GParted is a world class rescue and partitioning tool that will allow you to save your old computer operating system, and failing that will allow you to export the files off of your old hard drive and back them up to external media. It may not be as intuitive as a lot of other Linux builds, requiring you to go through a bit of a learning curve before you can use it, but trust me when I say it is well worth the time and effort spent to get there. And since it is a Live Disc application, you never need to install it to a hard drive. Download it, copy it out to any media type your computer knows how to boot from, and run it from there. Myself, I have almost never used it to partition a hard drive, because I so rarely do that. But rescue files off a corrupt disc, external drive, or memory stick? That I do pretty much every day, and this is one of the better tools in my arsenal for that task. Try it out and see if you don’t find it useful as well.

The Tango Studio Linux build is primarily oriented to folks who want to create, modify, and edit audio/music files, through all aspects of the process. But it also gives you a mighty impressive tool set for working with graphics, video, animation, 3D modeling, and pretty much the entire creative range of media production and creation. Being a Live DVD means you don’t have to install it; boot from the DVD you make from the .ISO file you download, and run it from the DVD, saving anything you create to a thumb drive. When you are done working with it, shut down the computer and eject the disc. When you boot without the disc in the computer, the normal operating system on your hard drive launches whatever system you have installed. As usual for an open source Linux OS and software collection, both the Operating System (OS) and all the software running on it are free for use and distribution. Once you boot the disc, you will find a number of worthwhile workflows to follow, depending on what you are trying to create. Try it out, and let me know what you think.

You have an older computer and you don’t want to give up your XP Windows, even though support ended months ago. One possible solution is to burn RoboLinux to disk, boot from that disk, and run your already-installed OEM version of Windows XP or 7 from the hard drive, inside of this VM (Virtual Machine) wrapper. The virus and intrusion protection is handled from the Linux OS, and the program boot and run times are much faster then you ever saw from a Windows platform. But it automagically runs every XP/7 program you have installed, through the power of Robolinux Virtual Box. It does take a bit of setup (all of it very simple), and if you like the results you should consider donating something their way, but beyond that it just works.

Note that for a permanent solution you want to install a Linux version in parallel to your windows OS on your hard drive, install Robolinux Stealth VM Software on the Linux partition, and create a VM file image from the hard drive. The VM file you create can be run on any PC that is running any Linux version with Stealth VM installed. From that point on, you have your entire windows software collection available to you on any computer you care to launch it from, plus another 30,000 killer Linux programs, all of it booting and running a lot faster than windows could do it.

I wanted to edit both of these videos down into only those parts that would help you create your Virtual Machine, and eradicate the various requests for funding and explanations about why you should go out and convince other folks to support the base system. It would have reduced the viewing time for both videos combined down to about 20 minutes of actually useful information that would help you create your own virtual disc. But they really are creating a worthwhile service, so deserve to get the word out in full so everyone can make up their own mind about how they want to proceed. I hope you find these useful.

I know I keep going back to this artist, but there is a reason. He has an amazing grip on Nerd sensibilities, and a control of word usage that is nothing short of amazing. This time we have only two tracks: Critical Hit and Pitch Dark, both Game-centric and at the core of how we evolved into our current reality.

Have an old Pentium III or Pentium 4 gathering dust because you can’t stand the 20 minute wait while it slowly boots an obsolete version of Windows? You can now turn it into a fast (or at least faster) useful machine again using Legacy OS 2.1, a Boot From CD (most of the computers from 2000 to 2006 didn’t have DVD drives in them, so a bootable CD is your best Live Disc option) Linux build. The latest version was released earlier this week, and comes with over 200 software packages ready to run right off the disc. That includes all the usual web tools, media players, office software, and everything else a modern computer should have. Of course, after you have tested the Live version to make sure it recognizes and can use your hardware properly, you can always install it to the computer’s hard drive and get it to run even faster, as well as be able to update or add new software, if you like. Another variation this Australian build came out with last October is Legacy OS 2.1 Gamer, with over 100 classic games, including the Open Source version of Doom. It is always good to make something useful and fun again, and this project does that nicely.