Why Portable Freeware?

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webfork
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Why Portable Freeware?

#1 Post by webfork » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:43 pm

This is a developing set of ideas surrounding why I work on the site and why it matters. It's something that's been coming together over the past year as I continue to try and explain my time here.

Why Portable Freeware?

Technology "improvements"
  • This site is about how computers nowadays are nobody's friend. They push further and further into our lives, relying increasingly on some other tool, service, intellectual property, etc. that violates privacy, creates patent concerns, and just doesn't work the way you want when you want. I can't tell you how many times an important app on my phone quit working and I just wanted to throw it in the river.

    Yet it's not just mobile software: Screenpresso for example is a great screen capture program with some nifty features and an excellent interface, but the "mandatory updates" feature means that I don't know what they're going to break or turn off tomorrow. Ultimately, it means that the program isn't YOUR software. You're leasing it from them. That's why from version to version they'll take away an important feature, radically realign the interface, or add some impossible-to-understand policy update.

    With portability, that doesn't happen because I can almost always return to the previous version that did what I needed.

    As Microsoft is increasingly going in this direction with Windows 10 and Office 365, I like to think of every little bit of work is chipping away at a very large edifice of bad software policy and other annoying computer nonsense. The freeware tools that we highlight often can't match their commercial competitors, but you're not going to have to guess about their status and you're not going to wonder what stupid behavior they're going to take on today.
Charity

Helping people
  • Even the quietly produced tools we talk about here get thousands of downloads. When was the last time you did something that affected 1,000 people? Even if just 5% of our downloaders fully USE a program, that's still a lot. Similar Web estimates more than 2 million hits per month so this work has affected a lot of people.
Generous Developers
  • A lot of devs put their time, effort, and intelligence into these programs. Some even give away all the plans for their work so that (hopefully) software as a whole is improved. To all this work, mostly what they get are bug reports or feature requests, meaning someone is complaining that it doesn't work perfectly or that it doesn't do enough. It's easily possible these people have as big an impact on the world as someone donating a painting to a museum or giving to charity, but they don't see the same level of appreciation. I hear over and over again that almost nobody donates to freeware projects. Hopefully at minimum this site can give them some well-deserved time and attention.
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Midas
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Re: PortableFreeware: a manefesto

#2 Post by Midas » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:52 am

Typo alert: it should read "manifesto" in the topic subject... :)

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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#3 Post by webfork » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:29 pm

Midas wrote:Typo alert: it should read "manifesto" in the topic subject... :)
Yeah that and a bunch of other stuff needed edition.

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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#4 Post by Midas » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:33 am

Good stuff, BTW. 8)

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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#5 Post by webfork » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:40 pm

Midas wrote:Good stuff, BTW. 8)
hehe ... thanks

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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#6 Post by webfork » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:27 pm

In light of the fact that my work here was instrumental in me getting my most recent gig, I decided to more broadly list out how my volunteer work here has helped in my career. I realize some of this may not be useful in your workplace or industry, but they've definitely been a boon to my own.
  • Ability to run programs quietly and under the radar, sometimes even offering alternatives to very bad or problematic commercial tools. For example, I quietly replaced an provided Screenpresso with ShareX, which is dramatically better. Nobody even noticed.
  • Basic automation or just tools to smooth the path for some operations, taking the headache out of many work tasks. For example, despite the status of many competing spreadsheet formats, CSV files are still widely used and PortableFreeware has dozens of tools to work with them. LibreOffice in particular often works better with CSV files than Excel.
  • Encourages a broad technical background so I can frequently say I know something about a wide variety of different technologies. I'm rarely asked about something in computing that I haven't had SOME experience with.
  • Computer runs better and faster because part of my work here is to keep on top of things that slow it down.
  • Not stuck using Microsoft default settings/tools like MS Word, Game Bar, Edge, Sticky Notes, Paint, etc.
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opsimathic
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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#7 Post by opsimathic » Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:35 am

As someone who accesses PortableFreeware.com daily (at least), I simply want to say thank you to Webfork, Andrew and others who work hard to provide a valuable service to less technical users of Portable Software such as myself. Thank you!
Better late than never.

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Re: Why Portable Freeware?

#8 Post by webfork » Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:36 pm

opsimathic wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:35 am
As someone who accesses PortableFreeware.com daily (at least), I simply want to say thank you to Webfork, Andrew and others who work hard to provide a valuable service to less technical users of Portable Software such as myself. Thank you!
Hey glad it's helping you. Thanks for saying that.

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