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Python on a USB storage device?

Does anyone have experience running Python from a USB storage device?
Whether it is the need for doing a demo of your application, doing a bit of
consulting, or just showing off Python, it would be handy to be able to run
Python on machines that don't already have Python installed. I'm thinking
about giving this a try, but wondered if anyone is already doing it and the
downsides, if any?

CD-ROM is not very effective because the media is read-only and too big to
carry in your pocket. I think USB 2.0 is supposed to be roughly 20x faster
than USB for storage devices, but I'm guessing that if you can live with the
load times for machines that don't have USB 2.0, plain USB should still be
effective.

HP Windows desktops, Linux, and Mac OS X already have Python installed and
Mac OS X (Panther) will have Python 2.3. But even so, you generally have to
install additional packages to get the functionality you want. Having all
you need on a USB storage device and not needing to install anything on the
host machine seems like it would be very convenient.

ka

Jul 18 '05 #1
6 6453
On Mon, 2003-07-28 at 19:27, Kevin Altis wrote:
Does anyone have experience running Python from a USB storage device?


I don't have experience running Python from an USB storage device, but
I've been using a 1GB USB-Stick to carry around a Knoppix distribution
with me, for those PCs which can boot from USB and don't have a CD-ROM
drive (there are quite a few where I work as sys-admin). USB works well
here, so I guess if you use USB to carry around a Python installation,
this should work well too.

USB 2.0 doesn't matter, as the USB-sticks I know of don't even support
it (the normal transmission speed of those sticks is an average 5 MB/s,
and that's way below USB 1.1 max speed of 11 MB/s).

So, I guess you should be successful with a stick for running Python
too...

Just my 5 cents.

Heiko Wundram.
Jul 18 '05 #2
Kevin,

If you don't mind kick starting your app by hand then everything
should work just fine. They are after all just disk drives that
use USB as the hardware layer rather than the devices's native ATA,
ATAPI, or SCSI physical layer.

Now if you want to start your app using AUTORUN or AUTOPLAY, good luck.
AUTORUN has been squeezed out of XP because of it's rather
large security hole. With AUTOPLAY, you can simulate AUTORUN behavior,
but true to MSoft it's rather convoluted.

IOMEGA has nice utility that automates AUTOPLAY a bit. Once you understand
what their app does you will understand what you are up against.

http://www.iomega-activedisk.com/landing.jsp

Cheers,

--Alan

"Kevin Altis" <al***@semi-retired.com> wrote in message news:<VX****************@news.uswest.net>...
Does anyone have experience running Python from a USB storage device?
Whether it is the need for doing a demo of your application, doing a bit of
consulting, or just showing off Python, it would be handy to be able to run
Python on machines that don't already have Python installed. I'm thinking
about giving this a try, but wondered if anyone is already doing it and the
downsides, if any?

CD-ROM is not very effective because the media is read-only and too big to
carry in your pocket. I think USB 2.0 is supposed to be roughly 20x faster
than USB for storage devices, but I'm guessing that if you can live with the
load times for machines that don't have USB 2.0, plain USB should still be
effective.

HP Windows desktops, Linux, and Mac OS X already have Python installed and
Mac OS X (Panther) will have Python 2.3. But even so, you generally have to
install additional packages to get the functionality you want. Having all
you need on a USB storage device and not needing to install anything on the
host machine seems like it would be very convenient.

ka

Jul 18 '05 #3
Kevin Altis wrote:
it would be handy to be able to
run Python on machines that don't already have Python installed. .... CD-ROM is not very effective because the media is read-only and too big to
carry in your pocket.


Read-only, yes, but you can get small CD-Rs that hold a reasonable amount
of information in either a proper round shape, or one with corners that
makes it conference badge/credit card sized.

Probably easiest to set up the system you burn on the pocketable CD so that
it uses the USB device you carry in the other pocket to store anything that
needs to change or be retained after a session.

--
A
Jul 18 '05 #4
P
Heiko Wundram wrote:
On Mon, 2003-07-28 at 19:27, Kevin Altis wrote:
Does anyone have experience running Python from a USB storage device?

I don't have experience running Python from an USB storage device, but
I've been using a 1GB USB-Stick to carry around a Knoppix distribution
with me, for those PCs which can boot from USB and don't have a CD-ROM
drive (there are quite a few where I work as sys-admin). USB works well
here, so I guess if you use USB to carry around a Python installation,
this should work well too.

USB 2.0 doesn't matter, as the USB-sticks I know of don't even support
it (the normal transmission speed of those sticks is an average 5 MB/s,
and that's way below USB 1.1 max speed of 11 MB/s).


Careful, see http://www.pixelbeat.org/speeds
USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s
USB 1.1 = 1.5 MB/s

You can get flash chips now that do 6MB/s

Pádraig.

Jul 18 '05 #5
"Kevin Altis" <al***@semi-retired.com> writes:
Does anyone have experience running Python from a USB storage device?
Whether it is the need for doing a demo of your application, doing a bit of
consulting, or just showing off Python, it would be handy to be able to run
Python on machines that don't already have Python installed. I'm thinking
about giving this a try, but wondered if anyone is already doing it and the
downsides, if any? CD-ROM is not very effective because the media is read-only and too big to
carry in your pocket. I think USB 2.0 is supposed to be roughly 20x faster
than USB for storage devices, but I'm guessing that if you can live with the
load times for machines that don't have USB 2.0, plain USB should still be
effective. HP Windows desktops, Linux, and Mac OS X already have Python installed and
Mac OS X (Panther) will have Python 2.3. But even so, you generally have to
install additional packages to get the functionality you want. Having all
you need on a USB storage device and not needing to install anything on the
host machine seems like it would be very convenient.


Yes, I have an oldish windows Python distribution on a 128Mb stick. It works
quite nicely but you do have to be aware that without the usual registry
entries it won't search for libraries etc. so well. I tend to keep all
programs to be run in one directory. I also pruned lots of stuff out to
minimise space used. It would be nice to have an installer that allowed you
to selectively install core plus whatever you might actually want. Or maybe
there is one, I'm not a windows person which is the whole reason for having
this, it allows me to quickly do things on user's machines.

It would work on Linux too except you need to have permission to create mount
tables etc. to get the filesystem. {Network tip #4265: never ask whether
something can be done, just state that it can't - that'll get you a lot more
responses :)}

Eddie
Jul 18 '05 #6
Sybren Stuvel <sy*******@YOURthirdtower.imagination.com> wrote in
news:sl**********************@sybren.thirdtower.co m:
You can also install Linux on a USB storage device and hope the
computer it has to run on supports booting from USB ;-)
It would work on Linux too except you need to have permission to
create mount tables etc. to get the filesystem.


Running your own Linux off the USB stick solves that problem.


Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/) is a bootable Linux CD.
that way you dont have to rely on anything on the PC except some RAM and a
BIOS that can boot from CDROM.
you can keep your own files on a USB stick, a floppy or the same CD.

there are even Knoppix derrivates for the small (8cm) CDs and for USB
sticks.

ok, enough advertising for other things ;-)

chris

--
Chris <cl******@gmx.net>

Jul 18 '05 #7

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