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  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software.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


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.)