Life in User Land

Ever since I've used a computer, I've had Administrator rights on the computers I've worked on. Even at work, I've had full rights because my jobs involving computer support of some kind or another have required it!

Now, I'm in User Land. And (gasp) a locked down environment. What, no command line? No access to network properties? No rights to install programs? Worse still, no access to scripting languages?


First problem: can't install anything into C:\Program Files. Okay, let's create a folder called C:\Resources. Downloaded files go into C:\Resources\Programs. Apps ready to run go into C:\Resources\Go.

Next, over the last few months I've assembled a toolkit of no-install programs that allow me to more or less establish my 'usual' environment without treading on SysAdmin's turf:

SeaMonkey ZIP package of my fave browser (go to PortableApps if you prefer Firefox & Thunderbird).
Flash plug-in Official XPI version of Flash
Notepad++ Regrettably, this has to replace trusty NoteTab Light. Admittedly, this package appears to be much more powerful anyway!
7-Zip Portable version of 7-Zip
FreeMind FreeMind should install without modification. Just don't add a Start Menu icon.
Eclipse Eclipse downloads are all ZIP packages anyway, so this shouldn't be a problem.
JDK Can't do this on a non-admin computer, unfortunately. You'll have to install a JDK on a computer that has admin rights, then burn the resulting directory to a CD/DVD and then just copy this folder structure to C:\Resources\Go\jdk160
IndigoPerl This works, but you'll need to write a couple of custom batch scripts for ease of use.


@echo off
title Perl Shell
set PATH=C:\IndigoPerl\perl\bin;%PATH%
cmd /k


@echo off
title Apache Server
set PATH=%PATH%;C:\IndigoPerl\perl\bin
echo Starting Apache server...
echo You will have to manually close 
  this command window by clicking the 'X'.
MySQL MySQL has a ZIP download, but it still wants to run as a service. Some more batch files required:


@echo off
echo NB: Keeping running this file until
 "mysqld is alive" appears
mysqld --standalone
mysqladmin ping -u root
echo Type 'mysql-stop' to halt server
cmd /k


@echo off
mysqladmin shutdown -u root

Oh, also make sure you grab EMS SQL Manager 2007 Lite for a install-free GUI to manage MySQL. Just copy the .exe to the MySql \bin directory.