Monday, April 02, 2007

Skype on your USB Drive

I love Skype but the Powers that Be decreed that we could not install it on our company laptops.

Okay, for once I'm not bitching since from an IT perspective I can understand the reasoning behind the decision. Not so much that Skype is inherently insecure but that anything that opens up the company network is a security issue.

Still, it's a pain in the ass, since there are times when it would be nice to have it available. This week, for instance, when I'm on the road.

I found out it is fairly easy to set up Skype to run off a USB flashdrive, using instructions from www.gruups.com/usbskype. The same instructions appear at www.von-phone.com/portable-skype.php --don't know who was the original author.

  • Download Skype and install it on any computer.
  • Find the Skype.exe from where it was installed.
    (Usually C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe )
  • Copy the Skype.exe file to any directory on your USB Drive
  • In that new directory create a directory called "data"
  • Now create a file (with notepad) called "skype.bat"
  • Edit the "skype.bat" file and place the following line there:
    skype.exe /datapath:"Data" /removable


The only hang is that you have to install Skype to get the executable. Of course, if you have it on a machine at home you can snag the executable from there -- it will work just fine. There were other sites with instructions but this was by far the simplest. And it works like a charm. Just find a hotel with free WiFi or high-speed internet.


Couple this with the $5 Skype trial kit from Radio Shack and you've got a great road kit.

1 comment:

dan said...

Skype rules, but I can see the corporate IT issue with it. On the other hand, I think Skype, to make money long term, wants to work with business customers. I'd think they'd love to hear from companies about developing "solutions" (i.e., products) for the workplace environment.

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