Portable apps is a convenient way to carry some basic applications along with you on a flash drive. I wanted to be able to carry my brewing software with me between computers and not have to reinstall it and transfer my data between my main computer and laptop. Portable apps seemed like the answer, but there was no official portable version of Beersmith or Beer Tools Pro, which is the software I own (if you are interested in a comparison between the three major brewing software brands, check out my review of all three here. Part 1 and Part 2). As it turns out, creating a portable version of Beersmith is as easy as just copying your entire Beersmith folder from your hard drive to your flash drive. But I’ll show you all an easy way to get it on a portable app drive. I will just do Beersmith on this tutorial because Brad from Beersmith says how to do this on the official Beersmith site. The same can be done with other brewing software you own with a few minor tweaks, but the legality of it would be in question because of licensing agreements. The reason I choose Beersmith like I said is because Brad has it posted on Beersmith.com. Plus, it is the easiest to make portable, you don’t need to make any adjustments.
What you will need:
- 1 licensed copy of Beersmith
- 1 flash drive (I would go with a 1 gigabyte or better drive)
- An Internet connection
Your first step to create a nice interface to use. You don’t have to do this, you could just copy and past your Beersmith folder into the flash drive and be done with it, but this easy step will make things a bit easier to access, plus you can add other useful programs to it. To get this interface, go to portableapps.com and download the Portable Apps Platform. Once Downloaded, run the install and point to your flash drive as the place to install the program to. Once it is installed, navigate to the flash drive. It should look similar to the image below.
Now find your Beersmith folder on your C drive. Most of the time it will be in C:>Program File (or Programs)>Beersmith. Now copy the entire Beersmith folder. Then open the folder on your flash Drive called “Portable Apps” and paste (or drag and drop your Beersmith folder) in here.
Now, you can either click the “Start Portable Apps” Icon, or just pull out and insert your flash drive and it should appear as the shown below. Alternatively, you could just install Beersmith into your Portable Apps folder then register it from there, But by dragging and dropping the folder, all of your settings and past recipes should remain. Again, this needs to be a purchased and licensed copy of Beersmith for this to work.
Now you can have your licensed copy of Beersmith on a portable drive that you can take with you on your laptop and insert into your main PC. You can also take this drive with you to your friends house if you are going to be doing a brew there, or take it with you to club meetings to collaborate with your Homebrew Club members. You can also easily make a backup copy on another flash drive in case one gets lost or damaged. There are a lot of advantages to having your Beersmith program portable, but it’s up to you on the reasons why. I do want to stress that it is important to only use this portable copy yourself. If you don’t, you are not only breaking the license agreement but also steeling from someone who put a lot of work into the development of this program. Beersmith is only $21.95 so there is no reason to not purchase it, especially if you make it portable.
-Jason Johnson (http://www.barleypopmaker.info)
Manty Malters Member