Category Archives: Emulators

Don’t Burn A Linux Live ISO – Run It Directly With MobaLiveCD

image I’ve gotten away from Windows 7, and gone to Ubuntu for all my Internet needs. But, with so many Linux distros available, I have no idea yet, whether Ubuntu is the Linux OS I’ll finally settle on.

I didn’t particularly look forward to downloading a ton of .ISOs, and then having to burn them to CD/DVD. I have enough CD/DVD coasters as it is. So, I sought out an alternative to image burning, and found MobaLiveCD.

MobaLiveCD is designed to allow the user to run a Linux Live-CD ISO directly in Windows, using the Qemu emulator. Thus, doing away with the need to burn the image to a CD/DVD.

Using MobaLiveCD is simple – just download any Linux Live-CD .ISO to your Hard Drive, and then run MobaLiveCD. No installation required – just click on the executable.

The application window is straightforward and limited to three choice, as the following screen capture indicates.


In this test I choose “Run the LiveCD”, which opened the following load window.


When the emulator has finished loading the following screen shot illustrates the setup process for the LiveCD. In this case, Lucid Puppy.


Finally, and I do mean “finally” (see note below), I’m onboard with Lucid Puppy.


Fast facts:

No need to burn a CD/DVD.

You can use the right-click menu for an easy start.

You can start from a USB stick

Clear and easy to use interface

Light and portable application, packaged in a single executable.

System requirements: Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008

Download at:

Note: Let me warn you – this application is no speed demon…. if you don’t have access to a CD/DVD player I can see the advantage in using MobaLiveCD. Or, if you intend to test a large number of Linux distros, like I’m in the process of doing. Otherwise, you may be better off simply burning the image.

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Filed under CD/DVD Tools, downloads, Emulators, Freeware, Linux, Software, Virtualization, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

5 Free Microsoft Programs – Really!

We’re all pretty well used to kicking out the cash to Microsoft, so it might surprise you that Bill and the boys, actually give away some very polished applications.

Office Accounting Express 2009

image Even if you don’t run an office, you can still use this terrific application to managing your credit cards, and bank accounts, and if you have a PayPal account, you’ll find it easier to complete transactions using Office Accounting Express.

If, on the other hand you do run a small business, you’ll find increased functionality within this program, including  the ability to handle payroll, vendors,  invoices, quotes, cash sales, and more.

I’ve used QuickBooks for years and I found, in testing, Office Accounting Express was a reasonable substitute.

Note: As of November 16, 2009, this application is no longer available directly from Microsoft. Download is still available at the link below.

Download at:


image This latest release of Paint.NET (November 6, 2009), might not be quite Photoshop in disguise, but it’s a pretty serious contender.

While it can’t perform some of the more esoteric functions of Photoshop, it can certainly assist even an average photo hobbyist achieve spectacular results – results which are generally not achievable in a free photo application.

Download at:

Virtual PC 2007

image Regular readers of this site are probably familiar with the benefits of running in a virtual environment (a virtual machine acts like a standalone computer), while surfing the Internet, or while testing new software. Microsoft’s Virtual PC application allows even less technically inclined users to run in this mode, in a way that’s easy to understand, and easy to use.

Download at: Microsoft

Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition

image Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition is an incredibly functional and easy-to-use free application that will output a unique, custom designed website, to promote your club, hobby or business, or to put your favorite family/holiday photos online.

It couldn’t be easier. As Microsoft says – “Get started quickly by becoming familiar with the Visual Web Developer environment with the Introduction to Visual Web Developer 2008 video”.

If you are an amateur, or even if you are a proficient web site developer, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, will surprise you with the professional quality that you can achieve with this application.

Download at: Microsoft

SyncToy 2.0

SyncToy 5 SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders.

SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.

Download at:

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Filed under Backup Tools, Business Applications, downloads, Emulators, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Image Editors, Microsoft, Multimedia Tools, Operating Systems, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Mount ISO, BIN, CCD Image Files With Virtual CloneDrive

Terrific free application that emulates a physical CD/DVD drive.

virtual-driveVirtual CloneDrive is a small freeware application that allows you to mount image files, from a hard drive, as a virtual CD or DVD drive, just as if you had inserted the application into a physical CD/DVD drive.

To explain briefly: a disk image is a computer file containing the complete contents and structure of a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, CD or DVD. As such, a disk image contains all the information necessary to replicate the structure and contents layout, as well as the actual contents, of a storage device.

Generally, operating systems, particularly Linux and its many derivatives are available for download on the Internet packaged as an image file, e.g. an .ISO file, or as a .BIN/.CUE file. As well, larger applications can often be packaged for download in this way.

Since I download and test operating systems and large applications frequently, over the course of the last year I could have easily burned up to 50+ CD’s or DVD’s just to use or install the software for testing. But by having Virtual CloneDrive installed on my test system, I saved time and resources.


Once Virtual CloneDrive is installed on your system it will be assigned a drive letter, and will appear as a drive in Windows explorer.

To mount an image file navigate to the file and right-click. When the menu pops up simply navigate to Open with > Mount Files with Virtual CloneDrive. This will create a new drive letter so that you can access the file.

An added benefit for those with a larger hard drive is you now have the option of converting your CDs and DVDs into files that run directly from your hard drive. Simply click on a desktop icon to launch a virtual optical drive.

You can share virtual CDs, photo CDs, and disc-based applications over a network, with access rates up to 200 times faster than physical CDs; boosting the performance of photo CDs, and disc-based applications.

Quick facts:

Supports all common image formats including ISO, BIN, CCD

Supports up to 8 virtual drives at one time

Easy to use – just double-click an image file to mount as a drive

Virtual CloneDrive is freeware

System Requirements: Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP

Download at:


Filed under CD/DVD Cloning, CD/DVD Tools, Digital Media, Emulators, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools