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Friday Freebies

Two freebies for you today.
The first is a well hidden, undocumented, unsearchable free virtual CD driver from Microsoft. VCdControlTool has no documentation and you'll need to read the readme in order to properly "install" the proggy as it involves copying the driver to the appropriate system directory, but once installed it works as advertised. You can mount ISO images as a "virtual cd" and access them through the drive letter you assign.
Come to think about it, it really acts similar to mounting a remote file system on a *NIX box. In any case, it's pretty simple and easy to use and while it is unsupported by Microsoft, it's a great little tool for mounting images without requiring that you burn them off to a CD/DVD.

The second freebie is from a company called Turbine that has just taken its Dungeons and Dragons: Stormreach into beta test. Its looking for beta testers and all you have to do is sign up at FilePlanet to get access to the beta test. Yes, it's binary crack, just like World of Warcraft, but dag nabbit, the screen shots look good and aside from the fact that its staged in the world of Ebberon, it looks appealing. This is your chance to try it out before you spend the cash to buy the GA version, so give it a whirl. Turbine's trying to stress test its servers (the game is online-only) so you'll be doing them, and yourself, a favor by trying it out early.

It looks to have some advantages over WoW, such as private adventures for your party that can't be affected/interrupted by other players/parties, so that's a huge plus considering the amount of PvP action that has marred so many other MMORPGs like WoW and Diablo.
I'll stick to my tabletop games, thanks, but if you like the digital addiction or don't have a DM living with you, this might be for you.