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  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software.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