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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Saturday, October 13, 2007 - Sat, 13 Oct 2007

Dick Eastman yesterday wrote an interesting article titled “PAF on a stick”. You have to be a Plus subscriber to see the whole article, but basically Dick was talking about using a Jump/USB/Pen drive (it has many names) to carry, not only your genealogy data, but also your genealogy program around with you.

The problem with putting a program on a those portable drives is that since Windows 98, Microsoft has encouraged programmers to change from using INI files to store program settings to using the Windows Registry. They wanted to allow different users to login to the same machine and each would have their own settings. So almost all programs, Behold included, have adopted the use of the Registry as Microsoft has wanted.

But the latest craze is to use these pen drives to take your software and data with you. This allows you to run your program with your data on a library computer, a friend’s computer, a school computer or anywhere else, without the need to install the program or use or modify that computer’s Registry (which sometimes is even locked out from you). The new tech term is “portable application“.

Behold would be a great application for this. First it is simple and has just one .EXE file, one help file, and does not need its own DLL (system) files. Wouldn’t it be great to take Behold and your data with you and use it anywhere? You’ll be able to use it to display your data, wherever you are. When version 2.0 comes, you’ll be able to edit your data too, wherever you are!

All it would require is being able to read/write it’s Registry info from/to a special file instead of the Registry. I can get Behold to detect if the file is there to use that file, and if not, to use the Registry. Then I’ll add a menu/toolbar item in Behold to export Behold to a pen drive (i.e. as a portable application).

All of this would not be that difficult for me to do. I might be able to squeeze it in before for the beta version. I think that would be the cat’s meow.

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