Adobe Photoshop Portable is an image editing application for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. It is a version of the standard application which has been stripped of non-essential files to allow for the quickest possible peer-to-peer sharing and specifically with portable use in mind. It is not officially sanctioned by Adobe Systems, Inc., but rather user-engineered and generally shared free of cost via the Internet.
Photoshop, created by Adobe Systems, Inc., is arguably the most popular digital image editing application in the world. It is so popular and its capabilities so widely renowned that "Photoshop" has become a verb used to refer to digital image manipulation. Specifically, Photoshop is famous for its ability to allow users to take parts of one digital image, (for example, a person's face), and paste them believably into another image (such as on another person' body).
Adobe Photoshop Portable refers to a version of the program that has been stripped of its extraneous files. Applications generally contain many files are not necessary for the actual operation of the program. An example of these files would be help files. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands of text files in a given application's help file system. Stripping these out makes an application smaller in physical size, which makes it easier to share via the Internet and easier to store on portable storage devices.
Since the advent of netbooks, small, portable computers with smaller (often solid-state) hard drives, there is a demand for software with a smaller footprint. The smaller an application's install is, the more room a user can keep free for other files. This is one reason a "portable" application is often desirable.
Peer-to-peer (also P2P) sharing refers to users sharing files via the Internet. Users often transfer programs, music, videos, and other files to other users. To this end, a smaller application is more desirable as it will take less time to share. This is another reason "portable" applications are currently in demand. P2P sharing is made possible by specialized programs and indexing sites on the Internet.
The true appeal of a "portable" application is that it is engineered such that one can store it on a portable storage device such as a thumb drive and use it on multiple computers. It is built so that no additional system files are necessary; a user can simply plug a thumb drive into a computer at home or at work and run the "portable" application from the thumb drive.
As previously mentioned, Photoshop Portable is not officially sanctioned by Adobe Systems, Inc. Because it is user-engineered, and because it is distributed via P2P methods on the Internet, the legalities of owning or using such a program are dubious at best.
While Photoshop Portable is not officially supported, there is a host of other software manufacturers that offer legitimate portable versions of their applications. Among them are Firefox web browser, Open Office, the open source alternative to Microsoft's Office suite, and GIMP, the open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Silvio Tanaka
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