The Dragon and Chips series

Portable Spacejock

Running Spacejock Software apps from a thumb drive, memory stick, usb key

All my apps will run from a thumb drive, and step one, assuming you've already installed the app to your hard drive, is to copy the program folder across from your PC to the memory stick. If the memory stick is drive G, an example would be to copy C:\Program Files\yBook to G:\yBook

Now you have to choose one of the next two steps, depending on whether the app you want to run was written in VB6 or VB2008.

Step 2, VB6 applications

For my VB6 apps (yBook 1.x, BookDB 2.x, FCharts 1.x, yTimer 1.x, yPlay 1.x, yRoute 1.x) you need the VB6 runtimes. Just download PenDriveFiles.exe, run it, and point the installer to the program folder on the memory stick (e.g. G:\yBook in our example)

Step 2, VB2008 applications

For my VB2008 apps (everything not listed above), the host machine must have the Microsoft dotnet 2.0 runtimes installed. Vista and Windows 7 already have them, whereas Windows XP does not. If you have permission, you can easily install the dotnet runtimes. I suggest putting a copy of the installer on the memory stick:

DotNet 2.0 Framework

Note that you can't install the dotnet runtimes into the program's folder on the memory stick - they have to be installed on the host PC.

There's one more thing to be aware of with my DotNet apps: your data.

When you run one of my apps from a memory stick it will try to create a data folder in the logged-in user's Documents folder on the host PC, and it will also try to put its settings in C:\Documents and Settings\(Username)\Application Data\Spacejock Software\(Application Name) (or the Vista/Win7 equivalent: C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Spacejock Software\(Application Name).

To override this, you MUST create an ini file in the program folder on the memory stick. E.g. to force yWriter5 to use its own program folder for data and settings, create an empty file called yWriter5.ini in the (example) G:\yWriter5 folder. When you run yWriter5.exe from the memory stick it will see this ini file and use the G:\yWriter5 folder for data, log files, etc.

The reason for this is because Windows XP and later don't allow programs to store data in C:\Program Files. Therefore, programs have to be designed to store data in the user's data folder on the system drive ... and that's the last thing you want if you're trying to run a program from a memory stick.