Category Archives: Virtual Machines (VM)

Windows – what is still Missing! Free + cheap must-haves!


Window 10, Windows 8.x, Windows 7, Windows XP Users!
We have a LIST for you…

I find it a bit surprising I have to download so many things for a 30 year old OS. Microsoft has plenty of money to buy all of these and bundle into the OS. But here is what I download on any new Window installation. It makes Windows a lot more productive, powerful and friendly.

Advanced Users (novices ignore): Rather than install these one at a time go to and let it install many of these at once, and keep them up-to-date all at once 😀

Very Good Lists (with different choices) on others Blogs!

The downloads divided into groups

Everyone will want to download the Productivity group. Other groups just depend on how you use your Windows machine.



  • Clipmate – because cut and paste in Windows is very limited. This fixes all of that in a dreamy way.
    Download @
  • Chrome by Google – because IE sucks. Chrome is much more secure than IE and FireFox. patched faster for years in response to new threats. Blocks malicious software if users download and try to install.
    Download @

  • Search Everything – because Windows search sucks. This is tiny and super fast. can find anything on your disk durn near instantly with very little overhead.
    Download @
    Read more about it @
  • EverNote – a good cloud note taking system to keep lists and notes on your Windows that you can get to on your phone, tablet, Mac, work PC, etc.
    Download @
  • FireFox – because IE sucks, and FireFox has a few add-ins I still need that Chrome do not.
    Download at

  • FoxIt PDF Reader – a FREE lighter, faster version of Adobe Reader. More secure. Uses less memory. Loads faster.
    Download @
  • GoScreen Wish you had 2 or more monitors but cannot afford them? Way better than Windows 10 virtual desktop. Way Better. Virtual Monitors done right for people with only 1 monitor.
    Download @ Not FREE, but under $30 and worth every penny.
  • TextPad+ – Because Notepad sucks. Only needed by people who edit tons of text files.
  • Download @
  • Tor Browser – Allows you to browse sites your company forbids and blocks. Hides the site you browse from everyone who monitors your network. For something even better than Incognito/Private mode (some corporations may not allow this)
    Download @
  • UltraMon – If you use 2 or more monitors this setups 2 or more separate task bars with relevant programs on the correct task bar (not all same programs lumped on several taskbars).
    NOT FREE – approximately $40 but I love it.
    Download trial @
  • XMind – I think MindMapping is even better way to take notes than Notepad 😀


Web Browsing!

Here is the list anyone serious about browsing the Web and Safety needs to have:

These should really make you able to browse with more power (and safety) and speed.


Graphics and Photos and Webcam Goodies

I have picked the programs that are easiest to got started with graphics, photos, and your webcam.


File & Disk Management & Backups & Cloud – oh my

If someone else manages your computer, you do not need these. But if the person managing your computer is not using these, you may need a new computer person 😀

computer-mechanic   Computer-Woes

System Maintenance / Troubleshooting

If someone else manages your computer, you do not need these. But if the person managing your computer is not using these, you may need a new computer person :D

  • Belarc Advisor – must have for system survey. Not sure what hardware or software you have. This makes a nice multi-page report including product keys, product version numbers, etc. Allows you to answer anyone’s questions aobut “what kind of machine?”, “what software is installed”, etc.
    Download @
  • Long Filenames or Pathnames keeping you from deleting, copying or renaming a file?
    Get help @
  • PC Decrapifier – remove all the extra junk software the PC makers added to your machine to save disk space and memory. Easy to use. Eezy peezy Japaneezy.
    Download @
  • Process Lasso – because Task Manager is sucky and weak and missing key features.
    Download @
  • Oracle Virtual Box Not for everyone, for people who want to install other operating systems on their computer (other versions of Windows, Linux, hacintosh). Because free Virtual PC is too weak and VMWare is too expensive.
  • Registry Workshop to make registry editing a dream @
  • Speccy – detects some things that Belarc Advisor does not. Gives you every technical spec on your system if any tech support asks you what your PC model, graphics card, disk drive, etc. is
    Download @
  • Take Ownership – when Windows screws up a file permission set so bad you can’t open a file. Read the fix @ (the fix works for Win 7/8/10)
  • Unlock Files that will not allow deletion or rename or the like – see the article @
  • TeamViewer If you try to help family and friends far away this lets you take over their machine, see what their monitor sees, use the keyboard and mouse on their machine as if you were there. Because the Windows remote desktop client is stone age compared to this and hard to setup and use. And decent multi-monitor support if the target machine has 2 monitors. It is multi-platform. Nothing new to learn on other platforms. iPad or Android can control a Windows machine and vice versa.
    Download @

Music, Movies, Music and DVDs and CD Goodies

Yeah music and multimedia rocks and here are the ways to get your computer rocking, dancing and singing (well rocking and singing at least):

* If you do not know what an ISO File is, you may not need this. But it is a pretty amazing thing I will attempt to explain here. Rather than load a CD/DVD into your computer’s drive to install software, you can transfer the CD or DVD into an ISO file (CD Burner XP is one way to do this). Or if a boss or co-worker wants you to install something rather than a CD or DVD they may just give you an ISO File. ISO mounting software lets you double-click on the ISO file and make ti pretend to be a CD/DVD drive then you install software while putting nothing in your CD/DVD drive. Very nice huh?

Why so many Add-Ons?

These tools should be built into Windows. Its a question people should be asking to Microsoft employees, at press conferences, in blog comments and when being begged to get excited about buying yet another site license and upgrade.

We are at Windows 10 by 2015 and after 30 years I should not need these many add on products to make it usable.

When this kind of consumer neglect kills Windows, I will not grieve for the lack of interest in Windows machine (and people using their phone as a PC or tablets, or buying Macs or Chromebooks) because this was easy and cheap to fix.


Windows still missing some BIG STUFF Microsoft

What I wish Windows had built in that sadly it still does not. Such huge omissions after 30+ years of Windows and over a decade of DOS are one of the many reasons people won’t trust or buy MS Operating Systems any more for personal use:

  • Security – unfortunately your newly purchased Windows 7/8/10 is still highly insecure. If you want security for your PC, friends or family, there is a WHOLE other set of Security add-ons you must download for free and/or buy and learn how to use.
    • MS spent billions fighting DOJ and Europe to force a browser on you even after FireFox and Chrome are way better, so you do not need IE.
    • MS threatens Dell and HP and all PC makers to not dare install a better browser for you that makes IE look bad, but does not stop them from installing so much crapware that  PC Decrapifier  @ is a THING you must download.
    • MS won’t fight DOJ or Europe to make your PC Windows as safe as Mac, Linux, iOS or Android. But instead they will spend a few hundred million encouraging their staff and loyalist bloggers to spread very inaccurate FUD about Mac and Linux and Android (and running Ads that Windows 7/8/10 is the most secure Windows ever).  But apparently the world’s safest OS needs another set of FREE and paid downloads to protect it.
  • Partition recovery tool – Every fricking tool that fixes this costs $50-$200 and you will use it for an hour. You will not need it again for years. And its all because the stone age MS partitioning tools do not support an Undo.
    • I guess Microsoft missed that day at “we care about the user” school.
    • Many Live Linuxes have this. So a bunch of hippies deliver something free a company with several billion does not?
  • File recovery tool – Many Live Linuxes have this. So no matter how much you pay for Windows, your boss pays, and your PC maker pays Microsoft does not care if you lose your files but a bunch of Linux hippies do… In fact Microsoft thinks if their OS loses your files with no UNDO you should pay a $50-$200 penalty and have to buy something to fix a Windows you pay for, your boss pays for, and your PC makers pay for. Pay for many upgrades by 3 sets of people and Microsoft could not put a crowbar in their wallet and recover your files they allowed you to delete without an undo feature? FT.
  • Basic Cleanup Toolssee this post!
  • A Desktop App Store (the Mac has one) – you should be able to buy Windows apps (not Metro/Modern apps) in their own store.

They have OUR Money and Profits! Spend some on Windows

I hope the new Microsoft CEO that replaces Steve Ballmer fixes 20+ years of neglecting customer needs on Windows. So far he does not seem to be, as Windows 10 has none of this. They can spend billions on Skype, AQuantitive, losing tons on Xbox and not spend a few million on either making all this unnecessary or just buying and integrating these products.

Still Using XP on a Machine – we got your back and some advice

This is what we have for you:

Hope this LIST makes your Windows more productive – Charles Carroll


DRAFT – Virtual Machines (VMs) and Hypervisors… What the heck are they?


VMs and Hypervisors are pretend machines



So what can I do with a VM?

Basically a VM is not YOUR machine it is a “fake” machine. Run something like Belarc Advisor (on Windows) and xxx (if on a Mac) and you will see what kind of CPU it is pretending to be. As a result it has no access to the hardware of your machine.

The fake machine does not have a fake set of PCI cards mirroring your own, for example. It can access your CD or DVD or Floppy drive only if you give it permission to via preferences and even then it creates a “fake” device it accesses it does not access your hardware directly. In fact even if you have fancy super fast caching disk controllers, etc. the VM does not have that. It has some fake/pretend simple disk controller. Since the software that starts and stops and runs the VM does I/O IT benefits from your fast disk access, but the VW it creates has a lesser controller/disk.

How can a VM Make me safer?



I am a programmer, why do I need a VM?




What is a HyperVisor?

For you to be able to have the VM be “Your machine” and see your hardware. That is called Type 1 / native / bare metal / hypervisor. VMware ESX/ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V 2008/2012 for example. These are typically only possible with a Hypervisor installed.

The tools that create and manage one or many multiple machines is also called a Hypervisor. It is typically used and paid for when people need Type 1 VMs to get max speed from hardware and direct HW access. Because of the complexity of letting multiple fake machines see the real machine all the time and mitigating the traffic jams or concurrency issues Hypervisors like that don’t run on every piece of hardware out there, just specific machines they know they can support in “bare metal” mode.


Why Choose on VM over another?






What a VM cannot do



More Details on VMs and HyperVisors

Most people are running a Type 2 / hosted VM that is fake so cannot see underlying hardware. VMware Workstation, Oracle VBox and Virtual PC for example.

hope all these link help you GROK VMs.

Install your First VM Today – so you can try a different OS

Just say NO to XP Mode

Windows 7 introduces XP Mode basically a Virtual PC lite and a bit of a copy of Parallels for the Mac.

Virtual XP Mode is a real problematic product. I would use any VM except it.

I found this out the hard way when one of my most important client became dependent on it.

I would not recommend it. It was orphaned by Microsoft as well. The bottom line is these other VMs: Virtual PC, Vbox and Vmware are supported,have tools and have a future and present that is much better than the very proprietary nature of XP Mode. When problems occur in XP Mode you are dealing with a barely supported product and not many support resources.