The ONLY portable Moodle solution?

The ONLY portable Moodle solution?

That’s a bit of a bold statement isn’t it? Especially when a quick google turns up Poodle and other portable Moodles including one from Well…yes… but assuming you’re after a portable solution, you’d really want to be using one of the more current releases. With most of the offerings across the internet being 1.9, including’s, that’s a non-starter; you really want something from the current 2.x offering and that pretty much leaves Poodle from MAFLT which is a well thought out product with plenty of support and even a forum…..but…. oh look…. the last post in the forum is 2 years old and anyway, the download is for Moodle 2.1… and it’s a beta version.

Where I work I can’t install software on my PC and anyway I have to hotdesk so even if I did go to the trouble of getting tech services to install moodle on all the PCs I work on, that’s different Moodles in different places and no continuity. Obviously I could just download’s XAMPP locally installed Moodle which you can make portable by cracking open notepad every time you move it but that’s no good for a teacher or other client to whom I’ve given a copy via a USB drive or file delivery service.

But then again, I see Moodle.orgs XAMPP package has recently started using xampp portable…that should do the job and make my portable solution redundant. But wait… I couldn’t get it to work on XP or Win7. Possibly because of this problem from May 2014 that remains unresolved.

So here it is: Portable Moodle 2.8.1. I didn’t develop this myself, I don’t have the skill set to do that but I am actively maintaining it and supporting it within my limited technical capabilities.

dog tired
Moodle running like a dog
So I’ll stand by my claim that this is the ONLY portable Moodle solution. Certainly the only current, supported, working out of the box one.

Do feel free to prove me wrong. I’d love someone to produce something I can download that just works.

The software that underpins it was written when Moodle 2.1 came out, which is a much lighter proposition than 2.8 is. If you try to use this off a USB drive it will run like a dog, I’d advise putting it on your desktop.

Unzip to your desktop. Double click on mowes.exe
Type: localhost/moodle in your browser address bar
(prefix a http:// if that doesn’t work)
Your username is admin
Your password is password

Provided as is, the usual disclaimers apply. You know, the ones where I absolve myself from any responsibility, promise not to sell your information unless someone offers me a lot of money and I can get away with it and your children and children’s children are bound into servitude to me and corporate entities representing my interests.


We’re finally getting a Moodle 2.x test upgrade. Rejoice!

So I googled ‘drop down div’.  There’s no obvious, reasonable CSS version of this and those I found look rubbish on IE – but then doesn’t everything? Looks like jQuery is the way to go.

I sneezed, was told; “Bless you”; and mentioned I have hayfever. Julie told me about phototherapy – which is new to me and so I had to google that: UV emiting LEDs you shove up your nose. They’ve been doing the rounds for 4 or 5  years and are the sort of thing that would have been on Richard and Judy if Richard and Judy were still on and had run out of things to say about colonic irrigation. Meta research suggests there is little objective evidence for this working but lots of favorable subjective reports for it’s efficacy. It seems to work for Julie’s brother.

Opening my new HTML 5 boilerplate template in notepad++, I googled ‘doctype’ because i can never remember the declaration by heart, pasted it in and cut and pasted the code from the jQuery tutorial. Save and open and…nothing. Check the code and there’s pics involved so back to the tutorial, download the source and it’s in .rar format. There’s no software the college has that supports .rar. Download portable 7-zip – portable because I don’t have permissions to install software locally – opened the software, opened the .rar and extracted the contents. The source is in PHP so wont work locally. I cropped what looked relevant, smeared it across my template and saved as HTML: Nothing.

\\server-path-name at a command prompt so I can stick the php on the moodle server. I forgot the college network treats this unit as if it’s external so that wont work and I can’t get FTP access…security again. I try editing a moodle topic summary and spend the next few minutes staring blankly at my screen. My hayfever started for the first time this year last night at around 6 or 7pm. What’s come into flower so recently to set me off? what specific plant pollen am I allergic to I wonder?

I am sick of staring at a screen. I get paid to stare at screens and then do it voluntarily at home later. *facepalm*

KatieP will be here in 5 mins to take over. I move the 7-zip to a shared network drive and create a link on my pstart. It’s not strictly kosher but I’ve asked to be able to access my portable apps from my desktop over the network. It was set up but the permissions were not set up correctly. This was like 2 months ago.

I’ve been told today by Adam at VLE Middleware that my Colleges Tech Services Unit have found the space for a Moodle 2.x test upgrade. I first raised this something like 4 months ago. It’s taken 4 months to find 120Gb server space. The method used to find it was, in order: Deny space existed, explore the reasons why upgrade was needed, change the subject then forget it ever existed, challenge existential validity of work around, ignore emails, stall, clarify, misconstrue, address original issue as if it was new, be surprised when I point out the amount of time elapsed to address this issue and then take it seriously…and do I detect a smidgen of chagrin?

Anyway….Don’t talk to me about work flow. Even my bottlenecks have fractally recursive bottlenecks at ever increasingly infinite granularities.

Can the infinite increase?

He’s Not a Librarian; He’s a Very Naughty Boy!

Attended the ‘get your eResources used more’ meeting at Stockton on Tees Central Library on Tuesday. This has been a bit of a revelation to me; here’s why:

I’ve been eResources and eLearning Support at a College library for around 4 months now, coming to it cold as a temp initially and from an IAG/IT background. I’ve been to several conferences and training courses which have all largely dealt with IT in a pedagogic setting and I get it; I’m already the converted; probably why I got the job; I haven’t branded myself ‘nearlyVirtual’ by accident.Neural network

And in all this development, (which has been engaging, interesting and instructive)  there’s been a bit of me thinking: “Weeeell yes…but?”

Spot the question there? I’m not sure I was even very consciously aware of that ‘but?’ It’s been sat unfulfilled in my head, awaiting input from the right external stimulus to be able to synthesise itself into an idea.

Tuesday I met other Librarians and talked about how to get people to do more than google .

There, I said it: “Other Librarians.”

Since starting this job my title has been variously (and I admit I’ve not been paying close attention); ‘Temp’, ‘Learning Support’, ‘Information Technology Support’, ‘eResources Support’, ‘eLearning’ and ‘Moodle Ninja’.

I don’t work in a Library. It’s a Learning Resources Centre. To listen to my colleagues, the College Library Service has been reinventing itself so much over the last few years Kylie Minogue has been taking notes.


Kylie Yesterday: Taking Notes.

The digital revolution happened last century, now we are in a period of development, assimilation and evolution.

All this new technology is disruptive and but it doesn’t change the nature of the job significantly; just the tools we have to do it with.

So say it loud and say it proud: I am Librarian! Hear me Roar!

Pst…. I suspect I’m actually Shambrarian but don’t tell anyone.