Archive for the 'Computer' Category

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!

13
May
07

Windows Vista Doesn’t Like My 3 Gigs of RAM.

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. I’ve been a big supporter of Windows Vista since it came out, and Microsoft sent me a complimentary copy for watching some webcasts, but now I have a real complaint about it.
Windows Vista Box

In my last post, I talked about how I just bought 2 GB of memory off of Newegg. So I got that in the next day, and installed it into my PC. Worked fine (after I remembered to change it to single channel mode instead of dual channel) and I’ve been running Vista fine.

Now, a few days later, I get this message that comes up in Vista, saying:

Your software has been deactivated due to a hardware change. Please reactivate within one (1) day or the software may stop working.

Wait, what?

I’ve been using Vista since late January, and now it’s making me reactivate because I added memory?

Well, this wouldn’t be so bad, provided the activation wizard works properly, and I can reactivate it just fine. It didn’t. It tells me the product key that I’m using is already in use. It’s in use on the computer I’m trying to reactivate, geniuses! So I call their phone support line, and the key is still rejected. It attempts to transfer me to a rep for further activation support, but no one ever answers.

So I send a customer service email to Microsoft asking them about it, and telling them what I’ve already tried, and what do they send me? The phone number for Windows XP activation support. And yes, I did tell them it was Vista in the email.

So I call it again anyway, and they end up transferring me to a Microsoft rep, who finally is able to give me an activation code to type in.

I guess the bottom line here is, if they’re going to implement security features to prevent people from pirating their software, then that’s all well in good. However, seeing as they designed this feature in there, they really should make sure that their automatic activation wizard works correctly, because if I have to call in every time I make a minor hardware change, I’m going to get very aggravated.

09
May
07

Upgrading to 3 GB of RAM. Heck Yes!

Night before last I was looking at Newegg, I’ve been watching a 1 GB stick of DDR2 667 MHz RAM that’s been steadily dropping in price (started at $65, and is down to under $40 now), and finally decided to go ahead and buy one. Well, when I went to check out, I saw the box where you go to enter discount codes, so I figured I’d run a search on Google and see if there were any recent codes.

I was surprised to find there was. In fact, it was for a DOUBLE PACK of the same exact stick of RAM I’d been watching. Key part here was, where 1 gig would have been $45 after shipping, the 2 gigs was only $75, and free shipping. (The best part is that Newegg ships from Tennessee, so I always get things overnight, regardless of what type of shipping I choose)

So I went ahead and spent the extra, and according to Newegg, it’s already been shipped, and is on it’s way to Alabama. That means I’ll get it in the morning! Well, technically the afternoon, since I have to go work in the morning (but I just closed tonight!), so I’ll have to install it when I get back. I’m excited though, since my computer’s been locking up a lot now that I’m running Windows Vista. It’s a freakin’ memory hog. Takes up about 512 MB just idling, so any major Photoshop work is a no when I’m running Vista (of course, then I just boot back into XP. I love dual booting!)

Wow, that was about one of the geekiest blog posts I’ve written yet! I’m improving! Haha.

EDIT 12/13/07: No comments allowed on this post. For some weird reason this post seems to attract spam.

10
Apr
07

I Don’t Like Javascript Anymore

Not that I ever really did, honestly. I’ve been working on these school assignments for the class I’m taking online, and one of the classes is a Javascript class. The problem with this is, the book we’re using is six years old. Meaning, when you go to look for help on the internet, all the code has changed, so you have to totally rework the problems to fit modern code.
Javascript Code

When this becomes a real problem though, is when you’ve written a part of the code modern, and part ancient. In my case, I ended up confused between:

<script language=”javascript>
and
<script type=”javascript>

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been working on this project, frustrated like crazy, trying to find any reason why my code wasn’t working. Turns out, it’s supposed to be type=”text/javascript” instead of just type=”javascript. That was the whole reason it hadn’t been working.

That’s what I hate about programming. It’s never a difficult error that you make. You never realize “Oh crap, I’m going to have to rewrite that entire script block!”. No, it’s always a period out of place; a semi-colon astray; a missing quotation mark. All the things that, once you find them, become so ridiculously simple, that you want to inflict a lot of pain on yourself for not noticing it in the first place.

The good news? I finished the project. Two weeks late. Not sure how the grade will go, but I’m just glad it’s overwith.

09
Apr
07

Nikon D40 or Nikon D50?

I want to buy a DSLR.

No news there, really. First I need a few of these:
100 Dollar Bills

I actually talked to someone recently at work who is looking at selling his Nikon D50, and he’s going to be calling in a few weeks to let me know how much he wants for it. However, I was actually looking at the D40 first, seeing as it’s a newer model, and that was what I was originally saving up for, but the D50 looks to have a few good feature differences between the D40. So I really don’t know whether I should think about buying the D50 used (at a good price difference, or I wouldn’t get it), or just go ahead and spring the extra to buy it new, or the D40 new.
Nikon D40

I don’t know, or maybe I could just wait, but I really like doing photography, and right now, my camera is just an Olympus SP-310 which, while nice for a point and shoot, doesn’t come near a DSLR.

I’m leaning towards Nikon, but if anyone has some good suggestions for an entry-level DSLR for someone who’s fairly well-versed on manual controls, give me a shout!

05
Apr
07

Coming to You at 6 Mbps!

This is awesome. 6 Mbps and no bandwidth cap. You beter believe I’ll be putting that to the test. This is so much better than the old satellite internet. Unfortunately, I’m running out of ideas of things to do with it, now that I’ve got it. :(

05
Apr
07

Upgrading to Cable Internet – 6 Mbps!

Finally!

We should be having a technician from Time Warner Cable coming out in the next few hours to hook us up for cable internet, and get us off this crappy satellite internet (WildBlue 1.5 Mbps). It’s not been available here until just this week, actually.

Cable

I’m glad Time Warner finally bought out Adelphia, because just about everyone around this area has been practically begging for broadband other than satellite (which is just way too expensive for what you get), and Adelphia never made any move to expand. Now that TWC has taken over, they’re taking real strides expanding to a lot of new areas.

What relation does this have to the blog? Well, now with the higher speed, I may try doing some videos with my camera, and uploading them here, or to YouTube, if I get any ideas (suggestions welcomed :P)

Well, that’s it for now, and with any luck, my next post will be from a 6 Mbps connection!