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Everything's Gone Virtual!

Also relates to UNIX

Firstly apologies to anyone who has felt the urge to follow my blog with such a sporadic posting of entries over the last 18 months. Becoming a dad has compelled me to reassign my priorities and blogging time has really been under the kosh.

Anyway, time is of the essence so I must not ramble. Virtualization is the name of the game currently and I have been hard at work and play test driving a broad array of Linux platforms on both a Windows Vista host and a Tiger host. Since last posting my excitement at discovering VMWare Player back in May I have upgraded to Fusion and Workstation and started building virtual operating systems from scratch using ISO boot disks. I have one goal in mind and that is to create my development nirvana - a perfect setup of multiple displays and desktops that will allow me to meet my objectives in the quickest possible time using the minimum number of actual platforms.

I will come back to this in the coming weeks and discuss what desktops and operating systems I have gone for. Watch this space…

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 at 19:43:10.

VMWare Saves the Day

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Great - a solution to my virtual machine dilemma has materialised in the form of VMWare Player a nifty virtual machine that allows secure running of complete operating systems on the host platform. There are plenty of pre-built appliances available from the VMWare site of which I was relieved to discover a KDE desktop preconfigured with WINE and legacy Internet Exploder versions. In fact this method has one up on the side-by-side running in Windows XP in that session management works across all versions! This is a huge saving grace for testing presentation rendering inside an authentication only area of the site.

In fact my journey into virtual machines has led to several discoveries and now I have a full featured version of Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) running along side the Vista desktop full screen on a second display. So feeling slightly more satisfied with my Vista and Acer now :)

Posted on May 30, 2008 at 15:22:18.

OS X Come Back to Me!

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Well haven't really had much time to delve into my newly acquired Vista platform but today with some urgent testing required for a completion the time had come.

Ok I was prepared for the multitude of software bloat I might find on the Acer 5920 when it arrived and actually it wasn't too bad! Just a case of removing a few irrelevant games, some dodgy looking attempt at DVD authoring software and finally making the decision to replace NIS with BitDefender. Actually this was only after, having installed and updated NIS, I discovered when I awoke Aristotle (yes all my platforms are philsophers!) this afternoon that my 3 month subscription to NIS had expired in 1 day!? All looked a bit time consuming having to deal with support and no way I was restoring this puppy so off it went. Fortunately an uninstall process that was far less painful than I recall encountering with my old Win98 box many years ago - thanks of course to RegSupreme.

Great so I have a secure system, I have removed the unwanted software and killed the odd unwelcome service. Nice sleek, clean Vista platform ready to begin software install for development. No time to deal with all the usual software tools initially as I had to crack straight on with testing. Joining the wireless network was not an issue - although file sharing was (for another post perhaps!). And soon I had the sandbox up for testing in IE7 on Vista. Great! Now time to download the Virtual PC so I can get on with legacy testing….. Arrrrrggggghhhh……! Virtual PC doesn't support Windows Vista Home PREMIUM. But I thought Premium means all the bells and whistles. Well according to MicroDollar it clearly doesn't! In fact it only seems to be a few more quid than Windows Vista Basic!? So what is the actual point of all these different versions. It seems to me I have wound up with Windows Media version and am looking at another hundred quid to get it updated to a version that will allow me to do all those lovely developer like things I like to do with all my philosophers. Nice one MicroDollar!

I thought it would save me time and money getting a laptop with Vista to do M$ testing rather than going down upgrading route on Socrates - my iMac box running Tiger at present. But now I guess not. Painful…

To be continued I am sure…

Posted on May 01, 2008 at 16:24:26.

Into The Vista Maelstrom

This post does not relate to any other topics

Nearly three years ago this very week I switched platforms with the acquisition of my first ibook. I have certainly fallen for the Apple candy and a 24" iMac and iPod Touch have been added to the arsenal. With a final loss of patience in the very old and hacked Dell platform I have been running Windows testing off, and a total lack of time to even contemplate upgrading my principle platform to Leopard for Windows Boot Camp I decided to pick up a budget Acer laptop to fill the gaps. With a few windows-centric jobs looming it will also allow me to tread the shaky path that is Windows Vista for the first time. While I wait on delivery a bit of preparation has been in order including:

The platform will principally be used just for testing so I will also be after Virtual PC and the Windows XP disc image to allow standalone versions of the legacy exploders. Will blog on this in due course…

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 at 10:27:50.

Who Wants Vista Anyway?

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A few stats from some of my more popular managed websites show Vista take-up is very slow! These tables are based on averages taken from several sites totalling around 1000 visitors a day. The results being a percentage of all operating systems.

September 2007
Windows Vista4.1%
Windows XP76.3%
Windows 20004.0%
Windows 985.2%
August 2007
Windows Vista3.0%
Windows XP81.3%
Windows 20003.4%
Windows 981.0%
July 2007
Windows Vista3.4%
Windows XP80.5%
Windows 20004.0%
Windows 980.7%
June 2007
Windows Vista3.4%
Windows XP79%
Windows 20003.9%
Windows 981.2%
May 2007
Windows Vista2.4%
Windows XP80.9%
Windows 20005.1%
Windows 980.9%
April 2007
Windows Vista2.9%
Windows XP80.8%
Windows 20002.5%
Windows 980.3%

Discrepencies aside, that is not exactly what I would call sales growth over a six month period! Leopard is coming so if you are looking to upgrade, listen to the hype, and make the switch!

Posted on Oct 02, 2007 at 15:26:45.

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