Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

January, 2008

  • This is what I do every Friday morning...

    My dog, Elvis, hates this song madly and howls.  So I put on a headset and dance.  Yea, right.

  • The new MacBook AirCraft is announced

    MacBookAirCraft

    I'm grooving on the floppy drive.  Required for Windows XP Bootcamp.  Grin.

  • Windows Vista SP1 is coming and I'm digging it now

    vista_wallpaper One of the benefits of working for a software company is watching a product release develop then ship. Of course sometimes dogfooding software has pitfalls so some would debate the "benefit" statement.  It's pretty rare for our internal MSIT folks to mandate dogfooding a product before we release but it happens on occasion.  We're getting really close to RTM for Windows Vista SP1 so I dropped one of the RTM release candidates to my Lenovo Thinkpad T61p.  The experience has been very good so far.

    I really like service packs.  Lets face it, downloading lots of updates for an OS from an update service isn't fun, so having them all integrated into a service pack is nice.  When I did search for updates, nearly every device driver I needed for my T61p was sitting there waiting.  So I selected all of them and let the data flow.

    So far, the only issue I've seen is with the Verizon PC 5740 EVDO data card.  That card is no longer sold and supported so it's no wonder I didn't see any updated Curitel drivers for it.  It doesn't install as cleanly as it used to and I have seen some errors on insertion and shutdown.  If it continues to give me grief, I'll probably need to upgrade the card.

    Be sure to check out the "Noticeable Changes in Windows Vista SP1" document.  This document is based on Release Candidate 1 but it is a worthy read.  I'm always a skeptic about such things until I experience improvement first hand.  Well, I did last night.  File copies are much faster.

    The personal data I have on my laptop is about 23GB. It's a little over 11,000 files.  So when I move that much data around, you notice.  The moves last night went remarkably faster.  I still think we have some calculation improvements that are needed in the copy dialog box, but it's certainly better than it was.  In the document they list the following:

    Improves performance over Windows Vista’s current performance across the following scenarios:

    • 25% faster when copying files locally on the same disk on the same machine
    • 45% faster when copying files from a remote non-Windows Vista system to a SP1 system
    • 50% faster when copying files from a remote SP1 system to a local SP1 system

    The copy I observed seemed much faster.  I don't have documented timings (wish I did), but there was a welcome improvement in the performance.  I still think it there's room for improvement, but you are going to like this, a lot!

    I have not domain joined my machine.  I think I'm going to run rogue for a while and see how Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1 does in workgroup mode.  I'll probably have to join the domain in a couple of weeks because the VPN door may be shut if I don't.  MSIT is moving to the next phase of our Network Access Policy (NAP) deployment and I think their enforcement mode may cut me off unless I "comply" with the policies they've set.  We'll see...

    Just in case you are wondering, this was a clean install.  I've been dogfooding the SP1 builds as they flow off update.microsoft.com but this time I decided to clean install the whole OS.  Most of you will undoubtedly install from the update servers which ponders a question in my head... 

    Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is close to being done.  If you are considering deployment, be sure to check out all of the guides on Service Pack 1 at the technet.microsoft.com area for the release.  Lots of good information there. 

  • Free Xbox LIVE Arcade game - hurry deadline in 24 hours

    xbox360 hd-dvd An Open Letter from Marc Whitten about Xbox LIVE this Holiday

    Published January 3, 2008

    Dear Xbox LIVE Members:

    During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records.  This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service.

    As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox LIVE issues over the holiday break.  While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance.  I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.

    At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service.  And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge.  In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you.

    Thank you again for helping make Xbox LIVE everything that it is today!

    Sincerely,

    Marc Whitten
    General Manager, Xbox LIVE
    Gamertag: Notwen

    Updated January 18, 2008

    We’re pleased to announce that from 2:00 a.m. PST Wednesday, January 23, 2008 through 11:59 p.m. PST, Sunday, January 27, 2008 you can download the full version of the recent Xbox LIVE Arcade game, Undertow free of charge.

    Published @ http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/live/serviceissue.htm.

  • Here's a kewl hard drive dock

    hddrack Are you sick and tired of buying disk enclosures for every drive you have?  It gets expensive.  Well, here's a great idea for your 2.5" laptop SATA drives AND your mongo 3.5" SATA screamers.  It's a drop in and use "rack" for those drives.

    This docking station has ports on the back for USB 2.0 or eSATA connectivity.  If it works well, this would be a very nice desktop solution.

    See all of the close up pictures at http://www.geekstuff4u.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=&products_id=650 or click the pic to the left.

  • Is Windows Vista secure?

    winvista How would you answer the question and prove or disprove the answer?  Pretty tricky, eh?  Jeff Jones, who is a Director in our Trustworthy Computing group recently released "Windows Vista One Year Vulnerability Report" and it appears to have caused a bit of an uproar with a few people.  Jeff does of course track all sorts of security related statistics for our products and the products of our competitors.

    When I think about the question and my answer, I like what I'm seeing so far.  But I'm one of those people that worries too much about the future.  I think the appropriate answer is about four years away.  When Windows Vista has been in the market five years and we haven't seen any serious outbreak of a security issue that hosed millions of people, then and only then should we pop the cork and have a party.

    Here's an excerpt from Jeff's report in the Final Observations section at the end:

    "I examined vulnerabilities found and disclosed by researchers during the first year that products were released. This is one measurement that can be examined to see how effective the respective vendor development processes are at discovering and fixing security vulnerabilities before product release. My analysis found that researchers found and disclosed significantly fewer vulnerabilities in Windows Vista than either it predecessor product, Windows XP, or other operating systems such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, and Apple Mac OS X 10.4."

    If you look at his numbers, it's pretty obvious that fewer vulns were reported.  That's what scares me.  As people point out, the lower number could be attributed to how you categorize an application or vulnerability.  That isn't what worries me.

    What worries me is the sheer impact even one nasty vulnerability can have on the planet.  For that reason, you aren't going to see me bragging how great we are just yet.  Lets get a few more years under our belt and see if Windows Vista is as bullet proof as we all hope.

    In the meantime, I like the fact Jeff and the other security experts of the world are keeping a close eye on the numbers.  It certainly generates a lively discussion.

    See what Kai has to say about it @ http://blogs.technet.com/kaiaxford/archive/2008/01/23/why-windows-vista-is-better-than-your-o-s.aspx.

    See what Jesper has to say about it @ http://msinfluentials.com/blogs/jesper/archive/2008/01/24/do-vista-users-need-fewer-patches-than-xp-users.aspx.

  • Register NOW for Windows Server 2008 launch events !!!

    RegisterNOW

    If you have not registered for the Windows Server 2008 launch events in the US, what are you waiting for?  REGISTER NOW at http://www.microsoft.com/heroeshappenhere/register/default.mspx.  Let's not forget we'll also be launching SLQ Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.  If that doesn't give you a killer platform to build solutions on, I don't know what will.

  • New Windows Vista virtualization use terms announced

    For those of you that have been wanting to run versions of Windows Vista in a virtual machine, you are probably aware that up until today, the versions you could run in a licensed fashion were limited.  Well, we have expanded this to include other versions. 

    Here's an except from the usage terms supplement:

    MICROSOFT SOFTWARE SUPPLEMENTAL LICENSE TERMS
    WINDOWS VISTA HOME BASIC, HOME PREMIUM, BUSINESS, ULTIMATE, AND THEIR
    SERVICE PACK 1 VERSIONS

    If you are licensed to use Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate, or
    Service Pack 1 of any of these Windows Vista editions (the “software”), you have the following license
    right. If there is a conflict with any past or future license terms for the software, this supplemental
    license term applies.

    Use with Virtualization Technologies. Instead of using the software directly on the licensed device,
    you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on
    the licensed device. When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights
    management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as
    secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and
    international laws that apply to such protected content.

    See the press release about this and other interesting announcements at http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2008/jan08/01-21VirtualizationAdoptionPR.mspx.

    See the USETERMS at http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx.

  • Zune File Association Error fix

    I recently moved my OS, applications and data from one hard drive to another.  I use Ghost 12 with Windows Vista and it works great with one notable exception.  The exception reared it's ugly head when I went to install the Zune version 2 software and re-establish my account on my home computer.  Here's the error I received just after setup completes and I'm walking through the first time use:

    clip_image002

    It's a pretty annoying bug, but after investigation it was apparent the Zune software was not at fault.  Sorry about the pink Hello Kitty background.  It's the Zune default and I haven't yet had a chance to change it to a more manly gray.  I miss the Zune v1 color scheme. 

    Anyway, the problem displayed above is because the permissions on part of my Windows Vista registry didn't come across correctly on the Ghost 12 restore.  In fact none of the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT permissions came across so I'm surprised other issues didn't crop up.  Here's what my permissions should have looked like:

    image  

    After I added the ACL's as indicated above, the Zune software worked properly.  Nice.  So be careful to check out the ACL's on the registry after doing restores.  I don't know if this condition is present on x86 backups and restores of Windows Vista and Ghost 12.  One more thing to remember...  Grrrrrr.

  • Fixing Quicktime Error 46: Could not load or find the QuickTime ActiveX control

    I've been fixing some stuff on my home Dell XPS 420 and in the investigation to fix a Zune issue, I ran into a Quicktime issue.  I'll get to the Zune issue in a moment although interestingly enough the fix was strikingly similar.  First the problem.  Apparently the latest version of QuickTime doesn't properly set the ACL's in the registry.  QuickTime installs but you receive the dreaded "Error 46: Could not load or find the QuickTime ActiveX control" if you try to run the player.

    If you search the grid for this error message, you'll find you aren't alone.  The solution is to properly set the permissions on certain registry keys.  It is unclear to me why they aren't doing this in the installer package.  By the way, my install was the standalone QuickTime 7.4 installer.  I later registered my copy with my Pro key.

    So how do I fix the registry?

    You can do it manually or you could use an old Windows Resource Kit tool to help.  In fact, the research is already complete and you can simply follow the instructions at the bottom of http://research.gerger.com/?view=lab&aID=1006.  Those instructions tell you to download the ACL tool from microsoft.com, then run a .CMD file from the tools installed directory.  Simple stuff.  Here are the contents of the .CMD file:

    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTfile/grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime.5 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl.1 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage.1 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject.1 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix1 /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=administrators=f

    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTfile/grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime.5 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl.1 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage.1 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject.1 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix1 /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=users=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=users=f

    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTfile/grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickTime.QuickTime.5 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControl.1 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOControl.QTControlPropPage.1 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.CFObject.1 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTMatrix1 /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QTOLibrary.QTUtils.1 /grant=system=f

  • Windows Server 2008 Compare Series kicks off next week

    WS08_v_rgbWhen you get a moment, checkout the webcasts I'll be doing starting next Wednesday.  This is all part of the Windows Server Compare series of screencasts and webcasts coming out.

    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 1 of 6): Reliability in Windows and Linux (Level 200) Wednesday,  January 23, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 2 of 6): Supporting Linux Users in a Windows Environment (Level 200) Friday, January 25, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 3 of 6): High-Performance Computing with Windows (Level 200) Friday, February 01, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 4 of 6): Windows for Your Web Workloads (Level 200) Wednesday, February 06, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 5 of 6): IIS 7.0 vs. Apache (Level 200) Thursday, February 07, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
    • TechNet Webcast: Windows Compare (Part 6 of 6): Open Source on Windows (Level 200) Friday, February 8, 2008 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time

    So head on over the the compare area and click the individual links for registration.  All of the sessions above are listed at level 200 which means they aren't totally fluffy marketing stuff, but they aren't super deep either.  I do however plan to use them as a springboard for some deeper topics later that will be level 300.

  • I'm almost ready to come up for Air...

    mbaYou may have been wondering where I've been the past few days.  Did I jump off a cliff because the Dallas Cowboys ended their season?  Nope, of course not.

    Was I at Macworld 2008 rubbing shoulders with the Apple fans? Nope.  But I came darn close to going.  In the end I decided to be a good corporate citizen and save the travel cost.

    So what gives with the blog, dude?

    Uh, vacation gives.  I'm not on vacation but I've taken nearly five weeks off since Thanksgiving and it's been hell on wheels since the new year trying to catch up.  You have to use vacation hours here or you lose them.

    I'm preparing for a small roadshow, six webcasts, and creating some custom content as well.  Combine that with new hardware, a new server OS and all the stuff that goes with the above.

    Anyway, I have some witty post comings on all sorts of subjects.  I'll make some time very soon.  I came up for Air earlier today to watch the action at MacWorld.  Apple didn't disappoint and announced some kewl stuff.  For instance, take a look the new Apple MackBook Air pictured above.  Click the pic for details.  Apple also announced movie rentals as expected for iTunes.  That is going to change things in the portable media player world.  Now they need a media player with more storage.

    Regarding the MacBook Air, it will be interesting to hear if Apple has finally produced a laptop that you can actually use on your lap.  That thing looks great but lets hope it runs quiet and cool to the touch.

  • And you thought I was kidding about a 100Mbs fibre connection to my house

    NEW YORK - Verizon technicians are upgrading FiOS with next-generation electronics to dramatically enhance the speeds, and thus the capabilities, of Verizon's all-fiber-optic FiOS broadband, video and voice network.

    Known as gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment, the new electronics can increase the line-rate bandwidth on the Verizon fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network by four times downstream to the customer and eight times upstream back to the network. This provides the capability for future enhancements to Verizon's industry-leading FiOS Internet and FiOS TV products as new applications are developed and as customers demand more bandwidth.

    Mark Wegleitner, Verizon Telecom's senior vice president-technology, said Verizon has already started to deploy G-PON broadly across the company's FiOS system.  The new equipment is being used in communities where Verizon is building FTTP for the first time. "Already, our all-fiber network is proving that it can deliver faster Internet speeds," Wegleitner said.  "G-PON electronics position us for the next level of even faster Internet speeds and even more interactive FiOS TV with new features.

    "The G-PON deployment also illustrates the future-proof aspects of FiOS: We can use the same fiber network we use today but enhance the speed and capacity with new electronics in our central offices and at the customer premises."

    The states where Verizon began initial deployment of G-PON are:  California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas.

    See the rest of the article at http://newscenter.verizon.com/press-releases/verizon/2008/verizon-extends-industry-lead-1.html.

    See an article with pretty pictures at http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Verizon-FIOS-GPON-in-Nine-States-90824.

    See http://policyblog.verizon.com/policyblog/blogs/policyblog/czblogger1/359/meet-rich-the-100mbs-man.aspx for an article about a Verizon employee that already has a 100Mbs connection. 

    Verizon, are you hiring?

  • Dallas vs. New York - predictions?

    cowboys  VS   giants

     

    Ok ladies and gentlemen, we know who the next opponent is.  Dallas stands in the way of a Manning versus Manning Superbowl Sunday.  Are they up to the task as the spoilers?  I think so.

  • New life for the Sony PSP - 16GB Memory Stick Duo announced

    pink_psp

    Today Sony announced they'll have 16GB Memory Stick Duo cards available in March.  That means the Sony PSP becomes a more viable video playback device when the price of these sticks come down.  After all, the 4.3" screen on the PSP is still one of the best on the market.  And of course, if you dig pink here's the unit for you.  Kitty kitty.

  • "Email is for old people !!!"

    That's a direct quote from a couple of teens I know.  Let that sink in.  Are they going to get old, or is email as we know it going to disappear?  Thoughts?

  • What's next in the Red versus Blue saga ???

    hd-dvd I am not talking about the hit series based on Halo.  I am talking about Blu-ray (blue) versus HD-DVD (red).  As you may have noticed, this week Warner Bros. Entertainment issued a press release that they are, "in response to customer demand", going to release it's high definition titles exclusively on the Blu-ray disk format beginning later this year.

    See the press release at http://www2.warnerbros.com/web/corpcomm/press_release.jsp?id=BlurayDiscFormatRelease.

    So what does this mean?  What will happen next?  Well, I guess your guess is as good as mine but I would imagine CES will be very interesting this week.  Bill Gates will be delivering his keynote tomorrow at 6:30pm.  I wonder if he'll say anything about HD-DVD.  Probably not, but I'm sure a lot of eyes and ears will be looking for any hints of what is to come.

    So what are you going to do?

    Like some of you, I have a little stash of gift cards I received from Santa and relatives this Christmas.  I usually burn them on DVD's each year.  The real question now is what to spend them on.  I'm inclined to just purchase regular ole standard def DVD's and let my upscaling DVD player try to make them look good.  It does an ok job, but HD it isn't.

    I guess it's time for this little war to end but something tells me it isn't over just yet.  I wonder what would happen if Toshiba started selling a $149 HD-DVD player and HD-DVD titles for $19.  Would that even have an impact in the market?  Would it improve the market share enough to change the landscape?  Would Warner Brother change their mind if HD-DVD grabbed 60-70 percent market share?

    Or is content king?  I'm thinking content is king.

    [UPDATE for 1/6]  See http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/06/live-from-the-toshiba-ces-press-conference/ for the CES Toshiba press conference and slide decks.  I'm glad they had a great 4th quarter, but it remains to be seen what HD-DVD player sales will do now.  I was a little surprised from the article that they didn't take any questions. 

  • Anyone else lose a few VMs this week?

    Holidays are fun, mostly.  It's tinker time.  Nerds get to experiment and build new nerd contraptions.  Or is it geeks?  Anyway, like a lot of you, I had fun with a few nerd projects and still plan to come back to a few topics I explored over the holidays.  Holidays are cool because you get to do what you want to do, not what the boss wants you to do.  Right?

    Well, reality usually sets back in when Hawaii gets beat, or time runs out and you have to check your corporate email box after two weeks.  Scary, right?  Reality really set in today when I was prepping for a meeting with Matt Hester.  The main focus of the meeting is to review some content we'll be delivering on a roadshow.  It's a takeoff on the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads but we are using the concept as the theme for a series of live events.  The first event is in NYC and we'll be covering Search with the various platforms.

    After I got done with the primary content, I decided to fire up my Windows Vista virtual machine.  This VM I am referring to runs on my Mac via the VMWare Fusion virtualization product.  One small problem, the VM was pretty hosed after it started running.  Explorer.exe kept crashing.  I could not get Defender updates.  I could not get the VM to survive long enough to pull updates and update itself.  Bad news.  I tinkered with the VM for a while then started to wonder why...

    I decided to fire up some other VMs.  Sure enough, Kubuntu 7.10 was toast.  SLED v10 SP1 would attempt to run then kernal panic.  Bad news across all fronts.  I was happy to see that all of the VMs were behaving badly.  I would have been sad if it was just Windows Vista.

    So what happened?

    I'm guessing the fact I finally updated the "Leopard" OS on my Mac from 10.5 to 10.5.1 must have been the culprit.  I did that about a week ago.  I did not update VMWare Fusion.  After seeing the crap above, I downloaded and installed the Fusion update but it did no good.  The VMs were still toast.

    Change Management

    So let that be a lesson to you.  If you are going to rely on virtualization as an OS or application tool, don't assume the virt product properly sandboxes the VMs and prevents them from behaving badly.  Apple or VMWare messed this up for sure.  You've been warned.  Treat your virtualization software environment just like you do the hardware application platform.  If you introduce change, make sure you are managing change or it will manage you.

  • Finally, Good Advice from Robert Scoble

    Robert's good people but sometimes he irks me.  He does that on purpose of course.  Creating chaos helps drive the conversation and Robert is obviously great at that.  I'll read his blog briefly every week  or so to see who he's promoting or picking a fight with.  This week I noticed he posted some information on CES I thought was pretty good.  See http://scobleizer.com/2008/01/02/how-to-survive-ces-without-getting-off-the-couch/ for a quick read.  We're all going to get pounded with announcements in the the next week or so sit back, relax, crack the top on a cold one and enjoy the show at engadget.com.

    Oh, and if you didn't notice, HP has gone on the offensive and announced a number of kewl machines and products yesterday.  Not to be outdone, Dell dropped the price of the XPS 420 I've written about.  And just think, the Mac frenzy at MacWorld 2008 hasn't started yet.  Save those pennies... there's no telling what is going to happen the next two weeks.