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Archive for July, 2009

Windows 7 RTMs finally

July 23rd, 2009 4 comments

After many leaks, a public release of RC1 and several premature releases of what cuda been the final RTM we finally have sufficient proof that Windows 7 has infact been Released To Manufacturing (confirmed too!).

Heres a summary of what to know.

Build information

The final build is tagged as 6.1.7600.16385.090713-1255. It was compiled on July 13, 2009, at 12:45pm.

Windows 7 x64 DVD-ISO

7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULXFRER_EN_DVD.iso

CRC32: 0x1F1257CA
SHA-1: 0x326327CC2FF9F05379F5058C41BE6BC5E004BAA7

Windows 7 x86 DVD-ISO

7600.16385.090713-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULFRER_EN_DVD.iso

CRC32: 0xC1C20F76
SHA-1: 0x5395DC4B38F7BDB1E005FF414DEEDFDB16DBF610

These hashes and values are from Daniel Melancthon’s blog post.

Release Dates

This is what we know.

General Public October 22nd
OEMS July 24th
Microsoft Partner Program (Gold/Certified) August 16 (English)
October 1st (Other languages)
Businesses with Volume Licensing (Software Assurance) August 1st
Businesses with Volume Licensing (Other) September 1st
MSDN/Technet Subscribers August 6th (English)
October 6th (Other languages)
Microsoft Action Pack August 23rd (English)
October 1st (Other languages)

Thats about it, if you ‘obtained’ a copy from somewhere, give Long Zheng‘s Windows 7 ISO verifier a go to see what you’ve actually got, last thing you’d want is a copy of Vista with a Windows 7 Transformation pack!

6.1.7600.16385.

090713-1255
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VirtualBox 3.0.2 released with SMP and Network IO fixes

July 13th, 2009 No comments

Quick note about VirtualBox 3.0.2 being released, this fixes up two critcal problems – one is the poor SMP performance everyone is coming to realise, and the network IO issue (reproduced in Fedora for

  • VMM: fixed network regressions (guest hangs during network IO) (bug #4343)
  • VMM: guest SMP performance improvements
  • VMM: fixed hangs and poor performance with Kaspersky Internet Security (VT-x/AMD-V only; bug #1778)
  • VMM: fixed crashes when executing certain Linux guests (software virtualization only; bugs #2696 & #3868)
  • ACPI: fixed Windows 2000 kernel hangs with IO-APIC enabled (bug #4348)
  • APIC: fixed high idle load for certain Linux guests (3.0 regression)
  • BIOS: properly handle Ctrl-Alt-Del in real mode
  • iSCSI: fixed configuration parsing (bug #4236)
  • OVF: fix potential confusion when exporting networks
  • OVF: compatibility fix (bug #4452)
  • NAT: fixed crashes under certain circumstances (bug #4330)
  • 3D support: fixed dynamic linking on Solaris/OpenSolaris guests (bug #4399)
  • 3D support: fixed incorrect context/window tracking for multithreaded apps
  • Shared Folders: fixed loading from saved state (bug #1595)
  • Shared Folders: host file permissions set to 0400 with Windows guest (bug #4381)
  • X11 host and guest clipboard: fixed a number of issues, including bug #4380 and #4344
  • X11 Additions: fixed some issues with seamless windows in X11 guests (bug #3727)
  • Windows Additions: added VBoxServiceNT for NT4 guests (for time synchronization and guest properties)
  • Windows Additions: fixed version lookup
  • Linux hosts: workaround for buggy graphics drivers showing a black VM window on recent distributions (bug #4335)
  • Linux hosts: fixed typo in kernel module startup script (bug #4388)
  • Installer: support Pardus Linux
  • Solaris hosts: several installer fixes
  • Solaris host: fixed a preemption issue causing VMs to never start on Solaris 10 (bug #4328).
  • Solaris guest: fixed mouse integration for OpenSolaris 2009.06 (bug #4365)
  • Windows hosts: fixed high CPU usage after resuming the host (bug #2978)
  • OVF: accept ovf:/disk/ specifiers with a single slash in addition to ovf://disk/ (bug #4452)
  • Fixed a settings file conversion bug which sometimes caused hardware acceleration to be enabled for virtual machines that had no explicit configuration in the XML.

Download links:

  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

I’ve been running it all day at work today without issues.

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Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’: Google announces Chrome OS

July 8th, 2009 1 comment

I’ve been soooo busy at work (impossible deadlines as always) that I’ve been a bit silent, but alas who could not be excited to hear about Google’s venture into the netbook market just to shake things up?

It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Thats right, whilst many claimed the Google Chrome browser was infact an OS, now the company has come around with an actual OS with the Chrome moniker just to confuse the hell out of journo’s who just didn’t get the difference between a browser and an operating system.

Mind you, I do use Chrome quite a bit, especially not that I’ve switched full-time to GMail, its a great browser – just missing a few addons that Firefox has to really make it shine – like Adblock Plus, XMarks and web developer like extensions.

CNet has an interesting tidbit too. Whats important here is that it will be available for x86 and ARM processors and aims for a different breed of devices to their Android platform. Its based on a Linux Kernel with a new desktop environment (so another Gnome or KDE like desktop environment). As the Google Blog puts it:

Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

The idea was mocked by many several years ago, but I guess they had the last laugh now.

Confused about the direction Google is heading? You Are Not Alone, looks like Google‘s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ telling Microsoft that We’ve Had Enough, that They Don’t Care About Us and to just Beat It. They are Here To Change The World which will no doubt turn into one heck of a Thriller coming up.

I figure most of you would be Speechless by now, some may even be Scared Of The Moon but fear not, they’re working Day and Night to make sure you get One More Chance to get On The Line as soon as your hardware will allow it! Google, you Rock My World. Does anyone even Remember The Time without Google now a days?

RIP Michael Jackson.

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Time flies: VirtualBox 3.0 final is out!

July 1st, 2009 No comments

It only feels like last week that I mentioned the beta release of VirtualBox 3.0, Sun has released the final version of the much anticipated v3.0!

As mentioned earlier, this release is super exciting for the simple fact that it has SMP support – a maximum of 32 virtual CPUs (but relax, you shouldn’t assign more than what you can afford – or the number of cores you have!). VMWare still only supports a maximum of 2 virtual-cpus (this _may_ change in VMWare 7.0!), another feat is the hardware 3D (Direct3D/OpenGL)  support for guests.

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only; see chapter 3.7.2.2 of the user manual)
  • Windows guests: ability to use Direct3D 8/9 applications / games (experimental; see chapter 4.8 of the user manual)
  • Support for OpenGL 2.0 for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests

In addition, the following items were ?xed and/or added:

  • Solaris hosts: allow suspend/resume on the host when a VM is running (bug #3826)
  • Solaris hosts: loosen the restriction for contiguous physical memory under certain conditions
  • Mac OS X hosts: ?xed guest PAE
  • Linux hosts: kernel module compile ?xes for 2.6.31 (bug #4264)
  • VMM: ?xed occasional guru meditation when loading a saved state (VT-x only)
  • VMM: eliminated IO-APIC overhead with 32 bits guests (VT-x only, some Intel CPUs don’t support this feature (most do); bug #638)
  • VMM: ?xed 64 bits CentOS guest hangs during early boot (AMD-V only; bug #3927)
  • VMM: performance improvements for certain PAE guests (e.g. Linux 2.6.29+ kernels)
  • VMM: some Windows guests detected a completely wrong CPU frequency (bug #2227)
  • VMM: ?xed hanging and unkillable VM processes (bug #4040)
  • VMM: ?xed random infrequent guest crashes due to XMM state corruption (Win64 hosts only)
  • VMM: performance improvements for network I/O (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • GUI: added mini toolbar for fullscreen and seamless mode (Thanks to Huihong Luo)
  • GUI: redesigned settings dialogs
  • GUI: allow to create/remove more than one host-only network adapters (non Windows hosts)
  • GUI: display estimated time for long running operations (e.g. OVF import/export)
  • GUI: ?xed rare hangs when open the OVF import/export wizards (bug #4157)
  • 3D support: ?xed VM crashes for client applications using incorrect OpenGL states
  • 3D support: ?xed memory corruption when querying for supported texture compression formats
  • 3D support: ?xed incorrect rendering of glDrawRangeElements
  • 3D support: ?xed memory leak when using VBOs
  • 3D support: ?xed glew library detection
  • 3D support: ?xed random textures corruption
  • VRDP: support Windows 7 RDP client
  • Networking: ?xed another problem with TX checksum of?oading with Linux kernels up to version 2.6.18
  • NAT: ?xed “open ports on virtual router 10.0.2.2 – 513, 514” (forum)
  • NAT: allow to con?gure socket and internal parameters
  • NAT: allow to bind sockets to speci?c interface
  • PXE boot: signi?cant performance increase (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • VHD: properly write empty sectors when cloning of VHD images (bug #4080)
  • VHD: ?xed crash when discarding snapshots of a VHD image
  • VHD: ?xed access beyond the block bitmap which could lead to arbitrary crashes
  • VBoxManage: ?xed incorrect partition table processing when creating VMDK ?les giving raw partition access (bug #3510)
  • VBoxManage: support cloning to existing image ?le
  • OVF: several OVF 1.0 compatibility ?xes
  • OVF: ?xed exporting of disk images when multiple virtual machines are exported at once
  • Virtual mouse device: eliminated micro-movements of the virtual mouse which were confusing some applications (bug #3782)
  • Shared Folders: sometimes a ?le was created using the wrong permissions (2.2.0 regression; bug #3785)
  • Shared Folders: allow to change ?le attributes from Linux guests and use the correct ?le mode when creating ?les
  • Shared Folders: some content was incorrectly written under certain conditions (bug #1187)
  • Shared Folders: ?xed incorrect ?le timestamps, when using Windows guest on a Linux host (bug #3404)
  • X11 clipboard: ?x duplicate end of lines (bug #4270)
  • X11 guests: a number of shared clipboard ?xes
  • Linux guests: Guest Additions support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • Linux guests: new daemon vboxadd-service to handle time synchronization and guest property lookup
  • Linux guests: implemented guest properties (OS info, logged in users, basic network information)
  • Windows host installer: VirtualBox Python API can now be installed automatically (requires Python and Win32 Extensions installed)
  • USB: Support for high-speed isochronous endpoints has been added. In addition, read-ahead buffering is performed for input endpoints (currently Linux hosts only). This should allow additional devices to work, notably webcams (bug #242).
  • USB: ?xed error handling for some USB dongles
  • Web service: ?xed inability to handle NULL pointers for object arguments, which are valid values for a lot of APIs, in both the raw and the object-oriented web service.
  • Web service: object-oriented bindings for JAX-WS did not exhibit interface inheritance correctly, ?xed
  • Web service: added support for IDisplay and IGuest interfaces, which were previously unavailable
  • Registration dialog uses Sun Online accounts now

Why keep reading, upgrade dammit!

  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

Enjoy, see the manual online too!

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Foxy ladies: Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5!

July 1st, 2009 No comments

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, Mozilla has released the final version of Firefox 3.5 (which was originally slated to be 3.1). Amongst the highlights include the new Gecko 1.9.1 rendering engine and (from their release notes):

  • Available in more than 70 languages. (Get your local version!)
  • Support for the HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements including native support for Ogg Theora encoded video and Vorbis encoded audio. (Try it here!)
  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Better web application performance using the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to share your location with websites using Location Aware Browsing. (Try it here!)
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: downloadable fonts, CSS media queries, new transformations and properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 local storage and offline application storage, <canvas> text, ICC profiles, and SVG transforms.

For the developers, the Mozilla developer centre details the changes in this release. But the most exciting is the support for <video> and <audio> elements from the HTML 5 draft and the inclusion of the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.

Download it now!

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