Today is (believe it or not) the 25th birthday of the Windows operating system. To celebrate, we’re going to take a little trip back in time, and relive the glory(?) days of Windows 3.1. Windows 3.1 was a lot of people’s first exposure to Windows, but there are also a lot of younger computer fans who never got a chance to try it out. In this mini-how-to we’ll show you how to get a virtual Windows 3.1 sandbox up and running, using free, virtualization software VirtualBox.
So whether you missed out on trying the earliest popular version of Windows, or you just want to take a little nostalgia trip, read on!
With the imminent launch of Windows 7 and its much-hyped Windows XP mode, the word "virtualization" is going to be everyone's lips throughout the month of October. Never one to let a fad slide on by, I'm jumping on the bandwagon in this week's freeware and open-source application roundup. I'll be taking a look at five different programs that enrich your computing experience with some kind of virtual add-on.
What does that even mean? A number of things. Windows XP mode is a great example of the common definition of virtualization--running a second operating system inside your primary operating system in a way that typically allows you to quickly switch between the two and access the contents of your primary machine's hard drives from the virtualized environment. Virtual desktops are a lesser derivative of this concept. Instead of running a separate operating system, you're merely extending the size of your workspace by stacking on additional desktop layers that you can swap back-and-forth. You can also install a virtual keyboard that sits overtop your programs--analogous to what Windows offers for tablet PCs--if you're concerned about keyloggers somehow getting their hands on your mission-critical information.
I won't go on, as that might spoil some of the fun applications you'll find after the jump. The virtual world, er, world of virtualized software is vast and interesting, featuring many applications that can expand your computer's functionality without adding a crazy amount of complexity. The coolness of these apps is only rivaled by their ability to save you precious time and headaches from doing things the old-fashioned way.
As we close up yet another month of freeware goodies, it's important to look back and reflect on some of the awesome programs that received a version bump in the past 30 days. It was tough to nail down five free applications that not only upgraded themselves to a new iteration, but ones that successfully packed new and interesting features into their latest builds. There's no overarching theme this week save for that. It's a grab-bag of awesome new software to install; if the lack of a unifying concept horrifies you, don't worry. I'll list out all of this month's freeware roundups in the article below, which you can use as a guide of-sorts to travel back to safer downloading waters.
Click the upgrade button (okay, the jump) and check out the best of this month's updated freeware!
If this is the first time you've heard of VirtualBox, there's a good chance it won't be your last. The open-source virtual machine software, now owned by Sun, is giving the likes of VMWare Workstation a run for its money, and with the release of VirtualBox 3, the VM now supports experimental 3D graphics.
Not entirely new, developers have been slowly adding support for accelerated 3D graphics, and with the latest release, it's possible to run Direct3D 8 and 9 games or applications. That's in addition to OpenGL support.
Other new features and fixes include a revamped settings dialog, the addition of a minimalistic toolbar for seamless and full-screen mode, Windows 7 Remote Desktop Protocol client support, fixed TX checksum offloading for Linux kernal 2.16.8 or higher, fixed USB dongles issues, and lots more.
We're back! In our last feature, we showed you the best open-source/freeware graphics applications. But we realize that not everybody is an artist. Thus, we're aiming for a general market this time around. Enclosed within this article are the top freeware system optimization tools we've discovered in our might search of the Web. Clean your PC of spyware! Keep it virus-free! Run new, scary program in a virtualized environment! And much more--our full list of awesome, must-install applicaitons awaits you after the jump. Check 'em out! Your PC isn't complete without them!