Anyone Else Having Problems Installing Windows 7 on a Virtual Machine?

17 01 2009

I was able to get Microsoft’s upcoming baby, the beta for Windows 7 (build 7000) installed and running smoothly on a 3GHz P4 Dell Inspiron notebook running on 1GB RAM with no problems. Well I guess the only issue I faced was that it won’t let me create another partition so I could get Ubuntu 8.10 installed on a EXT3 disk format. But that aside, worked great.

Then I took the task of porting Windows 7 on my Apple Macbook via virtual machine meaning it would run within Mac OS X. Found a free tool Virtual Box (instead of the $80 Parallels or similarly priced industry leading VM Ware) to create a fake partition on my drive and emulate a system akin to a new hard drive so that Windows could be installed and executed on it.

The installation process was fairly quick and painless. Oh and I had it set it to Windows Server 2008 as there obviously didn’t have Windows 7 on the list and since Server 2008 was the latest one, it was my choice. By default, most new installs of operating systems default to a 4:3 screen ratio depending on your video/graphics card. Mine was on 1024×768 but when I went to switch it to 1280×800, that option wasn’t made available. Infact, there was nothing else other than the tiny 1024×768. My video card was listed as a generic VGA card and the mouse movements weren’t smooth.

I then tried to get onto the internet but my wireless card wasn’t recognized which was fine by me because I have an Ethernet cable (CAT5) to link up to my router and the VBox software was telling me that my LAN (local area network – cable) card was recognized. Too bad. It’s not working now for some reason on VBox. That meant I also couldn’t download and install the “Guest Additions” for Windows 7.

So now I’m stuck with 2 options:

1. Try and find a way to download the “Guest Additions” manually from the Mac OS X interface and then conjure up magic to install it.

2. Remove Windows 7 and reinstall it under the guise of Windows Vista since 7 is essentially built up on the much loathed Vista platform.

You could say I didn’t get the best first hand experience of a virtual machine on the Mac OS X platform but that’s just part of life.

 

When I load up Windows 7 beta on VirtualBox by default, it is set to “Windowed” mode (below).

 

I can scroll up or down but it gets annoying (below).

 

Or I could go into “Full Screen” mode but that’s annoying too with the black bars surrounding the main Windows 7 gui (pronounced: gooey … stands for “graphical user interface”) interface.

… any suggestions?





Pro-Tibet Facebook Group Hacked!!!

8 01 2009

A NY/DC based Pro-Tibet organization, “Students for a Free Tibet” had their Facebook group hacked as of last summer. I was originally informed of this by colleagues from NY back in August but the details were vague. Supposedly, it used to be an open group meaning anyone could join but now you have to get pre-approved. Got some screenshots of the group pages from a few of my contacts to give you an idea of what’s happening there.

Talk about a complete roundabout. Funny that just like Tibet, this group has been blocked from outsiders and set under “martial law” or whatever that means. At least they’re not shooting the members who leave the group … or I hope so.

I also found an interesting pattern against Tibet advocates. An article from March 2008 stated that there many email addresses belonging to those supportive of the Tibetan cause had been targeted numerous times with keyloggers (software designed to record keyboard strokes and transmit to the hacker) and trojans from fake email addresses and through deceiving pro-Tibet textual content.

Another article traced the emails and came with unsurprising results (hint: IP source was pinpointed to Beijing). The article also states that similar treatment has been dished out to Uygurs and Falun Gong members. Gee. I wonder what kind of person would do such a thing.

Along with the malware trojan distribution to Tibet sympathizers, even websites are being defaced. An expert chimed in – “The resurging trend of individual cyber-attacks, or at least based on the accusations from Western governments, is largely carried out by a new group or new generation of youngsters, who view the CPC government as too weak and too soft toward foreign pressure or insults, and take justice in their own hands.

On a different note, a pro-Israel group decided to take matters into their own hands after Facebook failed to take action against a hate group listed on the popular social networking site. “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country” remained on Facebook despite thousands of complaints from all around the world. The Jewish Internet Defense Force had no choice but to hack the group and take it down.

Unlike the JIDF case, the “Students for a Free Tibet” peace group was hacked by people supporting oppression and violence. There are rumors that one of the members is a white supremacist and found an ally in China’s tyranny against the peaceful Tibetans.

The names of the hackers of the “Students for a Free Tibet” Facebook group shown on the image to the left. Motives unknown. Religious fanatics? Muslims? Christians? Right-wing neo-Nazis? Al-Qaida? Chinese spies?

I’ve received notes that at least one person in the admin group is a non-entity user essentially a fake user controlled by someone else. His profile has since been set to “private.”

Regardless of whoever they be, here’s to hoping these clowns come to their senses and stop supporting a Communist/Totalitarian regime. Otherwise, they should just pack up their bags and move to friendly Beijing.

A message to Facebook administrators and users:

When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy.

When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak.





LCD Monitors? NewEgg > BestBuy

28 11 2008

Went to the local BestBuy store by Rosedale Mall to grab a few items including an Acer 19″ LCD – X191 but by the time we got there at 6am, it was long gone. It was long gone after the 5th nerd joined the line at 6pm the previous day. But as luck would have it, there was an Acer 19″ LCD for $169 and one next to it for $179. The only problem was, the monitor-in-box was located between the two price tags.

Took the monitor to a BBuy clerk to run a price check and after he matched the model and SKU #, he advised that we were looking at the more expensive $179 model (Acer X193Wb) which retailed at $239. Fair enough. Along the way to the cashier, I picked up the latest Guns N’ Roses album – Chinese Democracy – on sale a few bucks less ($11.99), only found at BestBuys nationwide, and after 15 years of waiting. All was fine until the cashier lady punched in the items.

I immediately noticed the amount on the POS (Point of Sale) machine screen for the X193Wb was displaying $239. TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY BUCKS??? I had the cashier run a price check through an extremely rude sales associate. It seemed like she took forever to return and when she did, she was virtually yelling at me saying that I had the wrong LCD model and the one going for $179 was out of stock.

How could this be? I remember matching the SKU and model # with the BBuy clerk previously on the computer screen personally at the store location to make sure we had the right model and now I was being rudely told to dole out the full retail value for a product on sale? I had had it with that retarded sales associate. Told her I wasn’t going to get ripped off by BestBuy and promptly purchased my CD and left. Point to note is that the cashier lady was very kind and caring in stark contrast.

Went for a coffee break at a Brueggers and checked the prices on my phone. The X193Wb was shown at $179 on numerous Black Friday websites for Best Buy. Then saw that NewEgg had the same monitor for … $99 with the deal expiring on Sunday the 30th. I’ve bought a lot of stuff from them in the past and they’re quick to ship.

We all know what happens next. So if you’re in for a decent LCD monitor for your computer, grab one at NewEgg soon. They’re ending on November 30 but on limited stock.





Peter Griffin’s Favorite Band Gave The World “The Bird”

23 11 2008

After seeing the Family Guy episode (Season 7 – Episode 2) featuring The Trashmen’s one verse hit “Surfin’ Bird,” I got news from a close friend that the band was actually in town playing on Saturday evening at a dive (The Turf Club) on University and Snelling in St Paul, Minnesota. For those of you who’ve heard of the Surfin Bird song (and who hasn’t?), you might be surprised to find out that the group is actually based here in Minnesota. They were also the original kings of surf music. Before the Beachboys. Before the Beatles. Probably even before you.

15 bucks and a few cover bands and beers later, Tony Andreason (lead guitar), Dan Winslow (guitar), Bob Reed (bass), and Mark Andreason (drums) were rocking it out at a packed house a quarter after midnight. Time meant nothing to these “geriatric rockers” as they let loose a barrage of 50s-60s surf rock to a frantic wild crowd, of which half appeared to be well over 40 years young. Songs such as Surfin Bird, King of the Surf, Gloria, I Fought the Law, and It’s So Easy were instantly recognizable which brings me to the big question as to why in all these years of my existence did I not know who sang them until recently. Maybe it’s because The Trashmen don’t have a website?

Mini-mosh pits formed and disappeared in seconds possibly due to the age of some of the patrons. My only disappointment with the event was that there were no body surfers present. Disappointment with myself – not buying memorabilia (cd/tshirts) because the line was too long.

Some classic covers were splayed out much to the happiness of the retro-loving crowd. At the very end after we heard the gurgling sounds of a wet surfin’ bird bailing out into the waters, masked members of the Neanderthals jumped on stage with their drums and clubs (along with the Trashmen) pumping the crowd to a exhilarating finale with more tunes from that era. Best of all, I got a chance to shake Mark Andreason’s hands after the gig. One cool cat.

And so in case you still don’t know THE BIRD, you might want to check out a clip from the Surfin Bird episode of Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy show below.

PS: They’re playing in GreenBay (Wisconsin – booooo) Sunday tomorrow which would be technically today since it’s almost 5am right now and I need to catch some sleep. G’nite!





A big FU to tailgaters!

6 11 2008

You know how when you’re minding your own business and driving about town, there’s always the one idiot cruising around with reckless abandon? They drive with inches separating them from the car in front and then they scamper off somewhere – usually to smoke with buddies over at by shady run-down apartments or going out to fancy dinners at McDonald’s. Earlier this evening, an asswipe was tucked in behind my car for roughly 10 minutes on the highway with one headlight on high-beam blinding me in one eye and his bumper close enough to compete with Kyle Busch in NASCAR.

So when I got the chance, I pull over to the right lane to let the ass-rider room to go. He zooms off only to get stuck in traffic ahead later. Lucky for me, I found plenty of room on the far left lane and passed him. Some red-neck (possibly hippie) looking dude with long hair glaring at me as I left him behind.

Thought it was over. Not quite for the dude cuz apparently, he was in a battle zone and had to come on top. He raced by at the opportunity hurling obscenities as he blew past a slowing traffic. At times like this, I get distressing thoughts of pointing objects known as guns at said persons.

So in ode to the phantom tailpipe sniffer from tonight, I declare a massive “F-U” to all the habitual tailgaters in this community.





Have you been Rick Rolled?

1 11 2008

I’d forgotten all about Rick Astley and his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” until they started playing that song after ever other track at “First Ave” club in Minneapolis last night for the Halloween party special.

Thought it was strange that his song was getting inserted between the different techno tracks like a pitbull among hockey moms. Some of the people I was with had no clue as to who the singer was and then Rick Astley himself sprang up on the stage bopping around with a youthful demeanor akin to his music videos. The crowd went wild. All of a sudden, fond memories of “rickrolling” flooded back to me.

Alright enough of that sentimental crap. Here‘s the link if you want to know about rickroll and have a Happy Halloween Weekend!!! Also, remember to pass on your knowledge about rickrolling to your uninformed peers and after they’ve seen the stuff, annouce to them – “You just got rickrolled!”

UPDATE: I just found a Rick Astley video on this cool website. It’s SFW (Safe For Work) unless there’s something badly wrong with you.





1 month and lovin the MacBook until now…

15 10 2008

As anticipated, on October 14th, Apple renewed their tri-pronged attack in the notebook market – a more powerful MacBook Air, a completely redesigned MacBook (the bread and butter of Apple computers), and the gigantor sized multimedia heavy MacBook Pro. By the way, did you know that new Apple products are always announced on Tuesdays? Did they pick the 2nd day of the work week simply because they got too lazy to prepare over the weekend and instead laid to waste a perfectly good “Moon-Day” for prep work? Either ways, one thing is for certain, the new MacBook kicks ass. Or do they?

Physically there are differences but the dimensions are very similar to my MacBook. 1.08 x 12.78 x 8.92 inches as opposed to the new sizes – 0.95 x 12.78 x 8.94 inches. Even the keyboard is identical aside from black color (and backlit feature for the $1,599 model). 4 main physical differences between the new MacBook and mine are:

  1. Firewire Port: It’s GONE! Mac fanboys are screaming “BLASPHEMY!” after Apple’s beloved IEEE 1394 port is now MIA from the MB line. But fear not MacNerds (or aspiring MacNerds) because the now elusive 1394 port exists on the more expensive MBP (MacBook Pro) if you can’t live without it. If you have truely set yourself in a loving monogamous relationship with Apple wares, you’ll find he money to upgrade to the MBP.
  2. Screen: Black bezel around the screen with gloss glass finish to the entire lid. I hate gloss finish on screens but it appears to be implemented well on the new ‘Books.
  3. Keyboard: It’s the same only black in color and if you want the keyboard lighting feature, it’s available on the $1,599 model.
  4. Material: The neat aluminum look to fit in with the rest of Apple’s computer line. I have to say however that this makes the entire Apple product line seem very … boring in a weird way. Previously the black and white MacBook models injected some life into their notebooks.

Additionally, you could add that the battery life bar is on the left-side of the notebook instead of the bottom but that’s nitpicking.

So in essence, the new MacBook IS a “mini” MacBook Pro. It packs a powerful punch with a dedicated GPU from NVIDIA’s 9400M line (the graphics card uses shared DDR3 RAM unlike the DDR2 stuff on my “white” MacBook) and it looks just like the new MBP, only better portability. I like it but the price hike and the lack of customization can be a factor – you only have 2 choices:

  1. $1,299 for the Intel Core2Duo 2.0GHz and 160GB HDD
  2. $1,599 for the Intel Core2Duo 2.4GHz and 250GB HDD w/ backlit keyboard

On the plus side, the weight has been reduced by 1 pound and both options use more efficient LED lighting for the screens. Also, the touchpad/trackpad no longer has the button at the end and supports 4-finger multi-touch (which is customizable) like the MBA (MacBook Air) and the MBP. It is made of glass and should be flashy enough to cause some to upgrade.

Finally, here’s a picture of my (now previous generation) MacBook. In my opinion, it can hold it’s own and has a very cleancut image without appearing to do a “me-too” look like the rest of the Apple line.

… I also thought I should share a picture of the new iPod Touch (2nd generation) placed alongside my workhorse communications device, Nokia E61. The one to the left is a protector screen sticker thing pasted on top of the iPod in it’s plastic glass case. Boy have I jumped over to the dark side.

If you’re pissed off about not getting Firewire support for the MacBooks, look at the MacBook Pro line. The 15″ is currently on sale and the 17-18″ should be joining soon next month.

My verdict: Wait until the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s out (sometime early next year sayz the rumors), then purchase the MacBook without having to pay $$$ for the upgrade. This should also allow ample time for Apple to smooth out the kinks on the new system and hopefully lower prices or even better hardware.