Is there a good portable environment I can use to put on a USB so I can learn wherever I go. So that I have a basic editor and environment to view results.

I do plan to use it at work so as self contained as possible.

This might not be the most lightweight solution, but i personally use XAMPPLite + eclipse on a flashdrive. It loads quickly and has pretty much everything I need for PHP development.

Just point eclipse to a worksplace in the XAMPP htdocs directory and you can view changes as you write new code. Been doing this for a few years now with no issues.

I totally agree with jmaat7.. I also have xampp and eclipse on a flashdrive.. I even have the static ffmpeg to work with the ffmpeg-php in my thumb drive.

My portable eclipse is a portable eclipse php version can be downloaded by Clicking Here. I saved about 50MB of space..

It is working pretty well without any issues, but if you will be working on smarty templating system, make sure to ignore the errors and warnings being caught by the eclipse from the template directory. Portable eclipse just don't have the extra module to recognize the smarty syntax. To correct this problem you may want to mock up smartypdt with the eclipse installation as you see it fit.

Wow thanks that is an easy solution. I wasn't to worried about templates/ frameworks yet though. I have had a look at Smarty and I can see how it would be useful.

Notepad++ would be way more lightweight of an editor.