Archive

Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone!

December 25th, 2009 1 comment

Wishing everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Hard to believe we’re already at 2010 and every year we’ll be calling it twenty-something.

xkcd

http://xkcd.com/680/

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

HP Computers are racist.

December 22nd, 2009 No comments

Gold.

Soon as my blackness enters the frame…. I’m sneaking in….. Black desi gets in there… Uh no, no face recognition buddy. HP Computers are racist.

Read the HP response to this video. Clearly a failure in the QA department!

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share
Categories: Beta, Developer, Humour Tags: , , , ,

OpenSolaris cheatsheet

December 15th, 2009 No comments

Most excellent cheatsheet for OpenSolaris.

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

Asustek to spin off motherboard manufacturing to new entity!

December 13th, 2009 No comments

SHOCKING news today, Asustek has decided to…

Taiwan’s Asustek Computer on Friday said it would spin off Pegatron Technology, a subsidiary which makes more than half of the world’s computer motherboards, distancing itself from the business which made it into a familiar name in the computer industry.

The company is following a similar path to that taken 10 years ago by Acer, which has since gone on to become the world’s second-largest PC maker behind Hewlett-Packard. While its Asus brand is still only a small player in the global PC market, its successful Eee PC low-cost computer series, launched in 2007, helped to pioneer the netbook market and gave its Asus brand a position on electronic store shelves particularly in Asia and the US.

From XBIT Lab’s news article:

Asustek Computer, the world’s largest maker of mainboards, has decided to completely spin off its mainboards and graphics cards manufacturing arm Pegatron Technologies, the company said this week. The move will allow Asus to become more competitive in terms of branding, but will further withdraw the firm from the actual manufacturing.

According to a statement posted with Taiwan Stock Exchange, Asustek company had convened a board meeting to resolve the spin-off of its ODM business. As a result of the meeting, Pegatron Holding, the company that made virtually all Asus-branded motherboards, will issue two billion new shares to a number of shareholders.

I sure hope the quality and stability of the boards do not suffer. Read more from the Financial Times or XBIT Labs. When it comes to solid boards you can’t go past ASUS, XFX and Gigabyte (bang for buck!).

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

Sunshine of summer: Java EE6, Glassfish 3 and Netbeans 6.8 plus TeamCity 5!

December 12th, 2009 No comments

What a whopper of a weekend, Sun has ratified Java EE 6 and also released Glassfish 3 and NetBeans 6.8 to celebrate. If that wasn’t enough JetBrains has also released TeamCity 5!

You can read all about the Sun releases on InternetNews and catchup with whats new in Java EE 6 Overview from Suns site.

Next weekend its time to move Confluence & Jira (Glassfish 2) and TeamCity 5 (Tomcat) to Glassfish 3 in a opensolaris zone and see how things progress. Did I mention I love the zones in OpenSolaris?

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

Avatar + Team America = 1 Helluvah Mashup

December 10th, 2009 No comments

Maaatt Damon

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

Ken Block: Subaru WRX Trax STi Snow Cat

December 7th, 2009 No comments

It combines a two of my favorite things in life: driving a rally car in the snow and snowboarding in the powder in the back country. It’s incredibly fun having the ability to push the high-power Subaru on the slopes and to back country spots that normal cars could never go!

That  my friends, is pure awesomeness. When you’re ready check out Ken going around a snowboard park. More videos on his site to compliment his Gymkhana practice video.

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

DailyWTF: WHAT.THE.FOR LOOP STOOGE.

December 3rd, 2009 No comments

There’s no way to explain this apart from WTF!

I’m speechless.

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share

VirtualBox 3.1 released!

December 1st, 2009 No comments

Just when you thought you can start a new month without some new software, Sun has blessed the world with a ray of VirtualBox 3.1 goodness on us all! All hail the Sun. I’ve been using the Betas and trying out the spanking awesome Teleportation feature in VirtualBox 3.1. So lets take a bit of a look at the new grub.

Beam me up Scotty!

You know, people say the catch phrase thinking its from Star Trek, but did you know that it was never actually mentioned in any episode?

Teleportation or ‘Live Migration‘ in Xen/KVM  or vMotion in VMWare allows you to move a running virtual machine to another host without any downtime. Sun brings us this ‘Enterprise’ feature to VirtualBox. Whats even cooler, is that you can teleport your running VM on different host platforms (Windows -> OpenSolaris or Linux, vice versa) but not from one hardware set (Intel) to another (AMD) unless they both have the same instruction-sets. The transport layer for the teleportation is TCP/IP, so as long as the agreed port is open and accessible you can even teleport it through the tubes! (assuming you have a fast link like those pesky Dutch)

There are a few conditions and caveats as I’ve found. Firstly you must ensure (as you’d expect) the target VM has to have the exact same configuration as the source VM (same RAM, graphics memory, storage, CD/DVD images etc) the other thing is to be weary of the CPUs the host computer has. As long as its between the same generations (different clock speeds are OK) it should work (I tried between a QX6850 -> E6600 but QX6850->AMD X2 4600+ wasn’t so pretty!).

Once you’ve configured the target host to match the source host, time to ask VirtualBox to keep its eyes open for an incoming beam.

VBoxManage modifyvm [VirtualMachineName] --teleporter on --teleporterport [Port]

Then on the source host, send out the beams to initiate the teleportation:

VBoxManage controlvm [VirtualMachineName] teleport --host [TargetIP] --port [Port]

Give it some time to think and if you tried a localhost migration, it should migrate seamlessly 🙂

Scotty doesn’t know

Scotty doesn’t know about the other little changes, but you will. The new VirtualBox has lots of refinements in the UI. For one, new icons for all the Guest operating systems. The settings window has had a make over and includes ‘optimal settings’ detection.

Windows 2003 VM in VirtualBox 3.1

Windows 2003 VM in VirtualBox 3.1

Here its telling me my Windows 2003 VM should have atleast 20Mb Video Memory assigned to it to work well in full-screen mode. Heading over to the Display options in VirtualBox 3.1 we find that the Video Memory selectors have got little indicators now, as well as the inclusion of 2D Video Acceleration.

Windows 2003 VM - VirtualBox 3.1 Display Settings

Windows 2003 VM - VirtualBox 3.1 Display Settings

Depending how ever many cores you have, it will highlight what you should set as the maximum number of cores available for your VirtualMachine as well as the recommended RAM allocation. This is what I see in my Intel QX6850 development workstation.

VirtualBox 3.1 System Processor Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 System Processor Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 - Motherboard Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 - Motherboard Settings

VirtualBox now also has experimental support for Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) which will eventually replace the aging BIOS bootstrap (which is the default). Well known operating systems that boot via EFI include Windows Vista and Windows 7, Apple OS X and Fedora 11+.

The Storage controls in VirtualBox GUI has also had a bit of a make over. The options to select a disk and a controller have changed, CD/DVD drives can be attached to an arbitrary IDE controller too now!

VirtualBox 3.1 - Storage

VirtualBox 3.1 - Storage

The networking settings GUI in the new VirtualBox has change too, not only that but you can now configure the network interfaces whilst the guest is running – YAY!

VirtualBox 3.1 Network Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 Network Settings

Snapshots are a lot more flexible in this release (much like VMWare’s snapshot feature). Previously you can only restore from the last created snapshot, now any arbitrary snapshot can be restored too or branched off.

For those who use OpenSolaris (like yours truely!) the rewritten USB support (still experimental btw!) should mean we can interact with our USB devices in Solaris Nevada 124 or higher now – I’m running 127 and have USB devices appearing in my VMs.

If those don’t give you any indication on to the pure awesomeness of this release, there was a significant performance improvement for APE & AMD64 guests (VT-x/AMD-V) which will be quite noticeable from what I’ve been told by a college.

As Barack Obama said, tis time for a change..log.

He didn’t say that, I just reused 36 Mafia’s Lolli Lolli. The entire change log appears below from the website.

VirtualBox 3.1.0 (released 2009-11-30)

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

  • Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information)
  • VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well (“branched snapshots”; see the manual for more information)
  • 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information)
  • More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to an arbitrary IDE controller, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information)
  • The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running
  • Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher
  • Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging)
  • Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information)
  • Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information)

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

  • VMM: guest SMP fixes for certain rare cases
  • GUI: snapshots include a screenshot
  • GUI: locked storage media can be unmounted by force
  • GUI: the a log window grabbed all key events from other GUI windows (bug #5291)
  • GUI: allow to disable USB filters (bug #5426)
  • GUI: improved memory slider in the VM settings
  • GUI: the VirtualBox website couldn’t be opened from the help menu (bug #4559)
  • 3D support: major performance improvement in VBO processing
  • 3D support: added GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array support
  • 3D support: fixed crashes in FarCry, SecondLife, Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, Eve Online (bugs #2801, #2791)
  • 3D support: fixed graphics corruption in World of Warcraft (#2816)
  • 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (#4653)
  • 3D support: fixed incorrect rendering of non ARGB textures under compiz
  • iSCSI: support iSCSI targets with more than 2TiB capacity
  • VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash (bug #5424)
  • Network: fixed the E1000 emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests (bug #3206)
  • NAT: added host resolver DNS proxy (see the manual for more information)
  • VMDK: fixed incorrectly rejected big images split into 2G pieces (bug #5523, #2787)
  • VMDK: fixed compatibility issue with fixed or raw disk VMDK files (bug #2723)
  • VHD: fixed incompatibility with Hyper-V
  • Support for Parallels version 2 disk image (HDD) files; see the manual for more information
  • OVF: create manifest files on export and verify the content of an optional manifest file on import
  • OVF: fixed memory setting during import (bug #4188)
  • Mouse device: now five buttons are passed to the guest (bug #3773)
  • VBoxHeadless: fixed loss of saved state when VM fails to start
  • VBoxSDL: fixed crash during shutdown (Windows hosts only)
  • X11 based hosts: allow the user to specify their own scan code layout (bug #2302)
  • Mac OS X hosts: don’t auto show the menu and dock in fullscreen (bug #4866)
  • Mac OS X hosts (64 bit): don’t interpret mouse wheel events as left click (bug #5049)
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed a VM abort during shutdown under certain conditions
  • Solaris hosts: combined the kernel interface package into the VirtualBox main package
  • Solaris hosts: support for OpenSolaris Boomer architecture (with OSS audio backend).
  • Shared folders: VBOXSVR is visible in Network folder (Windows guests, bug #4842)
  • Shared folders: performance improvements (Windows guests, bug #1728)
  • Windows, Linux and Solaris Additions: added balloon tip notifier if VirtualBox host version was updated and Additions are out of date
  • Solaris guests: fixed keyboard emulation (bug #1589)
  • Solaris Additions: fixed as_pagelock() failed errors affecting guest properties (bug #5337)
  • Windows Additions: added automatic logon support for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Windows Additions: improved file version lookup for guest OS information
  • Windows Additions: fixed runtime OS detection on Windows 7 for session information
  • Windows Additions: fixed crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo)
  • Linux Additions: added support for uninstalling the Linux Guest Additions (bug #4039)
  • Linux guest shared folders: allow mounting a shared folder if a file of the same name as the folder exists in the current directory (bug #928)
  • SDK: added object-oriented web service bindings for PHP5

Overall this is a solid new release from Sun – unsure about its stability as I’ve only been running a few VMs (Windows 2003, CentOS and Fedora 12) for about 10-12hrs. Nothing bad as yet.

Download from the VirtualBox site:

  • VirtualBox 3.1.0 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.1.0 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64

Enjoy!

{lang: 'en-GB'}
Share