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  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software.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