Monday, April 13, 2009

Portable Office

Recently, I've installed many OS on my computer to test some frameworks and setup environment to build some Proof Of Concept. So, I can not centralize all of necessary working information: emails, chat log, documentations because I usually switch between OS.

One more disadvantage, when I go home and need to check old emails in company. I have to do remote desktop to the computer in my office - because all of old emails were downloaded into that computer.


To solve all of these issues, I decided to build a portable office for my own.

Requirements of the ideal portable office

1/ I can centralize all necessary information (emails, documents, chat log) in work just in one place
2/ I can take them into any place.
3/ I can work with them offline (in VietNam, there are some places that you can not access to Internet). These information can be synchronized automatically when the Internet connection can be accessed.
4/ The computer at my home is Ubuntu, so I need all of these information can be accessed from that easily.

Build the portable office

Step 1: Download and install necessary softwares

I found a good place that contains a lot of portable applications that I can use (http://portableapps.com/apps).
At the first step, I download all of necessary below portable softwares:

I install all of them into an USB in the folder: PortableApps.

Step 2: Install extensions for some softwares to help me to work offline

With firefox, I install Google Gear to work offline with Google Docs. Actually, I haven't tried this with my Ubuntu computer at home. Hope it works. Moreover, I installs all other extension to help me work efficiently with Firefox.

With thunderbird, do the same things.

Step 3: Just a little bit effort to work with my Ubuntu

Portable Apps works very nice with Windows OS in my company. But when I plug my USB into Ubuntu at home and run them with Wine. It can not save chat log and emails to USB. Why?
Just a simple thing, the user I am logging in is not the created user for files and folder on USB. Just do one thing with the PortableApps folder

Go to terminal and browse to the USB disk, type the command to change owner for PortableApps

chown -R myusername PortableApps

One more command to change mode to all folders and sub folders
chmod -R 777 PortableApps => this is very stupid, but you can assign your custom mode.

Now these apps can be run OK.

Do you want to try?