Eclipse + flash drive = IDE anywhere

I’m taking a introduction to Java course at night school at the moment.  I’ve bought so many ‘Learn Java in 15 minutes’ books and they just sit on the shelf and get dusty. So the class is supposed to make me work at it.

In the class we all are giving nice little windows PCs, and they all have NetBeans 6.5 installed on them. Nothing against NetBeans, but everyone at work uses Eclipse, and I’ve played with Eclipse quite a bit so I didn’t really want to learn NetBeans.

Since the course is held in one of the most treacherous IT environments imaginable (a school!) with every wiseass trying to hack the machines, they are locked down pretty tight. So I didn’t imagine I’d be able to install Eclipse. Also, since you weren’t assigned a specific computer for each session, installing it each time on a different machine wasn’t going to be an option.

I guess you read the title, so know what’s going to come next. I dumped a build of Ganymede onto a crappy flash drive at home and took it to class. Eclipse ran just great off the drive. The particular flash drive has terrible r/w speeds too. I really thought it wouldn’t work well at all. Just make sure you create your workspace on the flash drive too (duh). Now I can work from the same development environment where ever I am. The only caveat I guess is that it has to be the same OS (Wndows, in my case). I’m sure there is some way to launch a Windows build of Eclipse on Linux, but it would be hard to figure out. Too much mucking around with the classpath.

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