Tuesday, December 30, 2008
VirtualBox and Seamless Integration and Other Stuff
Right now I'm going to take a moment to applaud Sun. Their program VirtualBox is extremely cool in a nerdy-me way. With it, I was able to get my mother's printer working without having to jump through partitioning hoops. The only downside is that the machine itself can be sluggish when running apps in both the virtual machine and the Linux machine itself. Basically one shouldn't get their hopes up for running Firefox in the original Linux machine while the virtual machine is running.

Admittedly, I had to do a little song-and-dance to get the finalized setup. First I had to get the printer working. I had to follow the steps found in this post to get the usb device to actually work within the virtual machine. Basically this remounts the usb filesystem with specific permissions so that VirtualBox can access it. The details are a little foggy to me, but those are the basics. Then, as usual, the wiki came in handy with sharing a folder between the two machines.

I've also make a new PKGBUILD for webcamstudio. This nifty little program will create a fake webcam and allow you to use images, video, or even you desktop as the feed. This comes in handy if you wish to show your desktop over skype or some other webcam sharing software or website.

Before I messed with the PKGBUILD for webcamstudio, I made one for vloopback, but it had already been created. Always be sure to check that something hasn't already been done before you dump too much time into doing it. However, I must admit I learned quite a bit, in particular about depmod. Interested reading material.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Mid Finals Frenzy Update
I'm in the middle of finals right now. It almost makes me feel guilty to update this while I SHOULD be studying, but... well, I just can't be bothered to study more than I already am.

I decided to just give my mother's computer fbpanel instead of the stalonetray + gtim combination I usually roll with. I might switch her off to lxpanel, though, since fbpanel seems a bit behind in its update status. For what it's worth, though, fbpanel does the trick. Since my mother and sister aren't quite as computer literate as myself, I figure they'd appreciate having an all-in-one tasktray, clock, tasklist, and app menu. The decision came about after trying to find a task list that would dock nicely in the openbox dock for WAY too long. In the end, it was a good decision, I believe. It brought life back to their old computer which had slowed to a crawl under an XP install. That wasn't meant to be a knock on XP... on a more powerful system, XP would have been acceptable. However, that baby's only cooking with 192 MB of RAM, so it is extremely sluggish.

Hmm... Christmas is coming... I think I know what to get for my mother now. Well, not JUST that, but you get the idea. Now I just need to find a sneaky way to find out what type of RAM to buy.

I need to work on a few of my packages in the AUR. I messed 'em up pretty nicely with my last edit and, being the responsible guy I am, never tested them out or fixed them. That'll be a nice little Christmas break project.