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Archive for December, 2008

Nokia PC Suite 7

December 3, 2008 Leave a comment

In my ongoing effort to work with Vista as much as possible, I’ve been getting all my hardware to play nicely with Vista. Apart from my Canon EOS350D whic does not have a driver, everything else is running ok. I finally got around to getting the new Nokia PC Suite 7, so that I could get my N80 to work with Vista.

Installation was smooth and simple, and after a minor problem with my connectivity cable, everything was in synch. I was pleasantly suprised by the new interface in version 7, it looks and fits very well into the Vista way of doing things. It however also looks nice on Windows XP, so kudos to the developers for keeping everything the same across the platforms.

I don’t have much else to say about the product, since it just works, but it’s a nice upgrade and a nice step forward for the package. It runs smoothly and doesn’t appear to eat much system resources. Well worth the upgrade if you are running an older version of the Suite.

Gonzo’s Pool Lounge in Plumstead

December 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Last night I went out with a small group of friends for about 3 hours, just to get out and relax a little. We ended up at Gonzo’s in Plumstead. I had been there once before, about 2 weeks ago, after dinner with another group of friends.

I had seen and heard of the place many times before, and always pictured as some kind of hell hole, but to my pleasant suprise it was nice and roomy up in the place. Lots of pool tables to play at, along with couches and tv’s and so on. There is also an area that has karoke, with a live band playing last night. The price of the drinks are about average, but otherwise it is a nice place. It is a similar concept to the Stones line of pool lounges that are present in many cities in South Africa.

The only downside is that there are many people smoking, so unfortunately you tend to smell like smoke after a while, and it can irritate your throat. The stairs up to the entrance is also quite steep, with each step actually quite small and narrow. If you are intoxicated, you will need to be very careful, as that fall can seriously hurt you.

Otherwise, it’s a nice place, and I’ll probably end up going there again in the future sometime.

Using Virtual Machines

December 1, 2008 Leave a comment

In the IT industry, the next big thing causing a storm is virtualization. The ability to cut down on the number of servers is an enticing aspect for many big companies, as it not only cuts costs but also boosts the green image of that company. Instead of having 10 semi powerful servers, you can have 2 very powerful machines, that will do the work of the rest.

In the corporate world, it’s a great facility, but for home use it is also as intriguing, especially when you want to study operating systems and even some forms of networking. Normally you would need a mini test lab of computers, network cables and switches, but with the right software product, you can cut all that out, provided your host computer is fast enough.

There are many products on the market for home use, such as VMWare’s various offerings, Microsoft’s Virtual PC, and Sun’s Virtualbox. I’ve used Virtual PC and Virtualbox, with Virtualbox being my preference. The reason for this is because it officially supports a wider range of operating systems than Virtual PC does, as well as running on more platforms. There is also an open source version available, which satifies the needs of many people.

I was recently able to run 4 instances of Windows at once, while my host Windows Vista x64 ran in the background. The machines reacted quickly and snappy, with only the hard drive and the lack of system ram really holding it back. I have 4GB of ram, but I know that to really be able to experiment, I’ll need 8. I had 2 Windows 2003 servers running, with 2 client XP machines. In time I will be learning more about ISA server, Exchange server, and various other pieces of software I’ve picked up over the years.

If you have a powerful enough computer and are interested in learning, I highly recommend getting a copy of Vbox and learning how it works, and then have fun with virtual machines. It’s well worth it.

Check out www.virtualbox.org for more information.