Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My experience with VMware vCenter Converter

The situation is easy. I need to move from one country to another and I have a few computers full of information but also software installed. Some software is really old and important.
The question was: How to travel with all those computers? the overweight would cost more than the computers themselves so I had to find a solution.
I just tested VMware vCenetr Converter and it works perfectly!
It is a free software that converts your computer into a virtual machine. That means that all what you have in your computer including the operating system and your custom configurations are stored. After you have the virtual machine you can use it from any other computer that runs:

  • VMware Workstation, 
  • VMware GSX Server, 
  • VMware Player, 
  • VMware Server, 
  • VMware Fusion, 
  • VMware ESX (Managed by VMware VirtualCenter 2.x)
In my case my main system will be a Mac and it runs VMware Fusion. How I did it?
  1. I bought a 2TB USB external hard disk. The price was around 130EUR
  2. I downloaded vCenter Converter and installed it on each machine I needed to transform into virtual machines.
  3. I used the software to convert each machine and saved the virtual machines on that external hard disk. I have 6 virtual machines there.
  4. I upgraded my VMware Fusion on my Mac
  5. I could run each virtual machine without problems. Exact like the original.
A few comments you should think about:
  1. Microsoft Office asked me for activation again. That means that if you wish to keep your old computers working plus your virtual machines you will need licenses for Office and Windows. I'm sure that for any other software that requires licenses as well.
  2. The external disk was formatted for Mac. If not the virtual machines would not work well if they use a lot of space.
This thing is so powerful and is helping me to save so much money that I'm thinking to:

  1. Install some free OS to those real  machines (Ubuntu for example)
  2. Donate them to someone that could really use them for good.
  3. Buy a big secondary screen for my mac and buy more RAM for it in order to work comfortably with more than one virtual machine at the same time.
  4. Save a lot of energy by using only one system instead of six.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Magic Mouse or trackpad App for iPad and iPhone

Well, this one is an idea I would like to share right now with all of you. The intention is that if you can develop it please do... but must be for free to download.

Wouldn't be great to run the app from your iPhone and using Bluetooth to use its screen as the surface of the Magic Mouse or even better the Magic Trackpad?

In my case I always have my iPhone connected while I'm on the office. And I always have it beside my keyboard.

It should work like that:

  1. You load the app using your iPhone or iPad
  2. The app checks if bluetooth is enabled.
  3. When a connection is established the screen can behave as a trackpad.
  4. If possible the backlight of the screen should not be on.
Would be good to have it uh?

Creative Commons License
App development idea for using touch based screens as trackpads by http://tips4uall.blogspot.com/2010/07/magic-mouse-or-trackpad-app-for-ipad.html is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at tips4uall.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://tips4uall.blogspot.com/2010/07/magic-mouse-or-trackpad-app-for-ipad.html.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

iCal can’t refresh the account

There are many persons having problems with iCal when it is connected to Exchange.
I experienced the same issue and now I solved it. But first it is important for you to know my configuration:

  1. I use a Mac with OSX 10.6.4
  2. I use Exchange Server in a hosted service, that means that I connect to my exchange accounts using Internet.
When setting the email account with Mail I got automatically the address www.outlook.com for the Internal and External server. But after a while I discovered that changed to some other address something like pod243100.outlook.com and when that happened all sort of problems happened with Mail, iCal and Contacts.
I have noticed that when using OWA the URL address was different, I just needed to go to https://www.outlook.com, login and the URL was changed to  https://pod51000.outlook.com/... so I replaced the address on Mail:

It works perfect. But the issue with iCal wasn't solved. I edited the account preferences using the same address I used for the servers in Mail and now it works perfectly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Apple TV and the future

So far Apple TV is a great product that is under used.
Actually I use it each day for podcasts, buying TV shows and movies from iTunes. I have no cable TV and that is the reason why my family selects what to see.

But I saw an interesting step on the new Mac Mini. now it includes a HDMI port and that means that you could connect it to a TV set. That might be saying something about the future of the Apple TV. Compare its ports:

Mac Mini lacks the Optical audio, component and audio ports, but in my case I don't use them.
So here is my suggestion:
  1. Apple can create an application called Apple TV. So you could transform your Mac Mini into an Apple TV and switch back to a computer whenever you wish.
  2. Start the business of Apps for Apple TV, where you could use your iPhones, IPod Touch and even iPad as controls..
Why that makes sense?
  1. Having a wireless keyboard: would be great to check my FaceBook account, tweetdeck in a huge screen.
  2. Would be cool to have a multiscreen (iPod, iPhones, iPads) for gaming and a common view of the game on the TV. Just imagine some War game.
  3. Apple TV runs a version of Mac OSX, why not use that as a computer as well?
  4. The USB ports could help to add storage capacity.
  5. Selling Mac Mini as an entertainment or home based computer would be easier than selling Apple TV + Mac Mini.
What do you think? Maybe Steve Jobs will read this post ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My take on the iPad

I bought an iPad just a few days ago and I had the chance to play with it for more than a few hours. To be honest it wasn't easy to get an opinion at first.
It is obvious that the machine is well designed, looks great and is easy to use. There are 2 things that jump out as soon as you turn the iPad on:

  • Opening and closing applications is very fast.
  • The battery lasts more than 10 hours of intense use.
Some of the applications that come with the iPad are really great. The improved Calendar and Contacts are worth of envy. I hope the same Mac OSX will include them in the near future. Of course others as YouTube, video and Maps use very well the bigger screen, but there is nothing in that space that would make a huge difference.

In contrast with many others I see that iBooks is not necessarily a Kindle killer. Of course looks great and the colors are important for some kind of publications. But the great amount of good books in "black and white" makes my Kindle a very light and effective reader. I would rename it and change a bit the business model: iMagazine, for digital versions of the most important magazine subscriptions.

But something that is truly amazing to me is the way some newspapers are using the new iPad. Some good samples: The New York Times Editor's Choice, The Wall Street Journal and specially The Financial Times mobile edition. 

Even most of the iPhone apps can work with the iPad, I wouldn't advise to download them. Why? because you see low resolution images. yes you can zoom in but that is not the real iPad thing. Better to wait for the new apps to be available. At this point I miss: Skype, FaceBook, The Scoop, Monopoly.

Is the iPad a PC or maybe a huge iPod touch?
No. It is for sure other kind of device. I see it as a powerful PC or notebook companion; For example now I'm typing in front of my iMac typing this post, and my iPad is beside showing the Tweetdeck iPad app. That means that my iMac doesn't have to load that app.
That is very cool, because if I move from my desk I can take the iPad with me.

Is the iPad a replacement for a Netbook?
The short experience I have with Netbooks is that they are cool small machines that runs Windows or some kind of Linux OS. Very similar than the normal PCs but probably optimized for Internet usage.
The iPad is not the same paradigm than a traditional PC OS. It is much simpler, asks less from the user and works perfect on the Web.
I would never buy a Netbook instead of an iPad. In that case I would buy a Notebook.

Where is the revolution?
Well I thing that the revolution lies in the following:
  1. The OS is a complete new paradigm where there is no file manager, complex settings and technical knowledge required.
  2. The integration of the OS and the online stores is just a great thing: Apple managed to get millions of users, developers and content providers. Now everybody tries to have the same but the results are not as successful.
  3. The Apps. This is something that we know developers like to do. Even in the times of the Palm we were able to get inexpensive applications that more than complex where useful. The same thing happens here. The mix of a powerful machine as the iPad and the value offered by the previous too points is the key: the potential to have easy to use, useful and great looking applications for almost everything.
I do think it is a revolution, all the industry will have to adapt as they did with the iPhone. I don't think huge changes will happen fast.

One of the first things I got in mind: Use iPads on airplanes instead of the terrible screens onboard. Looks like the idea is not new and somewhere in AUstralia they are thinking to implement it.

Is the iPad a Nintendo killer?
I don't think so, they are just different and for different use. But I would love to have The Legend of Zelda for iPad :)

The bad:
  • Looks like not all USB ports are capable of charging the iPad battery.
  • The screen tends to be dirty
  • The Wifi version does not include full GPS capabilities.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The future of the Web announced

Watch live streaming video from f8conference at livestream.com

Monday, May 31, 2010

New SharePoint 2010 books

I would like to share with you a set of books I find interesting. You will see that no development books are in this list. Actually this list is a reminder for me... I want them all!

Not so techy...

One of the things I love to make is to work in my garden. I have been out of the town for a couple of weeks because of a SharePoint Conference in Peru. But my garden was guarded by a new automatic system in charge of providing my plants with water while I was away.
The problem is that some bugs, like slugs... took control of the new and predictable wet lands!
The book Trowel and Error helped me to find a solution to that. I made some traps for slugs with beer inside. Now the traps are full of drunk and slimy slugs.
I also removed plants and leaves that were to close to the surface letting air to dry the area.
The main victims where my lettuces.


Mac wireless keyboard and 2 macs

Ok, I made the mistake of pairing my keyboard with 2 Macs. One of them a MacBook.

Once the MacBook was close to the iMac the problem started, I was typing watching the iMac but the text appearing in the MacBook... dangerous because I could be deleting info on other computer!

The solution is to remove the device from one of the computers to avoid the automatic connection.

You need to go to the Mac Preferences, click on the BlueTooth icon and remove the wireless keyboard from one of the computers. If necessary you can pair it again later.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Error code -36 when using a USB flash memory or hard disk (Mac OSX Leopard)

I have been experiencing problems when copying files from an iMac with Leopard 10.6.2.

Each time I tried to move a folder from the local drive to the flash drive or an external hard drive I received the "Error code -36".
It is a bug.
And I found a blog post with the solution. Just click here. Or follow the instructions as explained on that Blog:
  1. Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and type the following command, making sure to include a space at the end:
  2. dot_clean

  3. Select the folder on your Mac that is giving you trouble and drag it right to the Terminal window. A green cursor with a + symbol should appear before you release the mouse.
  4. The path to that folder should have automatically appeared at the end of the Terminal command. For example, it might look like:

    dot_clean /Users/UserName/Desktop/Test_Folder

  5. Press Enter/Return to run the command. It will appear as if nothing happened, but try copying that folder to a MS-DOS volume now. Finder should magically allow it to be moved with no problem!
  6. Repeat the entire process as needed for other folders that won’t copy. "