Earlier today I needed to install some Windows software from an ISO image. The ASUS EeeBox PC doesn’t have a built-in CD/DVD drive. Rather than hook up an external drive I decided to look for a tool that could mount an ISO as a CD/DVD disc.
It didn’t take long to find SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive. The program is free and easy to use.
I’ve been running Windows 7 on an older machine for a while but recently I had the idea to move the partition into a VirtualBox VM running as a guest OS in OS X Snow Leopard. I wanted to save some electricity, reduce the total number of computers, and make management simpler. The old Windows machine seemed to use a lot of power and and most of the time when I was at home the iMac was also turned on.
Here’s a run-down of the major steps and issues that I encountered.
Convert Windows 7 Partition to a VM Image
I didn’t want to have to start from scratch so I started searching for a tool that could convert an existing Windows install into a virtual machine image. Sure enough, I quickly found Paragon Software Group’s Paragon Go Virtual.
Paragon Go Virtual is free though it requires completing a form to receive a product key and serial number, both of which are required to install and use the program. The installation and configuration was simple enough. I already had an extra drive installed in the Windows system that I used as a backup so I just turned off the backup schedule, formatted the drive, and set Paragon Go Virtual to create the image on that drive in a VirtualBox format.
Over at Mac OS X Hints a contributor has posted a hint with a script that will turn off Airport whenever the LAN port is used. For most folks this isn’t a concern but sometimes, in corporate environments, there are several reasons one may not want to be connected to ethernet and wi-fi at the same time.
The instructions are well explained though I had to reboot my system to get it working. In addition, you’ll also need to install growlnotify with Growl if you want to receive the pop-up notifications.
Updated 08/18/2011: I’ve been using this for about ten months and it’s really not an essential function. Sometimes it’s convenient and other times it can get in the way. In some situations when I wake my laptop up, after it was previously connected to the WiFi, it doesn’t automatically start Airport. All-in-all, it’s no better or worse than not having it installed. Your mileage may vary depending on your needs and network environments.
About a year ago I replaced the stock firmware in my Linksys WRT54G v.3 wireless residential router with a Sveasoft version. At the time my WRT54G did not support wireless bridging. I wanted to bridge between two access points to eliminate a cable that was previously run across the floor in front of my kitchen. This also added three more wired ports to the entertainment center, which is where my X-Box and another PC were located at one time.
On the other end of the bridge is a Belking F5D7230-4 v2000. This unit was my primary (and only) router prior to the addition of the bridge setup. Back when I had decided to setup a bridge my original intention was to purchase another F5D7230. I was concerned that the Belkin router would only bridge with another Belkin router. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the same model at Wal-Mart. Before I purchased the Linksys WRT54G I actually purchased another F5D7230 but after walking out to the car and opening up the box I learned that even though it was the same series it was not the same router. It only had one antenna, was of smaller dimensions, and did not support bridging. I returned it to Wal-Mart and went ahead and spent an additional $20 for the Linksys router.
Looking for an application to write and organize a story on your Mac? Scrivener Gold is the free/beta version of Scrivener. According to the Web site the final product may cost between $20-$40. I’ve been using it for a few days and so far it’s worked well.
This weekend I spent several hours focusing on my G4. I work on the system every day, generally at night. However, it’s been several months since I last cleaned up old files and checked the general “health” of the system. Currently, I have two 160 GB drives installed (one drive is used to mirror/backup the other) and I noticed the availabled space had dropped to less than 90 GBs. Though I’m certainly not running short on storage space, I had consumed more space than I realized. I set out to reclaim as much free space as possible. The majority of “wasted” space is probably taken up by duplicate files and other files that I’ll need to manually sort through, but I decided to find and install utilities that would help me identify space that might be taken up by the system unnecessarily.
Disk Inventory X is a handy open source utility that represents file sizes graphically. Instead of listing files by size (as Spotlight does) this program displays individual files as color coded blocks. A large block represents a larger file. By using this utility I was able to easily identify files that I did not need any more.
Warning: Since I posted this entry my father downloaded and ran Monolingual on two of his Intel Macs. It removed the Universal Binaries and hosed all of his applications. Also, I recommend not removing Universal Binaries from a PPC system if you ever plan to migrate your applications to an Intel Mac.
This utility can be used to strip out unused language files and universal binaries. It’s simple and effective. However, read the FAQ before using this program as you could cause major problems with your installation of OS X if the program is not configured properly (for example, you would not want to uninstall the English language pack if that’s your primary language).
A utility for clearing OS X system and application caches that may be taking up unnecessary disk space. Note that in order to download Cache Out X you will need to register for the forums at the developer’s Web site.