Portable freeware is good but portable data is still better!
I am concerned wit the future of portability based in specific file formats. For this reason my standard is that not only I could use a portable software, but also the data processed must be portable to other OS and to other application.
For instance, lets use a good database to store valuable information. Time ago, I identified mysql for windows
as the best freeware web based database, so I started using it for anyone of my data, including telephone contacs, home accounts... The first thing was to make it portable, and to separate the data folder from the application folder, in order to perform easy backups of the data, for safety and for opening the data in another host.
Mysql is the best all-purpose database solution, including group sharing of data. Mysql is able to export data into txt format, which is good to import them to other apps and from windows to linux or other OS. The problem arises when you see that in the mysql files the data are not encrypted. For a set of information that is put togheter to a group, there is no big problem, because that data are just for sharing amongh the group members. But this is not good for your personal data.
Then I started using for my personal data a small portable database based on text files to increase data portability, svw data keeper for windows:
This small application is able to work with txt data files (csv) and also to encrypt the data files when necessary. You may save the data files encrypted or as plain text as you want. The problem is that svw data keeper is not 'flexible' to manage massively the data, modifying rows and so on. The usual way to edit data is register by register.
CSVEd, portable as well, for windows, on the contrary, is great just in the raw data management into a csv or tab delimited text file:
It has lots of functions for bulk modifying, columns, row management, import and export facility between different text files (CSV, tab delimited, etc.). This makes CSVed the best txt based files management application I know. But CSVEd has no data calculation functions.
A portable spreadsheet for windows was needed, also able to work with txt based data files. Then I added to the 'team' Spread32 (Though that it is shareware).
Using the 'trio'of small portable programs for windows: 'Spread32' together with 'CSVEd' and 'svw data keeper' is a very good option to have the 'control' of your personal data based on plain txt files. The three programs can interchange files in text format (cvs) between them and with other database apps, but when needed you may encrypt them with svw data keeper.
To manage non specific data, that was enough. But contacts and agenda, are better managed with EssentialPIM for windows:
This portable application can import and export text based datafiles and several other PIM formats, including outlook sync ability. And has very good edition functions for personal notes, that can be exported to HTML as well. So, for personal data, EssentialPIM is the tool. I have been able to send to my mobile telephone my contacts exporting them from EssentialPIM to outlook and then syncronizing outlook to my mobile. All data, contacts, schedule and notes are saved to a single file, that can be passworded. You may have different files for different purposes, for instance one file for personal data and another for job data.
And, to finish the team of portable txt data file applications for windows, we may add
TablePro (though that it is payware):
This small database is able to import and export data to csv files, encrypt them (without changing the filename, it is to say, without giving idea on what is the decrypting application.
With all that portable 'army' you can be sure about privacity of your personal data, combined with full portability of the source data in txt format. Txt database files are the best for data portability to other OS and applications, both: windows and linux based.
Instead of using plain txt files just for export data, this approach is focusing in using txt files as the base of the personal data system.
Discuss anything related to portable freeware here.
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