17
Mar
09

How to Install Multi-Disc Software from ISO Files

Okay, so you’ve got yourself a new laptop, and decided a netbook rather than a full size notebook is more your style. They make a great substitute (I recently purchased the Asus 1000HE 10″ model), but they lack an optical drive for reading CDs or DVDs. So what happens when you need to install a piece of software that you have only on CD?

What You’ll Need:

  • Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel
  • ISO Recorder by Alex Feinman

    For my example, I was attempting to install the Adobe Creative Suite 2 package, which uses 4 CDs for installation. What we need to do first is pull the image of each CD into an ISO. We’ll do that with the ISO Recorder software. After you have finished the installation of ISO Recorder, insert the CD you wish to convert, and open up My Computer. Simply right-click on the optical drive icon, and you should see an option for “Create Image from CD/DVD”.

    Copy Image to CD/DVD

    Click this, and ISO Recorder will load, and ask for a location to save the ISO. Once you pick a location, simply click next and allow it to finish processing (it should take around one or two minutes).

    Choose ISO Location

    Once you have the ISO files for all the installation discs, now transfer them to the laptop by whatever means you have. I prefer to use a USB drive, but you can transfer them through a network if you have one set up.

    Now we’re going to move to the Virtual CD Control Panel. Open virtualcd file you downloaded, and it will again bring up a dialog asking where to extract the files. I recommend saving it in a folder in your Documents file, or on your Desktop. Navigate to the place you extracted the files, and open the file VCdControlTool.exe. Click “Driver Control…”

    Virtual CDRom Control Panel

    and you will see an option to “Install Driver…”. Click that, and you should see the file VCdRom.sys. Double click to open it. Now click the “Start” option underneath, and then click OK.

    Driver Control

    Install Driver

    Now we’re going to add a Virtual Drive. Click the “Add Drive” button. You can do multiple drives, but we’ll only need one right now, typically it will start with Z:\.

    Drive Added

    This will work fine. If you open My Computer, you will see that you have a new Removable Disc for Drive Z. Go back to the Virtual CD Control Panel, and select Mount.

    Navigate to ISO

    Here we’re going to tell it where the ISO is that will be acting as the CD. Navigate to where you stored your ISO files, and select the one you wish to mount. Click “Open”, and you’ll be presented with the Special Mount Options dialog.

    Special Mount Options

    These three options you won’t need to select for now. Suppress UDF, and Suppress Joliet I am not entirely certain what purpose they serve, but the Persistent Mount option allows the ISO to stay mounted even after rebooting the computer (which is useful when a software requires a reboot in between portions of the install process, such as a Windows installation). Now click OK, and you’ll see that your ISO has been mapped as drive Z:\. You’re ready to go!

    Image Mounted!

    You can now use this just as you would a normal optical drive, but the last thing we’re going to do is “swap” discs. Partially through the installation, Adobe asks to insert Disc 2. We’re going to go and mount the second disc, but the important step to remember first is to eject the drive before mounting the second disc. If you simply mount the new ISO without first ejecting the original ISO, the installation will not recognize the new ISO, and leads to several other problems (through my own experience!).

    No Image Mounted

    I hope that this information is able to help some of you out there. Please share your experiences if you wish in the comments!

09
Sep
08

SB-400 Flash for Nikon D40!

After taking some pictures lately, I realized my indoor pictures more or less sucked. I did some reading, and found some good reviews on a relatively inexpensive flash unit: the Nikon SB-400.

I actually placed an order for it on Amazon on Sunday night, but for some unexplained reason, they decided to cancel my order. Since I had to drive to Huntsville today for classes, I made a trip over to Wolf Camera. It wasn’t much more expensive, and they let me play around with it for a while, so I decided to go ahead and purchase it. This worked out well for me, since I am basically too impatient to wait on shipping.

Another thing I’d been looking for was a remote shutter control, so that I wouldn’t have to rely on self-timer, and they happened to have one of those there as well!

So far, from shooting with it a little while, I can already tell a drastic difference in image quality. Here’s a shot I took of my nephew Caleb with it today:

04
Sep
08

When In Doubt, Choose Both!

Expand You're Your Wireless World

I saw this label at Circuit City today, for a Gateway M6866 laptop. I wonder how something like this made it past any sort of proofreading?

Apologies for the terrible photo, it’s from my phone.

27
Mar
08

Laying the Triangle Illusion "Mystery" to Rest.

Today, I was browsing through StumbleUpon, and I ran across this popular illusion that has been around for a while. The illusion is, that there are four shapes (as shown),

Shapes 

that when arranged differently form the same shape, but with a different Area.

Illusion

Comparing the upper and lower triangles (we’ll call them X and Y, respectively), we can see that X has an empty square that seemingly disappears when rearranged into Figure Y, yet at a glance, the size of X and Y in their entirety seem to be identical. However, since the area of the individual shapes have not changed, this simply cannot be possible! So let’s break it down and see exactly what is happening in between arrangements.

Areas

Our goal here is to prove that the area of triangles X and Y are not equal. There are a few different ways that we can do this, but what we will do in this case is calculate areas A and B outside of the triangle. If these triangles are, in fact, identical, then areas A and B should be exactly equal.

We’ll calculate this with the standard formulas for area:

  • Rectangle: A = bh
  • Triangle: A = 1/2bh

Areaamt

We’re interested in the total area of the colored shapes above. We now have our totals for both Areas A and B. We can see that in triangle X, where there is the unexplained square, the outer area “A” is 32. In triangle Y, outer area “B” is 33, the difference of 1 square inch caused by the extra space in X.

Why this illusion is so effective at first glance, is that our eyes assume that the hypotenuse of X or Y as a whole is a straight line. In actuality, the slopes of the two aligning triangles are slightly different. In X, the line bends out slightly outwards, while in Y, the line retracts inward. Just enough to make that 1 square inch difference.

This dose of geekery brought to you by 2:30 AM, and the addictive power of StumbleUpon. If you found this informative, please Stumble it. :)

08
Mar
08

Sniper Shot of the Century

sniper

I ran across this video on StumbleUpon today. A man is sitting in the street with a gun to his head, demanding that the police bring his girlfriend to see him kill himself. A police sharpshooter is put in position on a hill, and shoots the gun out of the man’s hand, allowing him to be safely taken into custody.

05
Feb
08

I Thought I’d Seen It All…

There are a lot of people who are set in their ways, who don’t like change. Then there are others who just don’t care enough to change. Well, then there are people like those whose computer I went to work on Monday.

Now, I’ve worked on some fairly old computers, Pentium IIIs with 128 MB of RAM, stuff like that, that’s fairly common. The computer I got to work on, the specs were:

  • 166 MHz processor
  • 16 MB RAM
  • 3 512 MB HDDs
  • Windows 98

Only thing it was missing was a 5 1/4″ floppy drive. :D

Oh, and the icing on the cake (for those who remember 98), his background was the bubbles pattern.

30
Dec
07

A Few More Shots…



Big Spring Park, originally uploaded by Kevin Coppock.

Here are a few more shots I uploaded from Huntsville:

Through the TunnelAll In Perspective




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