Virtual Box

This page has been live for a long time. Sun Microsystems bought Innotek the authors of Virtual Box, an opensource virtualisation product in 2008. It permits Windows/Linux/Solaris guests on the same operating system. I probably started this page slightly later, my first oracle blog on it was dated May 2008. It mainly describes any guest installation tricks.

The shred folder manager script needs to be uploaded to git, just in time to be replaced by launchd.
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Preparing the Garden for 2012

I need to keep this up to date, but some ideas from last weekend

  • Put some trellis/spires in for the sweet peas and beans
  • Weed the trumpet plants and the edges, some of the grass clover has invaded the bed
  • Cut back the Rosemary, Lavender, Curry Plants & Planters
  • Scatter the Lavender, Alium and Garlic Seeds
  • Get some more Garlic Bulbs and sow
  • Plan something behind the trees
  • Cut back the planters and gibbet plants, especially the new clematis

Snipsnap to WordPress

I plan to look at moving my snipsnap bliki to wordpress, i.e, here. This snip was originally placed on that site. I have transferred it for one reason because it contains xml tags which xslt has problems dealing with. This article consists of my notes made while designing a transfer mechanism.

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Provident Mutual Endowment Policies

I am doing some research on my endowment provider. I bought policies with the Provident Mutual in the 1980’s.

google search: norwich union buys provident mutual

This Yahoo Answers page documents demutualisation route for the Provident Mutual, it went to General Accident and then to Norwich Union.

Provident Mutual Life Assurance Association demutualised in January 1996, and was taken over immediately by General Accident Linked Life Assurance Ltd.

Following the merger with Commercial Union in October 1998, the company changed its name to CGU Linked Life Assurance Ltd; subsequently becoming Norwich Union Linked Life Assurance Ltd in October 2000 after the merger with Norwich Union.



OpenSUSE and Virtual Box

I have been experimenting with an OpenSUSE Linux VM running in Virtual Box.

This is new to me, and I actually had some problems in making an 11.4 image, and compiling the shared folders helper for 11.3.

I have found these links as part of my work.

I need to document the Guest Additions problem and the 11.4 install problem, which I document on the forums in this thread.

opensolaris, virtualbox, GNOME & RAM 20 Nov 2009

Having been inspired at the Open Solaris usergroup in London on Wednesday, I installed an Open Solaris Virtual Box VM on my works laptop. I came across the guest additions bug in VB 3.0.10 and so upgraded to VB3.0.12 and chose the defaults for the VM. This includes setting the RAM at 768 Mb. (I think it checks how much RAM the host has and makes a recommendation based on that, I am running Windows Business 32 bit and can ‘see’ 3.45 Gb of RAM. ) Anyhow, it seems if the VM has under 1024 Mb of RAM the window manager won’t start. Simple enough to solve. See this thread at

Building a W7 laptop


Building a new laptop is always a fraught exercise and in this case I am upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 Professional. I am also upgrading from a Dell Latitude to HP Probook 5320m.

So problem one, it comes with a load of chargeable addons and a bunch of HP “value added” software.

First things first… I need to remove McAfee anti-virus. It’s not our corporate standard. To do this I had to get the MacAfee removal tool from their site. Nice.

The HP disk encryption is tied to one user. This is not acceptable if the system is to be used by multiple users. So I have returned to Trucrypt.

Next Networking

I have five problem use cases

I need to use my laptop in multiple sites and hence multiple LANs/Internet connections. My main site is at work and I defined the WiFi connection as a “Work” LAN. I was able to ‘see’ our shared disk resource using the network browser, i.e. the network view of windows explorer. I took it to Deptford and connected it to the network there using WiFi and cable. When I returned to work, it had a ‘homegroup’ and could no longer ‘see’ the NAS device, nor some of the computers, nor a virtual machine running on a host that it could ‘see’. I rang Kaspersky, the firewall and antivirus vendor and reconfigured the zones such that all zones except the internet zone are now trusted. This involved deleting some of them and recreating them.

The laptop has no removable media, and I wanted to install some software from a CD. I attempted to share a DVD from my old Dell. I found a web page called, how to share a CD or DVD drive over a network in Windows Vista and 7, but couldn’t get this to work. The client system could browse to ‘see’ the DVD but couldn’t access the contents.

The third set of use cases relate to Virtual Box. So now I have three pieces of software to make work together, Windows, Kaspersky and VB. At the moment I am assuming that the SUSE guest is poorly configured. I am building an Ubuntu image to test this theory. I know I can get that to work. I can use the host to browse the exported directories using the tcp/ipaddress.

While working at home, I may have some problems seeing/acquiring other network resources. The MS “WORKGROUP” is different at home and at work. I have defined the wifi at home as “Home”, and so I now have an empty home group defined. This needs a better problem definition. This page at Microsoft Answers might be a start point.

While working in the flat, there is no inter-system connection i.e. the Mac can’t see it or any guests, and I don’t think the WE7 system can see the Mac. Again a better problem definition  is required. Home being seen by the Mac.