10/2/09

MobaLiveCD - Run LiveCD within Windows

In posts Best Linux Live CD - Slax and Windows Live CDs i spoke about live cds and how easy and productive they are to use.

But the thing about them is that they need to be either copied on a CD or a flash drive, and you have to switch off your PC and boot from either of these devices in order to use the live cd.

Well this is what was required up until the awesome software called MobaLiveCD appeared. This application allows you to run your live cd image (.ISO) from within your Windows os!

It essentially creates a virtual machine for your live cd, but without any hassle at all.

You simply run the .exe and select your .iso live cd image and your live cd starts in a seperate window. Select Ctrl+Alt+F for full screen and the same to put it back in a window and select ALT+TAB to switch to another application!

You could also associate .iso files with MobaLiveCD and simply right click on the iso and start it this way.

Lastly you can run it from USB as well. Thus being able plug your flash drive into any machine and run a live cd from within Windows.

A truely awesome app. Try it.

9/29/09

Educational Online Fun for Toddlers

video Following on the post on educational PC games for toddlers, i thought id share the best online fun and educational activity website for toddlers you'll find. The site is called MINIMOPS

The site's sounds are awesome, the graphics are addictive, the games are fun.

Not saying your little one should spend all their time behind the PC, but i cant see getting them PC literate at an early stage being a bad thing at all, and doing it whilst using a service like MINIMOPS makes it soo easy as they are having the time of their lives while learning.

Do take the time to visit this site, even youll find yourself having some fun with the music composition game :-)

Educational PC Game for Toddlers

My little one is 4 and loves playing on the PC, i have a couple of games she likes but mostly they are a bit too complicated and only interesting because of the movement and sounds her hitting the keyboard results in :-)

I recently found Childsplay which is a tool you simply have to download and install for your todler. The interface is simple and the games are entertaining. Above this they are extremely educational and addictive.

I couldnt believe how quickly my little one improved her mouse usage ability, once forced to improve in order to get 'the game to work', as she says.
There are sounds and pictures and memory games.... And it is free as it is opensource.

Head over to their site and download a copy for either Windows or Linux.
Some screenshots;








9/26/09

Windows Live CDs (Predominantly used as recovery tools...)

The use of thin client computing lead me to the interesting aspects of linux live CDs, as per post 'Best Linux Live CD - Slax' , but the need for recovery and diagnostics lead me to the interesting aspects of Windows live CDs.

There are two mayor competitors in the field of Windows Live CD recovery/diagnostics tools and they are Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows and Hiren's Boot CD.

[Reminder that a live cd is a medium enabling you to run an operating system from a cd, thus not needing to be installed to be used and doesnt need any harddrive to work!]

Both applications are burnt onto a CD and booted from. (Remember to change your bios startup options so that it boots from CD first)

Once booted up Windows XP is then loaded onto memory and you are presented with a desktop with SOME of the functionality of the fully fledged installed OS.

These windows live CDs are not viable solutions for everyday use though, as the OS is a cut down version of the original and it doesnt carry the needed drivers for auto installation and it most of the time does not have the correct network drivers installed so it makes it a huge mission to get it on a network once booted.

(Youll notice that these are all the aspects that make the Linux Live Cd SLAX the perfect live cd for every day use cause it does all of these. )

No, Windows Live CDs are not tools that can replace your day by day operating system, it is instead an extremely usefull recovery and diagnostics tool for your Operating System!

Advantages of Windows Live CDs;
* Allow use of a PC even if the machine hdrive is faulty
* Although named "live CDs" both tools can be run from a USB flash drive as well
* Allow access to crashed hard drives when you need to recover data
* Allow recovery tools to save crashed machines
* Allow hardware diagnostics to save crashed machines
* Allow the reset of forgotten passwords
*Countless more tools and operations available.....

Both of these tools provide the option to not just boot the cd into a live windows os, but also run tools from a displayed text-based menu, and you will be able to select the tool you want to run. The selected tool actually boots off a virtual floppy disk created in memory.

Between the two Hiren's definately has my vote, it is better in so many ways;
*Hiren's is simply an ISO you download and burn to disk. UBCD4Win is a compilation tool that you need to use in conjunction with your own copy of windows xp and then compile the ISO to burn to CD!
*Hiren's has the boot option of booting to windoes live CD OR to go to text based menu and run tools from there. UBCD4Win does not have this option, you have to download Ultimate Boot CD (Non Windows) for this! Thus you need 2 UBCD CDs to do what the Hiren's disk can do!

So get over to Hiren's and get the tool, youre gonna need it one day and wont regret hanging on to it.

Some screenshots;