The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Archive for the 'Emulation and Virtualization' Category

More Fedora

Posted by Deliverator on 3rd August 2005

The updating of all packages went relatively smoothly, and Fedora is now running off a 2.6.12 series kernel. It had no trouble figuring out which packages needed updating and downloading them all, but timed out when trying to figure out package dependencies with such a large ammount of packages selected. All I needed to do to work around the problem was to select a smaller number of packages to install at a time. Thankfully, the update program (up2date) cached all the RPM install files, so I didn’t have to re-download them. This would have been annoying not just because of the size of the updates, but also because the update program warns about the updates not being GPG signed and requires you to click an “install anyways y/n” box after downloading each update before proceeding to download the next one.

I took some time and installed some packages from the Fedora Extras project via YUM, the new package management tool that is very remniscent of APT on Debian based systems. There are some noteable applications that seem to be missing from both the “Fedora Core” and “Fedora Extras” set of applications, most likely due to licensing issues, so I will have to figure out where I can get packages for those. I would prefer to use prebuilt binaries rather than compile from scratch, at least until I get a little more used to the file system structure.

Fedora is working fine in VMware as is, but the automated install of the VMware tools (which provide graphics accelerating, better cursor handling, etc.) into Fedora does’t seem to be working. I am using an older version of VMware, so an update to 5.0 might be in order. VMware Workstation 5 supports some very cool features, such as multiple point in time snapshots per VM, ability to “team” VMs together – specifying a group of vms to start up together in a certain order – allowing you to create whole network infrastructures, broader OS support for both host and client oses, and the list just goes on and on. I just wish it wasn’t soo expensive. I’ll have to look into upgrade pricing.

Posted in Emulation and Virtualization, General, Tech Stuff | No Comments »

not quite red hat

Posted by Deliverator on 2nd August 2005

I spent this evening playing around with Fedora in a VM. Fedora is a distribution that is closely related to Red Hat Linux, one of the most successful Linux distributions. Red Hat decided to concentrate their development and support efforts towards enterprise users and created Red Hat Enterprise Linux towards that end. Red Hat (the company) will only support RHEL. Fedora was originally spawned off Red Hat and most of the active development seems to go on in Fedora, with new releases every 6 months or so. A lot of these changes get rolled into RHEL eventually, but RHEL is designed to have a longer time between release (as Red Hat is now primarily a support company and needs time to create documentation, certification programs, etc.). Anyways, Fedora is the first Red Hat distribution that I have played with in many years. I think the last version of Red Hat that I seriously used was 5.2, so I am eager to see how Red Hat has changed in all these years.

If nothing else, it was a great deal easier to install, with all (virtual hardware) being properly detected during the install process. The last time I touched Red Hat, it took me the greater part of a week to enable proper suppport for my video and sound cards (X has always been a biotch). After about two hours of install process and almost no fuss, I am happily typing this from within Firefox, running on Fedora. I am going to play around with the update system (which still uses RPMs) and see how it handles an update of every installed package (including kernel). If something goes awry, since I am running it in a VM, I can just revert back to the last point in time snapshot , so I am feeling daring :)

Posted in Emulation and Virtualization, General | No Comments »

OS-X coolness

Posted by Deliverator on 22nd June 2005

Lots of interesting stuff going on with OS-X and emulation these days. Over the last few days, I have seen some full motion video (much more difficult to fake than a static screenshot) of OS-X running on generic Intel hardware. While there is no driver support for a lot of video cards, chipsets, etc., it is running and in the wild! In other news, Pear PC continues to mature in terms of compatibility and there are some efforts well underway that will provide major speed increases. In particular, host-provided graphical acceleration could be released for public testing as soon as this weekend. By offloading various video functions to the host, rather than doing them on the emulated processor architecture, you not only greatly accelerate the graphics subsystem, but you free up the processor to emulate other functions more quickly. The more things you can offload to the native host system the better! I figured out a similar trick that resulted in a good performance boost. Disable the pagefile in OS-X and then set the ammount of ram allocated to pearpc to an absurd ammount like 1.5 GB. This effectively places all the burden of memory management on the host operating system, rather than the emulated platform (which runs at effectively 1/10th the speed of host). By doing this, I experienced an appreciable increase in overall performance and application fluidity.

Posted in Emulation and Virtualization, General, Tech Stuff | No Comments »

It’s Alive!

Posted by Deliverator on 20th May 2005

I finally got OS X 10.4 (aka Tiger) working in Pear PC properly. I had it more or less working yesterday, but some dialogues were displaying as blank and the spotlight thing in the upper right hand corner was showing as a black bar. After trying a number of different things out, I finally hit on the solution. You have to edit the ppc config file to specify a G3 and not a G4 processor. It seems that altivec emulation isn’t quite ready for primetime. Anyways, Tiger now appears to be running without a fault and I have started installing 3rd pary apps and a few hacks (enabling right mouse button/scrollwheel support was top of my list.).

Tiger installed in Pear PC

Posted in Emulation and Virtualization, General, Mac, Tech Stuff | No Comments »

Insert Clever Title Here

Posted by Deliverator on 19th May 2005

Here are some things I have been up to:

  • Been fooling around with the latest builds of PearPC, in particular Prasys’s “Elite” Build. Pear PC has come a LONG way since its release to the public a year ago. Although PearPC is unlikely to get much faster at this point (It currently operates at about a tenth of host PC speed), the latest builds have introduced some neat features like G4 emulation (for application compatibility rather than speed), Sound Support, DVD support, support for 4 EIDE controllers instead of the highly limiting 2 that most build have supported. There are a few projects underway to make the user interface for PPC more friendly, including config builders and installshield type installations (that include a prebuilt disk image). One of the more interesting things coming down the pipe is the ability to suspend/resume an image, revert to a previous image and “differential” imaging. These should make Pear PC much more useful as an application testbed and will let me really cut my teeth on OS-X internals for the first time. In related news, I am taking the time to write this while setting Pear PC to installing Tiger. Thanks to information from a tutorial found here, I think I have an installation procedure that should work (and is much quicker and requires less space than the method used in the article). If you are interested in the details, feel free to email me.
  • Spent a good deal of time doing fundraising for the ROV project. We have yet to find anyone who is willing to donate cash to the project, but a number of local businesses have agreed to supply free parts, at cost parts and logistical support. In particular, I would like to acknowledge Novaray, Silent World, West Marine and Starfish Enterprise Diving for their contributions. We should have their logos up on the Titan Robotics site soon.
  • SIFF starts this weekend and I am just about having an Aneurysm in anticipation. Masochist that I am, I have been preparing for my 13 movie SIFF Schedule of Doom by watching movies that I missed at last year’s SIFF.
  • Went to SWN’s Hacknight which was considerably more technical than last weeks meeting. Matt Westervelt has a good summary at his blog. Hacknights are always a flurry of different conversations. Here are the things that I found most interesting
    • Rob’s Netgear box that runs roofnet isn’t flashy, but has amazing potential to be turned into just about anything. It has a mini-pci slot, making the default radio easy to replace. It has a USB 2.0 host controller, making it easy to hook up to external hard drives and other neat gadgets. It has a pin header for a console supplying serial port (although you do have to add your own ttl->rs232 conversion module. I think Rob should sell kits with directions for this and his and matt’s recent work with the Zippit
    • Rob worked on a script to create Blosxom blog entries starting with pictures emailed from a cameraphone. Should be interesting for those who are into moblogs.
    • Casey (working from afar, not actually at the meeting) has been playing around with video support for IMOB. I really wish Casey could make one of the meetings. I am itching to ask him questions about 1xRTT and EVDO . I might just hop a train to chat him up.

Posted in Emulation and Virtualization, General, Mac, Movies, Tech Stuff, Titan Robotics Club, Wireless | No Comments »