PDFTEX on USB - portable

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What is the most portable, least complicated version of PDFTEX I can run from a USB keyfob?
Ideally it should be a single file program and small.


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 Vasos Panagiotopoulos, Columbia'81+, Reagan, Mozart, Pindus, BioStrategist
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0
Reply vjp2 4/13/2008 8:02:24 PM

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<vjp2.at@at.BioStrategist.dot.dot.com> wrote:

> What is the most portable, least complicated version of PDFTEX I can run
> from a USB keyfob? Ideally it should be a single file program and small.

A useful TeX distribution contains thousands of files.

You'd need a custom filing system if you want to get all that in a
single file, I reckon.  And then you'd probably have to create a custom
TeX distro for yourself too.

But you might want to investigate an old version of CMacTeX, and think
about running it on an old Mac (but not too old - prior to the iMac,
Macs had no USB).  That'd probably give you something as simple as it's
going to get.

I'm thinking purely of `the simplest setup I can think of that I've ever
heard of' - to meet your spec of `least complicated' with no other
constraints to be considered.

Of course, if you want to have something to run on a particular kind of
computer, you'd better specify what kind of computer it is you're
interested in.

Rowland.

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0
Reply real 4/13/2008 8:17:30 PM

On Sun, 13 Apr 2008, vjp2.at@at.BioStrategist.dot.dot.com wrote:

> What is the most portable, least complicated version of PDFTEX I can run 
> from a USB keyfob? Ideally it should be a single file program and small.

What OS?

You need a very recent version of pdftex that uses an embedded pool
file.  I have

pdfTeX 3.1415926-1.40.8-alpha-20080323-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.6)

which is 1.3GB (linux binary).  A Windows binary would be
larger, but there are ways to run compressed binaries, and you
could reduce the size if you don't need all the libraries. 
Then you can only "place" pdf files (e.g., no support for png
images).

You do realize that pdftex typically relies on scads of fonts, macros, 
etc., don't you?  A really minimal system would use plain tex configured 
to use the Adobe base fonts, using pdftex without embedding.

-- 
George N. White III  <aa056@chebucto.ns.ca>

0
Reply George 4/13/2008 10:52:58 PM
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