Tag Archives: cue

The Novice’s Guide to Computing and the Internet Part 2.

A very common issue for a novice computer user is coming across a file and having no idea what it is or how to use it. I remember the first time I saw an image file and how much of a loop it threw me for. I feel it’s important to get a good explanation of what a disc image is and exactly how it’s used and why it’s used. A Disc image is like a snapshot of the disc in it’s current state. Every blank spot, bad sector and data sector is mapped out exactly as it is on the disc the original image came from enabling you to make a perfect duplicate.

There are plenty of reasons to have image files on hand. Backups are a very common use of disc imaging, but creating a disc image is something to tackle later on. First let’s figure out some of the more common image types and learn to burn them to disc and even mount them in virtual drives.There are tons of different programs used to make images of discs, but more than likely you will see either .ISO or .BIN .CUE as they are fairly universal standards.

Let’s begin with a hypothetical situation. You have had a home video DVD sent to you through email as a disc image file. The file is called “Family_reunion.ISO” and you would like to watch it, but….What do you do with this .ISO? Well you probably want to watch this one in the DVD player out in the living room so it would make sense to burn it to an actual DVD, especially since Cousin Pete added in all the fancy menus and such to make it easier to navigate. You’re going to need a DVD burner first off and second a DVD player that will play the home made DVD, not all of them will. Third you need a decent burning software that can handle image burning. I suggest ImgBurn , it’s free, it’s simple and it get’s the job done.

Load your blank into the DVD burner on your PC, load up Imgburn, pick “write image file to disc” choose the source, which in this example is “Family_reunion.ISO” and click the thing at the bottom that looks like a CD on a piece of paper with an arrow pointing toward a CD by itself. A few minutes later you should have a complete new DVD with all the video and menus Cousin Pete put on the image to begin with.

Now let’s skip the hypothetical and get straight to the point. You have an .ISO file and don’t want to burn a disc, but want to run it anyway. Go and download Daemon tools and install it being mindful of any extra packaged toolbars and home page changes. I use Firefox so I let Daemon’s homepage stay on my copy of Internet Explorer. Once installed you should see a little lightning bolt icon in your task bar. Right click on that icon and choose “mount image” then pick the location of your image and bam. You have a DVD or CD in the drive. Open “My Computer” and double-click the new drive. It should function as a normal disk drive would. You’ll notice an increased load on your hard drive though.

Most images are handled in the same way as .ISO images are handled, but .BIN and .CUE files are a little different. .CUE is like a map to different locations on the disk, while .BIN is the disc itself. Now you will mount the .CUE files and also use them to burn images to disc.

While this tutorial won’t work for every instance it should work in at least 90%. A few more of the commonly encountered image files along with the program that created them follow in this handy list from Wikipedia:

Alcohol 120%








Daemon Tools






Nero Burning ROM


Power ISO


Be sure to check out part 1 of  The Novice guide to internet and computing .

Time for Another Freeware Update.

It’s been quite some time since my last update and I have found quite a few great freeware programs.

I’m going to start with something that is near and dear to my heart, a plug-in for Firefox called “eBay Buddy“. “eBay Buddy” allows you the user, extra right click options, in fact it offers almost complete control from your right click menu. Let’s say you are looking for an Intel E6750 cpu. Once you have the plug-in you can highlight the item then right click it, pick quick search and it will open a new tab with the search results on eBay for an Intel E6750. “eBay Buddy” is a fantastic program that hardcore eBayers will develop a dependence on.

Wootalyzer is basically a live RSS feed of a bunch of “Deal a Day” websites, like Woot. It gives you the option of leaving it open all the time and alerting you when the deals on the sites change. This is a fantastic program even if you only check it once or twice a day. I even got a graphics tablet using this program for only $19.95 and it’s been pretty comparable to a wacom.

I needed a quick downloading and installing, no nonsense, no frills image burner. I had just finished building my new desktop everything was working fine hardware wise, it posted on the first boot, it posted after overclocking the cpu and setting my memory timings and voltage to the manufacturers specs. ALAS! No OS to boot into. I could have swore I had that copy of vista ultimate x64 somewhere around here…. Well you can see where this is going. Unfortunately my laptop dvd burner is a flaky piece of crap and/or all the discs I own are faulty, I already dismantled my old laptop, my wifes laptop seems to have some issues burning (why I think all my discs are faulty), as does my mother’s laptop and my dog’s. I finally determine that my wife’s desktop sitting in storage is my best bet, well it doesn’t have any burning software installed and I need something NOW. I came across a program called “Imgburn” and it solved all my problems instantly! It is free, it burns images like a champ and only took about 2 seconds to download. It’s also only a little over a mb in size.

Paranoid about your temperatures? Want to keep them in check? HWmonitor from CPUID will justify or negate your paranoia. It can show you all the information you need to make sure your hardware is running tip top. Voltages, temperatures and fan speeds are all displayed in an easily navigable window. HWmonitor is regarded as one of the best as far as accuracy goes and is available in 32 and 64 bit versions.

Rivatuner for when overclocking your cpu and memory are not enough.

Well that’s it for this round.

See you next time.