Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Dream Come True?

This is almost too good to be true. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS in VirtualBox seamless mode, plus Fedora 9 via VNC, all within Vista SP1. All virtually configuration-free (literally!).

How is this possible? Several recent developments in the open source world collided to make this near-paradise a present-reality.
  1. VirtualBox released a new version (1.6) with "Seamless Mode" for Linux guests. This mode has been available for Windows guests, but only now has it become available in the other direction, a great boon for the ubiquitous Windows desktop in need of Linux support on the side. Perhaps Sun's recent acquisition of Innotek, makers of VirtualBox, propelled the feature? It may have already been on the cooker.
  2. Ubuntu released version 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) just last month. Although I could not get a Fedora 8 guest to run successfully in seamless mode, Ubuntu 8.04 worked without a hitch.
  3. Give up on Fedora? Not quite so fast. Fedora 9 made its debut today and installed on my trusty Dell laptop without complication. That's it, there's almost nothing buggy/techy to report.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Amateur Architecture

While searching for a way to launch Text Trix through Java Web Start, I stumbled upon another Web Start application: Sweet Home 3D. This application launched with a simple URL link and took me to an architectural planning grid, with drag-n-droppable walls and furniture items.

I'm no architect, but I can drag-n-drop, so I designed an amateur mock-up of a "living bedroom," a living room with a built-in bedroom. Sweet Home 3D comes with some catchy bird's eye and human's eye views, including a "virtual tour" option with adjustable body and head angles to take in the room's entire view.

If you take a closer look at the living bedroom, you'll notice one of its unique and advanced features: a bench and stool (on your right), suitable for a mini late-night laboratory in case you need to finish up a Western at home. I was hoping also to add an incubator, but could only find an oven.

Of course this all started with a search on Java Web Start for Text Trix deployment. Here's a snapshot of a first launch. It's nothing exceptional, but at least this time there's no exceptions (null pointers included!).