Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Biggest Lie On The Internet?

WARNING program rage coming!!

Guess what is on of the most often used phrase regarding computer programs (and I believe is also the biggest lie on the internet).

Yes, exactly : "Easy T0 Use!"


My case: I go searching for advice on the .bin file I have extracted from a .rar file (that took some doing). So I google ".bin extract". and add "free download". And don't you know, I come across the most obtuse explanations from various web discussion boards. (See Below) I swear the guys answering are either car salesmen with a product to push on you or very honest guys that don't have a clue how hard it is to pass over the information in a SHORT and CONCISE manner.

If anyone counters with the argument that I am lazy and don't want to take the time to read a textbook of instructions, I have to say that there are experts in every field that I will call the particular field anal expert. Think about it.

Example: You're up skiing and you inadvertantly skid into some experts skiis on the slope and if you are drawn into a discussion, he will probably expouse his opinion that 1. you shouldn't be skiing unless you fully understand the art of the sport, 2. you take better care of the people around you, 3. you wear the right colour combinations (ok I am joking here). Basically he is giving the right answers but to an extreme length. Either he wants to show off or he is over zealous.

Or the guy who you ask about stock advice and he goes on about the cheapest broker to use and how it is insane how anyone can use a 1. probably unethical broker 2. a broker that allows offshore accounts for tax minimal-hiding-ization 3. one that charges what you are paying.

Or the guy that you ask for simple advice on how to lay tiles in the bathroom and he goes into soo many questions about the floor support quality (wood or cement), the pipes behind (will you change those in the next two years? no sense puting new tiles in unless you do the pipes now!), or the room next to it, (maybe you have got to take into the whole house consideration before doing the tiles).

And they cannot understand the wierd looks they get in return. Sure, I will admit I want the simpler answer. But can't these anal experts deliver it better?

But seeking help on programs is the worst. See this guy answer, in a kind way, admittedly, about the .cue and .bin programs. I think he should come with a warning or an "obtuseness ratio". Especially when the seekers of information (read hopelessly-seeking-easy-answer-drones) like me need help.

I have highlighted my favorite lines. Read them out loud.

1) What is a .BIN? What is a .CUE? What is an .ISO

The .BIN / .CUE CD image format was made popular by the CDRWin software. Afterwards many programs have started supporting or partially supporting it, including: Nero, BlindWrite, CloneCD, FireBurner. The .CUE file contains the track layout information, while the .BIN file holds the actual data.

.ISO is also a CD image format, but is sometimes used for 'ISO9660 format' (standard, recognized by all applications) and sometimes
for unique Easy CD ISO format.

2) I have download .BIN&.CUE/.ISO files - what to do with them?

You can burn them to a CD-R or a CD-RW with:

-Alcohol 120% - My
favourite, excellent software, easy and yet very advanced (burns ISO, BIN/CUE, CCD, CDI, BWT files!):

- BlindWrite
- easy to use: http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_applications/blindwrite_suite.cfm

- FireBurner -
also very good, a single .EXE file! http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_applications/fireburner.cfm

- BurnAtOnce -
A handy and FREE tool for burning .bin/.cue/.iso. Easy to use!

- Nero - many of you have this, but it can't handle all image files:

- CDRWin - This is the original BIN/CUE software:

You can also mount image files as virtual CD-ROM drives using

Alcohol - http://cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_tools/alcohol120.cfm
Daemon Tools - http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_tools/daemon_tools.cfm

There are also several softwares you can use to exploit & manipulate BIN/CUE files in various ways:

CDMage - http://www.geocities.com/cdmage/
IsoBuster - http://www.smart-projects.net/isobuster/

3) I have a .BIN file but no .CUE?

.CUE can be made with just Notepad. A typical Playstation(One or 2) .CUE file looks like this:

FILE "image-name.BIN" BINARY
TRACK 1 MODE2/2352
INDEX 1 00:00:00

A typical PC CD-ROM .CUE looks like this:

FILE "image-name.BIN" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00

"image-name.BIN" being the name of the image file (IWDII.BIN, CIV3.BIN and so on...)

Notice the difference of the track mode - PC-ROMs being Mode 1, Playstations CDs Mode 2 and (Super)Video CDs are also MODE2/2352.

4) How do I make .BIN/.CUE files?

CDRWin or the BIN/CUE format is not ideal for distributing. BlindWrite suite and CloneCD perform a lot better in this purpose and can also handle various copy protections. Both of these softwares can also create .CUE files
for increased compatibility

5) I have a .BIN & .CUE, but my CD writing software can't locate the .BIN file?

Edit the .CUE file with Notepad (or similar) and verify that the FILE "C:\path\image.bin" matches the location of your image file

6) My image file is IMAGE.BIN.EXE and I can't rename it!

Read here

7) Sector sizes of CD image files (by Aldaco12)

When you talk about images must think on SECTORS not on DATA SIZE.

The rules are:

1)A standard 74 min CD is made by 333,000 sectors.
2) Each sector is 2352 bytes big, and contains 2048 bytes of PC (MODE1)Data, 2336 bytes of PSX/VCD (MODE2) Data or 2352 bytes of AUDIO.
3) The difference between secor size and data content are the Headers info and the Error Correction Codes, that are big for Data (high precision required), small for VCD (standard for video) and none for audio.
If you extract data in RAW format (standard for creating images) you always extract 2352 bytes per sector, not 2048/2336/2352 bytes depending on data type (basically, you extract the whole sector).

This fact has two main consequences:

a) You can record data at very high speed (40x) without losing information, but if you try to do the same with PSX or Audio you get unredable CD (for PSX) od audio CD with lots of clicks because there are not error correction codes (and error are more likely to occur if you record at high speed.

b) On a 74 min CD you can fit very large RAW images,up to 333,000 x 2352 = 783,216,000 bytes (747 Mb). This should be the upper limit for a RAW image created from a 74 min CD. Remember that if you store standard data (backup files),
you can burn only 333,000 x 2048 = 681,984,000 bytes (the well known 650 MB limit).

Please note that an image size is ALWAYS a multple of 2352 bytes (you extract SECTORS), if extracted in RAW mode......

................ rah rah rah ad infinitum

But guess what, its really Easy to use!

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