For a while now I've had a local version of Moodle installed on my laptop running on EasyPHP - so that I can demonstrate Moodle where there's no internet connectivity, or develop courses and resources before restoring them onto a live Moodle server - most of the early resources on the BucksGfL were prepared on my laptop before I dared put them on the live server.
At one time I was carrying around two laptops (don't ask) - how many LA or school staff have back problems caused by new technologies, do you think?
Well that's all changed now, or so I hope. After a little work yesterday (really not much work at all) I now have a 2GB Imation USB drive containing:
- Portable Open Office
- Portable GIMP
- Portable Firefox
- Pocket Flock
- A portable version of the rather wonderful Irfanview
- Portable Audacity
- Portable Filezilla
- Portable Notepad++
- Portable WinAmp (for a bit of a retro touch)
and (more relevant to this posting)
- Portable WOS (Webserver On a Stick)
- Moodle 1.5.3 and Moodle 1.6 - instructions and download (including Portable WOS) here
all ready to run from the stick on most Windows computers. It took a little bit of configuration (including these tips if you're trying) but now it works fine (hint, if you're already running Apache or IIS locally you'll need to disable it) and I might be able to abandon my local laptop Moodle, but I might keep it just in case (a USB drive is much more losable than a laptop).
What this means in practice is that I can plug the USB drive into most Windows computers, run useful applications and run multiple versions of Moodle from it, without installing anything on the host PC or modifying its registry. Above is a screenshot of running the stick on a very managed PC - one where it's not possible to change the screensaver, desktop colour, install plug a new mouse in without permission, etc. - showing the managed computer's Internet Explorer (running Moodle 1.6 from the stick), Portable Firefox (running Moodle 1.5.3 from the stick), WinAmp, OpenOffice Draw, and the nice PStart launcher application. Definitely the sort of thing that can only be accomplished in sheds.
From my childhood, I remember the only things on semi-disposable sticks were rather poor jokes... see the picture at the top for the one stick that doesn't contain a joke.