Fun with Microsoft Virtual PC

First of all, in case you are not familiar with what Virtual PC is, it is basically a software which emulates a PC and its associated hardware. For more details check out the wikipedia entry. It obviously has its business uses, but that does not mean that one cannot have fun with it.

It can be useful for running different operating systems on the same machine without making any changes to the host machine configurations. I have been reading up on different linux distributions over the last few days, and was looking for a way to try out some, especially now that many of the distros have live CDs. So, I gave it (Microsoft Virtual PC) a try yesterday. It’s quite simple to use and you can customize the configuration of the virtual PC to a fair extent, including the RAM, hard disks and other drives. Once I had set up a couple of virtual PCs, I needed some OSes to run on them. This is where the linux live distros (Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux being the smaller ones) and FreeDOS came in handy.

Once you start up your virtual PC, you need to have a bootable device (virtual hard disk/floppy/CD) in place so that you can actually use it. In case of the linux live distros, they can be run directly off the CD, and you do not really need to install them on the virtual hard disk. In case of FreeDOS, you can mount the CD image and install it on the virtual hard disk. So, setting up a virtual PC is pretty much like setting up an actual PC, only much faster. As for network/internet access from the virtual PC, it is possible to configure a network adapter for it, but I haven’t tried it out.
So, what do you do with it once you’ve set up a virtual PC? Well, anything you like. Use it like a real PC, try out different stuff (including playing games). This way you can try out a new OS (granted it is available as a CD image), without actually reconfiguring or messing up your existing system.

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Want to rule over your own nation?

Think that you could do a eally good job of ruling over a nation, want to tackle different issues everyday for a nation and make decisions which will change the life of those you rule? Then try out NationStates, an online nation simulation game.

It’s an interesting game, in which you get to create a nation of your own with a flag, currnecy, national animal, type of government and what not. Once you have your nation, you’ll have to tackle or just ignore the issues that come up (the frequency can be set). The stats and description of your nation, like population, economy etc are influenced by your decisions.

Your nation also belongs to a particular region (you can switch regions too), and your nation also features in different rankings. In fact, the simulation even has a United Nations like body in which regional members get elected. So, there’s quite a lot of political simulation happening too (not all simulation actually since nations are controlled by real people). It can be fun to try and develop your nation along a line, but find that the decisions you make end up driving your nation along a different path altogether.

In case you try out the game, pay my nation, Somewhere in the world, a visit. It will also give you a basic idea of what the interface is like (basically text based), and what the game looks like.