VirtualBox 4.0.10

Today’s maintenance release of Oracle VirtualBox (4.0.10) spreads the GNOME 3 love a little further — following the fixes in 4.0.8 for GNOME 3 guests on Linux hosts, GNOME 3 now finally works glitch-free on OS X hosts in 4.0.10.

Small and fuzzy video evidence (.ogv file)

Guess this means I have fewer excuses than ever before for not knuckling down on the GNOME 3 HIG 🙂

VirtualBox 2.0

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0.0 was released today, and is available for download from New features include 64-bit guest support, host interface networking on Solaris and OS X hosts, support for nested paging on modern AMD CPUs, and a native front end for the OS X client (and a move to Qt 4 for the others).

More detailed changelog here.

Four OSes, One Mac Redux

Seems the Theora version really didn’t want to play outside of Quicktime. Courtesy of ffmpeg, here’s a DivX version that works in VLC on Gutsy out of the box, at least (just checked it)… poorer quality and the aspect ratio’s gone a bit squiffy, but what the heck. I don’t really function properly before 10am, and it’s really not that exciting anyway 🙂

EDIT: Thanks to Arek for pointing out the blindingly obvious, here’s a proper Linux and Solaris-friendly OGG version. Yay 🙂

Four gigabytes, four OSes, one Mac

Upgraded my MacBook Pro to 4Gb yesterday, and was eager to play around and see how much it would help. What better way than to fire up all my virtual machines at once and see how it performed? Here’s the video… sorry it’s a nasty .mov file, but in my defence, it really is encoded as a Theora movie (a plugin for which you may need to install from here, if you’re viewing on OSX or Windows).

I haven’t tried to see if I can trick it into playing in Totem et al. yet on Solaris / Linux– let me know if you have any joy. For the record, the OSes are OS X 10.4.11, Solaris Nevada b77, Ubuntu Gutsy, and Win XP, all running in VMware Fusion 1.1.

VMware 1, Parallels 0

I’d been using Parallels 3.0 for the past few weeks to run SXDE 2 on my MacBook Pro, but started having problems when I upgraded to Solaris Nevada build 69– the X server wouldn’t start any more, and I just couldn’t get it going at all.I took the opportunity to try out the VMware Fusion Beta instead, and so far it’s the clear winner.

It does feel a trifle slower than Parallels (even with debugging turned off), and its snapshots aren’t as flexible, only allowing one per VM. But its VM tools for Solaris are way ahead of Parallels’ non-existent offering– clock sync, on-the-fly desktop resize, copy/paste/drag+drop from Solaris <-> OS X… nice. (Haven’t figured out if shared folders are supposed to work on Solaris yet or not– the settings are available which suggest they should, but the folders I’ve nominated don’t show up anywhere obvious, so I’m guessing they don’t.)

Assuming it’s just as happy at full screen on my Sun 24″ display when I get into the office, I’ll be sticking in the VMware camp for now.

Edit: Oh, and did I mention that Solaris sound and networking work out-of-the-box on VMware too…?

PowerBook woes

My 15″ Powerbook G4 died in various interesting ways yesterday.

It’s been making a scary buzzing noise for months, but yesterday the hard drive gave up the ghost. While doing some diagnostics in its death throes, I also noticed that I seem to be suffering from the logic board failure that causes half your memory to go AWOL. Not sure which of those was responsible for the buzzing noise (if either)– will find out when I replace the disk in the next day or two, I guess.

Of course, Apple being Apple, they’ll only admit that the logic board was faulty on a certain range of PB G4s, with serial numbers from W8503xxxxxx to W8518xxxxxx… and three guesses whose is a W8502. So no free repair for me.

I guess that leaves me three possibilities (four if you count “do nothing and hope it doesn’t get any worse”)… sell my 2x512Mb memory sticks and replace them with a 1xGb stick in the ‘good’ slot (and hope none of the more serious symptoms of the failure appear); purchase AppleCare now for €450, even though I’ll only get a year out of it now rather than three, and have it repaired under that; or pay the somewhat ludicrous €690+ that my local Apple authorised repair shop quoted me. Hrmm.

Edit: D’oh, just realised you can only buy AppleCare within a year of purchase, of course. Just have to cross my fingers for a while then, I think 🙂

NDAS on Linux

Anyone know how to use Ximeta’s ndasadmin tool to access existing, non-FAT32 partitions on an NDAS disk from a Linux box? I have my NDAS drive partitioned into three (one ext3, one HFS+ and one FAT32). I can access all three partitions over the net from OSX, and from Ubuntu via a direct USB connection.

The instructions on Ximeta’s website, and this post on the Gentoo forums, suggest it’s perfectly possible to see non-FAT32 partitions if you partition and format the drive from the Linux box. I’d rather not reformat my drive, but right now all I can see over the net is the FAT32 partition. Any clues?