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Still not dead ...

Still working on the Kitchen Sink license cleanup -- having started
with a temp job and not having much time, this is moving slowly.
Combined with updating all the increasingly old software, I hope to
have a fresh, license-friendly release sometime mid-September.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portable GPG

Been looking for an encryption and authentication system for a while that's:
My wish was seemingly granted: I got FireGPG's smooth integration with Gmail and it works nicely.  If you're not a fan of Gmail, there are a few other clients it integrates with.  Other than having to install GPG locally as well, you may need to change the specific directory location of GPG under the options -- I haven't tested that yet.

This further highlights the importance of having Firefox in the Kitchen Sink: its becoming a platform for so many other great things.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to help

A few people have asked now so I thought I'd put out a todo list.  If anyone can help me with any of this, I'd appreciate it:

High priority / key stuff:
  • Help fill out this spreadsheet listing licenses and homepage / source code.
  • Discover if we need to remove programs or ask the author for permission if they don't allow for redistribution.

Other help:
  • Help develop the wiki over at SourceForge.  Just general updates and improvement.  Once they've matured I'll remove the Google Docs pages that make up the current documentation.  Note: I may need to add you as an editor -- can't seem to fix those permissions to allow just any SourceForge user.
  • Send ideas, feature, and program suggestions.  It might take a while, but I always read those carefully.
  • Contribute ideas and bring power over at PFC Forums -- their work impacts this project more than any other.

Wish list / low priority:
  • Everything from the Roadmap page
  • Help me put together something to download and auto-install programs (such as windows scripting tool Auto-It).  That way, I can just allow users to get programs that prohibit redistribution from legit sources.
  • Develop a Secure Add-On Collection to share Kitchen Sink's Firefox security settings with everyone.

(I apologize to Guiness who left some comments and are no longer there.  Please re-post if you can.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Portable software gets a boost

As many of you may have noticed, PortableApps.com won some awards.  It looks like portable software is gaining some real recognition.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kitchen Sink graphics

Someone at downloadsquad reported on the recent Kitchen Sink project difficulty.  The graphic is killer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

MediaWiki conversion issues

Good lord this sucks: the HTML filter converter to MediaWiki format is giving me no end of problems, with weird characters, non-standard tags, and a big headache.

I've tried 7 different converters for MS Word, OpenOffice, and others and having absolutely no luck.

This is why self-contained software is so important. They are so very lacking in BS: stupid file dependencies (you need Java! Oop wait that doesn't work either!), version numbers (wrong version of Word!), and out of date software.

Update: I directly installed OpenOffice with Java. It has an export-to-MediaWiki by default. That did the trick.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Move to MediaWiki and apology

As Kitchen Sink has increasingly become a Documentation project rather than a software project, I'm moving away from Google Docs.  Instead I've moved the whole project over to MediaWiki on Sourceforge:
This was partly spurred by problems giving people interested in helping out something to do and also because I found an HTML to Wiki conversion tool.  Although I was annoyed that you have to be logged on to edit the sourceforge wiki, I suppose that will avoid problems with spam.

Also, I would also like to apologize for the recent political link posted here: its presence was purely by accident and this is not a forum for my views.  I am very interested in the Kitchen Sink transcending that sort of thing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Project Delay

The process of looking up all 200 programs is proving to be much slower than I thought: not all the developers have clear license information and often you have to dig through a given Web site to find it. I think that -- like me -- license issues are mostly an afterthought for techy people, especially for creators of small applications.

Its also important for me to put out the best quality Kitchen Sink I can with all programs as up to date as possible, so it seems unlikely I'll finish by Sunday. More as things progress.

Update: I timed myself today and found that I completed about 10 entries every hour. Tracking down licenses is just hard sometimes.

With about 120 licenses still undiscovered, that's a lot of work ahead.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The process and how to help

Here's how I'm going to put out the revised and license-friendly Kitchen Sink 1.1.2:
  1. Update a list spreadsheet of included software that now has a list of licenses and the respective web site where source code can be reasonably found (e.g. Audacity would be "Audacity  ,  GPL  ,  http://audacity.sf.net").
  2. Put the spreadsheet in the collection so there's a local copy on everyone's computer.
  3. Put links to information on the BSD, MPL, FDL, LGPL, GPL v2 and v3 licenses inside the README.TXT file just in case I accidentally delete the individual notice included in the software.
Hopefully that's a good-faith effort enough to be able to distribute these programs; its important that software owners don't feel exploited or ignored.

If you'd like to help out in this process, I can send you an invite to edit the document directly through Google Docs, or you can just download the spreadsheet, fill in the values, and email them to me.  Its boring data entry, but there's no way around it.

I'm disappointed that this process is going to find a lot of programs that -- like Firefox -- are not redistributable.  Not much of a "Kitchen Sink" at that point.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One Mozilla trademark solution

An alert reader (thanks Wes) pointed this out to me: Iceweasel. Love the name.

Its unlikely I'll take the same track and spend a lot of time dealing with sourcecode. Instead I'll focus on encourage users at install to download and install Firefox and Thunderbird themselves with an optional pre-packaged and frequently-updated XPI file to put in the plug-ins for recommended security. (Similar to these collections of plugins.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

License-friendly release due August 9th

Much to my chagrin, I'm going to release Kitchen Sink without Firefox and a few other programs that I'm not yet allowed to distribute. I don't know if Mozilla will ever give me a license so I might as well continue without them. John Haller didn't sound optimistic on this issue in his otherwise very helpful follow-up e-mail. That release will obviously happen a little over a week from this posting.

Although I'm disappointed to be doing this without having cleared things up, its is important to continue development and improvement independent of legal questions. People not having the software because I have an emotional attachment to having all my programs how I want them is absurd.

That said, I'm not sad to be throwing out Winamp, which was on its way out anyhow. Foobar2000 is proving to be the replacement I've been looking for all these years.

On a side note, I'm deeply disappointed that Firefox is not as freely distributable as other GPL programs, which you are free to modify and distribute so long as you include the source code. Still, I understand Mozilla has a huge organization to protect and the good here obviously outweighs the bad by a substantial margin. Still, I find myself hearing RMS's words echo in my head about the four freedoms.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Firefox home page issue

I'm getting closer to ironing out the Firefox license requirements: a thread on Nabble discusses changing the Firefox home page. I did this in the Kitchen Sink's "Secure Firefox" to an anonymized Google start page but I can see why they wouldn't want people to do that: the vast majority of their revenue comes from a Google partnership.

One down.

Cleaning up license issues

I knew that as Kitchen Sink got bigger, it would bring more problems. I was prepared for that, but I didn't know how out of compliance I am with the included licenses. I am not a lawyer and licenses are not written for regular people.


I can't seem to figure out how to contact the organization about its licensing scheme. The web site info page is unclear at best and they don't have any contact information for additional questions on that topic. Its as if to say "lawyers only". Not very community oriented. I'm worried that if I can't get this cleared up that nobody will want the Kitchen Sink without Firefox.

The owner of PortableApps.com got special permission to redistribute Firefox but hasn't gotten back to me on who he talked to. Admittedly, its not his problem.


In the process of all this, I realized its possible that I may have deleted a GPL notice somewhere along the line, which is not surprisingly expressly against the GPL. So now I've got to go back and dig through all my programs that are GPL'd and verify that they have some kind of notice. I have a cleanup process with all the included software to remove useless information that sometimes catches good files.

One option is to reinstall EVERY program and at least attempt to read the included license and anything I don't understand or can't decipher will probably have to be thrown out. This could take weeks.

Other Programs

This is looking like an unending process: someone is always about to email me about one of the over 200 different programs asking me to take out or add some component. My collection is 400 megs -- who wants to download the latest version that's fully compliant when only like 4 kilobytes of data on one of the licenses are different? I don't have a CVS server to post nightly uploads and my users consistently ask for me NOT to distribute things via the web, but through Torrents.


A lot of unexpected problems but I'll try to get them cleared up. Lupo contacted me and invited me to work on his project (which is growing in appeal) but I still think Kitchen Sink has something unique and important to provide to the community.

I've taken down my donation page, since I'm not really distributing anything anymore.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kitchen Sink currently offline

So just got a letter from the owner of portableapps.com saying that I'm violating trademark law, the GPL, and several software licenses.

Unfortunately Kitchen Sink will need to be offline until I can get that ironed out.  Here's why:
  • I'm doing this for the love as I'm not getting paid.  I've got some revenue sources (adwords and donations), but I have yet to make a dime off either one.
  • I'm unemployed and don't make near enough money to hire a lawyer to help me make sure I'm totally in compliance with 200 different licenses.
  • I'm a big fan of the GPL and violating the license even implicitly is not something I'm comfortable with.
If I can't get this cleared up, I'll shutter the project for good.

"What is a portable sink?"

The name of my project means quite a bit and the answer explains clearly the idea behind this project:

If you're not American or English isn't your first language, I realize that doesn't really translate. Its short for the euphemism "everything but the kitchen sink," which is to say as much as possible. The idea is that if you take everything with you, you're prepared for anything. This is sort of like the phrase "when pigs fly": an example in Spanish that means basically the same thing would be "cuando la rana crece el pelo" which means "when frogs have hair"; it doesn't make any sense to people not familiar with the saying but is equivalent.

The idea for Kitchen Sink is that I put as much in this archive as possible. Other portable collections only put in open source software (PortableApps.com), only very small tools (Tiny USB Office), or only tools that will tie into their internal system (Lupo). I put in EVERYTHING I can but avoid:

  • Duplicate programs
  • Anything buggy or overly obscure
  • Games

Monday, July 27, 2009

Other Kitchen Sink security tips

Following my recent encryption post:

Prevent Viruses
  • Virus check your files frequently using ClamAV. Keep in mind the false positives that usually come up.
  • Discard any changes made to your flash drive using the "Mirror" function in Toucan. Make sure the "source" is the trusted location and "destination" is the USB drive
  • Enable write-protect on your USB drive. Not all drives do this but if you use SD cards, there's a tiny slider on the side of the card. Many programs on Kitchen Sink require that they have read access, so for those programs just copy the files locally.

Prevent theft / data loss
  • Keep your USB drive on you at all times. Being attached to a key chain, lanyard, or built into some other device you use frequently like a watch. Extremely small drives can fit in your wallet.
  • Choose an inconspicuous flash drive such as a frayed USB cable or lipstick. This idea made famous by the coffee container in the less-than-great Al Pacino movie The Recruit.
  • Back up your files daily using included Toucan (simple) or DSyncronize (advanced). DSyncronize will even do "realtime," or continuous, backups.
  • Wipe sensitive files with CyberShredder or Eraser.
  • Clean up leftover cache files using CCleaner before you close Kitchen Sink might help prevent any recovery of personal data.
  • Take notes securely using only Crypditor. Be sure to save frequently as this program doesn't have an autosave function.

  • Use multiple security tools together. For example: Firefox Secure with Tor for anonymity, PeerGuaridan with HTML blocking turned on as a mild firewall, and AAST to prevent shoulder surfing.

  • Only use public terminals to be more anonymous, although this is not more secure overall.
  • Track down and kill individual data files - See development for the "Cleanup - Privacy" ( Section II.C. ) for files that can be removed to improve privacy. (I plan to create a batch file to do this.)

Encrypting Kitchen Sink (part 2)

Rohos comes recommended, bringing some smooth and easy security. You're stuck with 2 gig volumes, but that's fine for Kitchen Sink; most external devices run the FAT32 filesystem, which has problems with files larger than 2 gigs.

Additionally, I'm going to start testing FreeOTFE, as it doesn't require admin rights, unlike my TrueCrypt Howto.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kitchen Sink 1.1.1 - Maintenance Release

Release Notes:

Fixed a problem with the self-extracting installer and a bug with the Pstart menu.  Also updated CPU-Z and USBDeview.

MD5: C2A41574D1AFDFC58EAF4BAE4425A911

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Serious bug

I'm not sure how this didn't get caught earlier but the program isn't extracting. I will be posting a 1.11 tonight that will include an updated Pstart menu version and a fixed self-extracting program as well as a few other changes.

I think I know what went wrong in the compression process and I know how to fix it. Big thanks from me and Kitchen Sink's users to Guinness for catching the Pstart issue, the Self-Extract bug, and a lot of other work over time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

International status

As of this writing, some cool things have happened:
  • Over 1,200 people have downloaded the program in the last 8 hours.
  • 121 people are "seeding," or helping distribute this software.
  • Most impressive to me is that people all over the world now are using this software.
One piece of bad news: one user on Mininova's forums complained of problems on Vista 64.  I am unable to test this OS but none of my users have had any issues with previous versions and the software hasn't changed enough to create problems.

All told this has been a great weekend for me and portable freeware.  I'm ecstatic.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kitchen Sink 1.1 Release

Major changes:
  • User interface cleanup (better icons, more intelligent folders)
  • Fixed a number of problems in the 1.0 version with missing, out-of-date, and broken files.  
  • Updated, added, and removed ~40 programs.
  • Dramatic CAFE update: A configuration to allow opening over 700 file types, enable only the "power" editors (OpenOffice and GIMP), or open any compressed file (including EXE / MSI files).
  • Shortcuts/Hotkeys added
Got a LOT of help from users Guiness and Vishnu on this release.  Big thanks to them.

Download (445 megs, 1.22 gigs uncompressed):
Feedback is welcome!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Look and feel update

Version 1.1 will be posted sometime tomorrow. Although there are over a hundred changes, one of them is the icon set:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More language edits and SourceForge

Started a Sourceforge project page in the interests of trying to setup a wiki for the project, discussion group, and occasionally distribute some files.  If someone prefers a service other than Sourceforge such as CodePlex, Google Code, or Launchpad, let me know why and I'll switch.  In the mean time, hopefully the Wiki will clean up the documentation I've been trying to do with Google Docs -- its getting too big.  I also want the project to be edit-able by people other than myself so hopefully this will enable some collaboration.

I'm on track to a 1.1 release this weekend with some more language files cleanup notes:
  • Non-english files from OpenOfficePortable\App\openoffice\Basis\share\template\wizard\letter (save about 5 megs)
  • PidginPortable\App\Pidgin\locale - non "en"
  • PidginPortable\App\GTK\share\locale - non "en"
  • Bonkenc\manual - delete everything except for images, style, gfdl, en, index_en.html, and index
  • MP3tag\lang\ and mp3tag\lang\icons
  • Going to leave VLC\locale alone as well because I'm worried this might be DVD encoding locales
  • Also, leaving the languages set alone in Money Manager Ex just because of the possibility of dealing in international currency
For more language management, check out development.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shortcut keys

Here are my tentative key combos for the next release. I decided Internet programs would probably be the most frequently used so I assigned number keys to them. The common thread is:

Windows key + Alt + _

Pstart menu (these are defaults with the program itself - I didn't set these)

m = menu (the smaller, simpler one)
p = panel (more options, tabs at the top)

System applications

q = Close all kitchen sink programs and eject all usb drives
o = Start cafe - open any file config
s = SearchMyFiles
e = Everything search
x = Poweroff system power scheduler

Internet applications

1= Firefox
2= Firefox Secure
3= Iron Browser (cleaned up Google Chrome)
4= Thunderbird - Mail
5= Pidgin - Chat
6= Feedreader - RSS
7= Filezilla - FTP
8= Screamer - web radio
9= Weathermate
0= uTorrent

Note that if you use a Mac keyboard, the "Windows" key is the "Command" key.

Sound good?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Firefox Error

So Firefox was having problems on a recent install, giving me a pretty nasty error message (below). Turns out it was a permissions issue that happens when copying from read-only media (like a USB drive with write-protect enabled). This sometimes makes Windows think the data is also read-only. Follow the instructions on this page next to "File permissions," but also check to make sure your drive isn't full.

"Could not initialize the application's security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your application's profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the application and fix the problem. If you continue to use this session, you might see incorrect application behaviour when accessing security features."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Anyone have any ideas on these issues?

1. Shortcut Keys (for example Ctrl+Shift+F starts Firefox) I can set them up through PStart since the HotKeyz program doesn't work with relative path names and is only favored because it works with Winamp after its started.  Addicitonally, Winamp is rapidly losing status as making new versions portable seems impossible.  However, I'm not sure if:
  • What those shortcuts should be (should probably be one unified sequence like ctrl+alt+shift)
  • What they would activate (Firefox?  OpenOffice?).
2. Exceptions To this point I've had a policy against putting in software that PortableFreeware hasn't approved, with the exception of TightVNC Client and Server.  Unfortunately I'm really getting a lot out of WinSplit Revolution (did a review here) even though it hasn't been accepted by PortableFreeware yet.  Its just so fantastic.  Any thoughts?

3. Recommendations These three programs are coming strongly recommended: Inkscape, Unstoppable Copier, Fastcopy, FreeFileSync .  Anyone think they belong in the archive?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

1.0 Release issues

The list below is pretty long so obviously a version 1.1 is called for. Hope to have that out in 2 or 3 weeks.

Look and Feel:

  • Icons for "View Browser History" and "Web Editing" are the same.
  • Decided I needed an icon refresh and get away from the cartoonish look.
  • Added a background image for the freeware menu: eiffel tower by xAnotherPrettyFacex ... waiting on her permission to actually use this photo.
Updates / Cleanup:
  • Firefox 3.5 came out JUST after my release. This alone might be reason enough to update.
  • Several programs (I didn't realize this) are out of date: Audiobook cutter, Bonkenc, Wavosaur, Mediainfo, GPU-z, ShowMyPC, as well as TED Notepad (which JUST came out), and TaskCoach, filezilla, and Xinorbis.
  • Had some annoyances/problems on another machine with InfraRecorder, Money Manager Ex, and Tor. Going to try reinstalling.
  • Need to clean up Winamp playlist menu - looks very unprofessional
  • Hidden XP Utilities doesn't really belong in Support subfolder -- its not really a support program.
  • Somehow I neglected to actually add PhotoRec and TestDisk to the menu. Sigh.
  • Need to try and cleanup Audacity and Feedreader's language files.
  • Noted in the menu that System Information Viewer is a "Dashboard"-style program
  • Universal Extractor will open Stuffit files (which supports these formats). Need to add those to CAFE.
  • Move Toucan from USB tools to "backup" because its definitely NOT exclusive to USB devices.
Added/Removed Programs:
  • Threw out FLACDrop since BoncEnc had a much newer FLAC encoder (1.1.3 compared to 1.2.1). Oggdrop is the same, LameDrop I can't tell if its up to date or not so I'll just leave it.
  • Hash does what WinMD5Sum does -- I like the simplicity of the program but decided this was duplicate functionality. WinMD5Sum removed.
  • Problems with DrvBackup -- going to switch to DriverBackup 1.3, which has better reviews and is GPL'd.
  • Ant Movie Catalog. Their great "finder" feature that takes a little information and fills in the rest from the internet doesn't seem to work anymore. Very disappointing ... removed from the archive.
  • Removed TCExplorer. Doesn't work with the current version of TrueCrypt.
  • PlannerPortable was in the install but not actually on the menu. I was evaluating this program and decided to take this out but apparently didn't delete the home folder.
  • CurrPorts has a plugin update that comes highly recommended. Going to test that out and put in the archive.
Known Problems:
  • Still don't know how to update Winamp
  • AAST and Texter - giving a "update" notice but the sites don't have updates. Working on this.
  • Pstart folder double-click problem (opens every file underneath)
  • WeatherMate DLL file Not working in win2k - msvcp60.dll

As Vishnu says in the comments below, I missed 3 programs that should have been in the Pstart menu:
  • JavaRa
  • Opened Files view
  • Mp3Direct cut
(Thanks very much for the help on that.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Try these also

This collection is, among other things, a huge recommendation for 100s of software tools. However, I haven't tested everything. Here's some that have come highly recommended on PortableFreeware: 1 , 2 , 3, 4
I never would have re-tried Foobar2000 if it wasn't for one of the users on these forums.

Assigned drive letters problem

Your system is auto-assigning drive letters for your USB drive that are causing problems.  For example with a file synchronization program that keeps expecting to see the drive on letter "E" but your computer keeps changing it.

Control which letter goes to which drive with this program (non-portable).  I haven't tested it but it comes strongly recommended.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Running in Crossover for Mac

Documentation available including installation instructions, programs that work, programs that don't work and various other notes.  Should also cover many WINE installations.

Especially pleased with the performance of the 7-zip compression software with this setup.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Windows 2000 problems

Finally had the chance to test the software out on an earlier Windows OS. Issues below.

Programs that won't start:
  • WeatherMate -- DLL file missing - msvcp60.dll.
  • Iron Browser
  • DrvBackup
  • Foobar2000 - I checked this out and there are no plans by their team to fix this
Other problems
  • Shellfish Anti-Keylogger Keyboard starts but doesn't work.
  • Firefox Secure icon breaks but otherwise still functional.
  • Winxmove - appears to open multiple copies ... repeatedly.
  • Tor - won't start but may have had a conflict with my firewall, not Windows 2000.
  • Hard Disk Indicator for some reason creates an all-gray background for the desktop. Very distracting.
  • xp-Antispy and Config for XP - don't work for for obvious reasons.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Release: 1.0

Version 1.0 is online -- you may download the torrent here.

Please let me know your thoughts, comments, problems, and criticisms.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Extra security in portable software

You might want to take Kitchen Sink with you fully encrypted.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lupo PenSuite vs. Kitchen

I spent some time with a similar portable freeware tool.  Some results...

Bad about Kitchen / good about theirs
  • Software that self-checks for the latest versions
  • Installer that self-checks for problems and is smooth and clean
  • A much more friendly rewrite of CAFE.  Very pretty.
  • "Photos", "documents", and other folders that all the programs automatically default to
  • My menu is increasingly cluttered as I keep adding stuff
  • Not very skinnable - theirs has great skins built right in
  • I need a changelog.txt and license.txt -- maybe all under "readme"
  • Their "starter" software rules -- it has a services pane that's fantastically detailed.  Fortunately I can add this to future editions.
  • ASuite - their version of Pstart -- is GPL'd and makes my menu system look cluttered.
  • Smaller, lighter, leaner, and smoother.
Good about Kitchen / bad about theirs
  • Has FAR fewer programs than Kitchen and much limited functionality
  • My Pstart setup is much cleaner and more responsive than these menus - the fade in look of the menu felt clunky
  • I don't put links in my software to online resources, which are useless if you're stuck without a net connection
  • Their version of CAFE only has 35 file associations
  • Mine has a more consistent look and feel-- the skins probably cause problems in documentation
  • Folder Size is not as good as Folder Sizer (Kitchen Sink's version is WAY better)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I recently went through and looked at some competing projects.  At first I was really stunned and disheartened by the fact that my project is by no means unique, but gradually realized that Kitchen Sink has a real place at the table.

Some of the best criticism for my project came from this five star review of a similar project, winPenPack:
  • Multiple licenses, some of them only for personal use, meaning giving it to your employees isn't quite legal.  Worse than PenPack, I haven't spelled out which programs have which licenses.
  • Apps for almost every need but varying quality and usefulness.
  • Not much of a way to customize beyond deleting the directory and PStart icon.  Not difficult but by no means smooth.
  • Only a few of these programs are daily use -- the others are "niche" or "occasional"
  • There's some "fat" and repetition of uses on my program too and this stung to read: "there is no need for 3 calendar programs".  I would contend that there is but the reviewer has a point.

PeaZip and SearchMyFiles

Two new programs added to the Kitchen Sink:

Other notes:
  • After losing some data recently and getting really furious about it, I took another look at the Kitchen Sink and its autosave features. I updated TED notepad since the latest version now has an autosave feature. I also enabled autosave in PNotes, Task Coach, Notepad++, and Abiword. Finally, because it doesn't have any autosave capability, I removed QJot entirely and replaced its functions in CAFE with Abiword.
  • Tested out ReactOS for VMware with poor results. Not going to bother with it in the future.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Other updates

  • Added around 50 more filetypes to CAFE from all across the Kitchen Sink.  Can now open 536 different file extensions!
  • The "shred" trick has been present in the software since the February '09 release, but I've expanded it.  Renaming a file with the ending ".xxxx", ".xxx", or ".wipe" makes it auto open with cybershredder and self-wipe just by double-clicking.  Here's the CAFE entries to make that happen:

  • Finally got the autorun tool to run correctly.  This is the autorun script that actually works that will go out in the next release:
ACTION = Kitchen Sink Freeware Collection
LABEL=Kitchen Sink Freeware Collection

  • Found out Keepass has an excellent password generator.  Currently evaluating whether this should replace the present software "Strong Password Generator".

Next step: put everything in a /data/ subdirectory except for a few necessary files.  Lots of work ahead.

Changes to Firefox - Secure

Still considering adding WoT (Web of Trust), but for right now here are some updates:
  • Set the homepage to Scroogle (https://ssl.scroogle.org/) ... not as pretty, but much more secure.
  • Added firefox plugins:
    • Locationbar2 - really simple anti-phishing trick
    • BetterPrivacy - an advanced cookie cleaner
    • Panic Button - quickly minimize firefox to help prevent shoulder-surfing.  Set the icon to something that looks like a minimize button, which seemed to make more sense.
  • For simplicity, I put up the "temporarily allow this page" button up for the NoScript plugin.  This allows users to -- if they decide they trust a page -- to allow the website to fully render.
  • Just for consistency put the Adblock Plus (for disabling ads) and TorButton (for anonymous browsing) in the top bar as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

CAFE customizations

After doing a lot of work with CAFE recently, I've created a separate site where I'll post CAFE.INI files.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pstart questions

1.When I start the program, I get a weird error message about Pstart.xml. I think the file is corrupted. What do I do?

Just delete the old Pstart.xml file and rename "Pstart.bak" to "Pstart.xml" and you should be back online. I don't know why this happens but its come up a few times for me over the life of the program.

2. Icons not portable - I'm creating my own Pstart menu for my own collection and trying to use the different icon for each folder idea you use. Unfortunately, its not showing up right on other people's computers. (paraphrasing Russ)

A. If they're using Windows 2000, you'll have some mixed experience with icons. I don't know why.

B. If I were you I would pull up the Pstart menu XML file and look at the code directly.

It should say something like:

<files name="Internet">

I would keep all the alternative icons in the same directory as Pstart. No reason really, just how I do it and it works for me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Software list cleanup and additions

Major updates to the software list today. Filled in quite a few more fields and referenced my portable freeware reviews site directly. Slowly the holy trinity of reviews, software, and information is all coming together.

Hopefully a year from now it will be a really stellar project.

Other freeware collections

Some fellow projects I'll be looking at and learning from:



Monday, June 1, 2009

FastStone Image Viewer

Increasingly annoyed with XnView on my laptop keyboard so I've switched over to FastStone, also included in the Kitchen Sink. So far a lot happier, although the number of images supported are TINY by comparison (see below). I'm tempted to just deal with XnView so I don't confuse users but usability is far better:
  • Prefer its image editing tools to shrink stuff for email as well as other effects.
  • Keyboard shortcut settings are far better
  • The right-click zoom in is SO convenient

Other config changes to adapt the software to my preferences:
  • Was able to turn off the green text description up at the top so I turned that off. "Settings - Viewer - Show filename in Full Screen - Text"
  • Setup MS Paint as an editor. This will probably only work for Windows XP and 2000 as the location for that software likely changes on other Windows versions.
  • Also turned on "Smooth" in the same area to "before shown" just because it looks a lot cleaner.
  • Increased default Thumbnail size.
  • Here are the CAFE settings to switch over to FSV.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flight delays due to lack of fuel

Because of troubles over at portablefreeware with Dreamhost in the past few weeks and PortableApps focus on an Installer platform rather than new or updated software, there haven't been a great deal of accepted updates by the community to add to the next Kitchen Sink collection. As a result, I'm going to change the release schedule to every 4 months and hopefully there will be more of a reason to post. Need more time to find a BitTorrent distribution system anyhow.

In the meantime, I'll be focusing on my portablefreewarereviews site, which will hopefully help me find new and better software to throw in.

Update: Of course right after I write this, both sites put out updates. Sigh.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Portable platform is here

Great news: Portableapps Installer just came out, which allows other developers to modify their own applications for PortableApps. This is great because its basically creating a platform for portable software that makes it easy for other developers to get on board and hand their software to users without their users needing to be tech savvy. Hopefully this will pull more developers towards making portable software and this will only increase the size of Kitchen Sink.

Great job, PortableApps.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Software addition: Testdisk

After a number of stellar reviews, I'll be including this in my next release. Probably Photorec too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recent Kitchen Sink support experiences

All the following programs are readily available in the Kitchen Sink.  I'm merely linking to their original sites for reference.
  • Revo Uninstaller - the real star of the Support tools category, this program did an amazing job of pulling several notoriously hard to remove AOL programs off a very old computer.  I love this program.
  • StartUpLite - probably the best program in the Portable Freeware archive simply because of the memory and processor cycles saved over time.  For me, its just nice to have clear explanations behind a program that wants to remove auto-starting programs.  Has saved me huge time and effort researching weird programs I find on user machines.  I hope the authors keep up this excellent program.  A less descriptive but still cool program is of course Startup Control Panel.
  • MV Registry Clean - Extensive testing of this program over time has just caused problems so I'm actively looking for another registry cleaner program that's not so destructive.  EasyCleaner has a regcleaner tool, as does CCleaner although I haven't tested them as thoroughly.  CCleaner has a fantastic reputation so that's probably going to be my #2.

Monday, April 27, 2009

On hold?

It seems both PortableApps and PortableFreeware are both on vacation for the most part so I don't have much to develop.  I did a lot of support work for two clients using the Kitchen Sink and learned a few tricks that I'll probably post.

Whatever happens, the next release on the 3-month schedule is the end of May, '09.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Windows 2000 testing

Got Windows 2000 working so future releases will be tested on 3 operating systems: WinXP, 2K, and Mac OS X via Crossover.  Considering using ReactOS as well.

Still need a Windows XP 64 bit and Vista tester but until I get a lot of requests from 64-bit users, its whatever.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Legal stuff

Updated the disclaimer to hopefully be better and more complete. I am not a lawyer, I just drew this from other disclaimers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Freeware Reviews

A portable freeware reviews site appropriately named portablefreewarereviews.blogspot.com has been created since that's effectively what I'm doing with the Kitchen Sink Collection. This is in an effort to improve upon the comments section of portablefreeware, which can get a little directionless and unconnected.

This wasn't integrated into this site because the purpose of this site is just to let people know what's happening with the development of my archive. Quite a few more people are interested in portable freeware generally than are interested in my huge archive of it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

March 30, '09 updates

  • Added Core Temp
  • Added Kitty instead of PuTTy
  • Added Artweaver, which I decided I really like
  • Added a CD recovery program and created a Data Recovery subfolder
  • Moved ZipRepair, which for some reason was under the Sysinfo/Testing folder

XnView shortcuts

Been slowly making the transition over to XnView and annoyed at how the controls aren't obvious and aren't very laptop keyboard friendly.  This is annoying but the benefits so far outweigh the problems.  Here's the rundown on view mode navigation (what I have set as default):
  • First File - Home
  • Last File - End
  • Next File - PageDown
  • Next Page - Shift+PageDown
  • Previous File - PageUp
  • Previous Page - Shift+PageUp
  • Zoom in (make larger) - + (plus)
  • Zoom out (make smaller) - "-" (minus)
  • Zoom to original size * (asterisk)
  • Zoom lock (for next image) - Ctrl+/
  • Fit image to window, all - / (slash)
  • Fit image to window width -Numpad 1
  • Fit window to image - Ctrl+T
  • Fit image to window height - Numpad 3

Monday, March 30, 2009

Portablefreeware contribution

Updated all these programs in my own collection and sent them on to the good folks over at portablefreeware.com.

The process continues.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Torrent now available

By popular request, a torrent is now available for the latest version (thanks Wes). Should offer at minimum between 30 and 50 k/sec download speeds.

If you already have a copy, please seed!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

QJot fix

QJot is the Kitchen Sink's WordPad replacement, but the text by default looks nothing like WordPad -- who's text size I sort of like. Here's how to change it:
  1. Go into the "qjot" directory inside the Kitchen Sink archive
  2. Edit QJot.ini using any text editor (including one of several in the archive)
  3. Change "FontSize=8" to "FontSize=10". If you have a high monitor resolution, you may want to increase this to 12 or even 14.
  4. For a more text editor look, you can change "FontName=Arial" to "FontName=Courier New"
Future releases will have the font size set to 10.

Note that I set up CAFE to open "docpad" files using this program. So if you name a file with a ".docpad" ending, it will automatically come up in QJot. Other files, for compatibility, come up in OpenOffice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Latest version is out!

Here's the latest-and-greatest: kitchensink- Instructions are here. Torrent should be available sometime today or tomorrow.

This is a maintenance release over the previous version. The reason its so much smaller is that OpenOffice has cut down on the space their most recent release takes up and I replaced GNUCash, which takes up 100 megs, with something much smaller. I had no idea until I compressed the archive overnight.

Please give me feedback and enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Delays, delays

The current release is all set but I'm having some kind of mysterious error.  I apologize to those of you that have been waiting on this.  The breakdown:
  • OpenOffice works fully.
  • The autorun feature either doesn't work or doesn't work under VMware.
  • The compressed archive takes up HALF the space of the previous one.  Since they both used similar compression levels, I'm looking into if something got deleted.  This is going to take time to iron out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Programs added, subtracted, and updated

  • Everything is a terrific search tool that I added almost immediately to the archive. Anything faster than LookDisk is very welcome. More info on this program soon, as well as some customizations I figured out.
  • Threw out the MLA generator. Programs like Zotero have killed any need for this.
  • Replaced GNUCash with Money Manager Ex. Both programs are fully GPL'd and Money Manager is a little cleaner. I'm still not sure which I prefer but I decided space and fewer files was an advantage so I swapped.
  • DeepBurner - didn't seem to work as well as other programs and certainly less updated.
  • 7-zip
  • SMPlayer
  • xpass
  • Bonkenc (NOT the portableapps.com version)
  • Toucan

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Get e-mail release notices

New announcement-only email list for people that just want to know when the next version comes out. (Basically trying to make sure discussion list members aren't getting a lot of useless inbox clutter.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Release delay: waiting for torrent

Help! If you run ANYTHING except 32-bit WinXP (64bit XP, Vista, 2K, WINE, ReactOS, etc.), please join the mailing list. I need people to test stuff.

So I've found someone to seed the torrent file so that will happen this weekend. Looking forward to getting the maintenance release posted. Its contents:
  1. Brought up to speed with current stuff on portablefreeware.com
  2. Fixed (I think) startkitchensink.exe path problem (thanks to m^(2)) as well as extras.exe so that Hotkeyz starts up minimized.
  3. Fixed the autorun.inf file
  4. Some minor internal issues, a few more language files deleted.
  5. Minor cafe.ini file fixes
  6. Figured out new Hotkeyz version out, even before PFW so I included that.
  7. Filezilla extras files cleanup
  8. Reinstalled Abiword, which was acting oddly, as well as PeerGuardian
  9. Pulled out PortBlocker -- my initial tests on it were very positive but I just don't think anyone will use it. Its also not very portable and very old.
Mostly this time has been spent testing out the program on a fresh copy of Windows. This will be the process before release from now on due to the lengthy problems with OpenOffice caused by my OS. Also need to find someone with Win2K and Vista to test them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

OpenOffice issue resolved -- updated version March 7th

The system that I run as a testbed for is a VMware image so it didn't take much effort to start up a previous version and find out that there's something in my test image that's causing problems.

I still don't know what's wrong but I know how to fix it. Further testing will have to be done but unfortunately I'm doing this all at the same time that I'm trying to find a job so things aren't moving quickly. A full update should be posted soon and will be downloadable in 10 mb chunks. I can't find anyone to host the torrent.

If you can, please message me.

Also, m^(2) has come through big time with a whole bunch of great suggestions. This project belongs to him as well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OpenOffice issue

Wow, they keep coming. OpenOffice appears to be offine for some mysterious reason. Looks like grounds for a re-release.

Update: I tested a fresh download of the latest OpenOffice and got a similar result. Looking into if this is a bug in my computer or a bug within the program.

CAFE issue

If you use CAFE, or the Extras.exe file, there's a problem with starting up OpenOffice documents. Here's how to fix it:
  1. Download this file: cafe.zip
  2. Unzip and replace this file: /cafe-manage_associations/cafe.ini
Should fix problems with OpenOffice file associations.

Monday, February 23, 2009

February release information

Major release changes:
  • 50+ program updates
  • Added and removed some programs, repaired others whose install was wonky
  • Fixed autorun.inf and exe icons.
  • CAFE -- added support for 100s of file formats -- Kitchen Sink is now a glorified file-opener.
  • Extras.exe will start both CAFE and HotKeyz to increase system integration.
  • Much better web page support (mostly through Google Docs cuz its so easy to update and I can give others write access if I need to)
There are hundreds of small changes but that's it for now. Having some trouble distributing the latest Kitchen Sink file so I haven't gotten any feedback on whether or not its any good. We'll see I guess.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Its been six months and here's the latest-and-greatest:
I should have solved the problem of people needing to download the DLLs (1) and (2) but users may still want them as they run a bit faster when they're on the local system.

I will make a torrent available if people ask for it. For right now I just want to get some initial feedback.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Updates: program start and blog

I decided I hated reading the old blog format so I'm trying another, much cleaner one. You like?

As for the portable archive, I generated some BAT files that I then converted into EXE format.

Contents of batch file (thanks to m^(2))
@start "" "%~dp0pstart210\pstart.exe"
@set path=%~dp0dll;%path%

CoSince some users won't want the system shortcuts or CAFE program, I put those in a separate EXE file called Extras. Here are its contents:
@start "" "%~dp0cafe-manage_associations\cafe.exe"
@start "" "%~dp0HotKeyz\HotKeyz.exe"
Unfortunately the created file comes up as a virus on ClamAV (but no other antivirus program). Sigh.

Where did these icons come from?

Attribution time -- all the icons I use are by some extremely talented people.
  • The totally badass "official" icon as well as for "Network" tools
  • A few icons also by this guy.
  • Most of the Pstart menu is populated by these.
  • Icon I use for Firefox - Secure version

CAFE config files for XnView

Two programs I've been working with include XnView and CAFE.

CAFE is an associations manager, which is a funny way of saying that when you double-click a file it opens a program to use that file. For example, Microsoft Word opening .DOC files. But lets say you don't like Microsoft Word and want DOC files to open with your editor -- but not perminantly.

CAFE uses a config file (cafe.ini) to manage itself. Well, I set up my previous version of Kitchen Sink with this config file but the latest version doesn't really use Irfanview, which I decided I don't like as my primary viewer.

However, for those of you that *really* like XnView, here's a config file to make CAFE open up everything that XnView can view with XnView.

Maybe someone will find a use for that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ready or not

Official release date is now February 22nd. So much has changed since the November release, its time to make it available and ask for help.

Some missing pieces of note:
  • Update the core software - create an autorun file, update the startkitchensink.exe, fix the doc icon)
  • Official web site - Setup an official web site separate from Google Docs (might end up being this site -- not sure)
  • Make software operate WITH the operating system, not as an accessory. Customized user interface settings for automatic virus-checking, system-wide hot-keys, and file associations manager.
  • Improved WINE and virtualizations (like VirtualBox) testing
  • Marketing - try to tell more people about it, get community assistance
Hopefully this will get me back on a 3 month release schedule I planned for.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More virus false-positive problems

In doing some computer repair yesterday, I ran into the issue of Norton anti-virus not even allowing me to copy files onto the computer. I'm working on an easy-to-use tool that will auto resume and get the maximum number of files transferred over.

I'm also trying to find a way to make the archive self-update. Toucan has some options for this but I don't know how to personalize it to Kitchen Sink.

Lots to do before 1.0 comes out.

Additionally, Xmedia Recode is no replacement for MediaCoder. Bleh.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blog and Program Updates

Obviously you can see the blog has been updated and I also created an e-mail list.


  • MediaCoder has been cut. Very sad to have finally removed it after a long list of annoying problems. I've tested it at length and love it but I just can't seem to make it work. I replaced the program with Xmedia Recode. If it works even half as well, I'm happy.
  • Notepad++ is performing even better than PSPad so ... definitely going to add it to my next release. A user over on PortableFreeware told me to try it out and I'm glad I did.
  • Office programs have gotten too big has been cut into two parts.
  • PortableTor has been added and "TorButton" extension for Firefox Secure. I've just found too many uses for semi-anonymous, encrypted browsing lately.
  • One of my favorite programs, PhotoScape, has been updated. Really happy about that.
  • About 15 various program updates both from portablefreeware.com and portableapps.com that have been integrated. I also cleaned up the CamStudio install, which was very messy and turns out wasn't working.
  • Minor tweaking of the Pstart menu -- organization, cleanup, etc.
  • Been running almost all files under a compressed NTFS folder. Pleased to say its working fine and saves around 30 megs of space.
Other non-updates:
  • Programs that are showing up as viruses. I still haven't deleted them and still don't know what to do about them.
  • Pstart XML file seems to periodically get corrupted. Not sure what that's about and hoping users don't have this issue.
Finally, a program I'll likely use to create the README file is TiddlyWiki. An amazing self-contained program all in an HTML file. Brilliant.