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Sun’s Virtualbox is Awesome!!

I have always been a fan of virtualization.  I got started messing around with it back in the beginning of 2006 with VMWare Workstation 5.  Ever since I have been using Virtuals for various training and production computer environments.  Along with Microsoft courses that used Virtual PC for the training platform.  Even this blog is hosted on a ESXi server.   Anyway I was reading through CPU magazine yesterday and I saw Sun’s Virtual box.  I may have heard this name before but I had never actually used the program until last night.  I downloaded it from http://www.virtualbox.org.    Once I installed it I was impressed, it has almost all of the features of VMWare Workstation.  It also includes USB support unlike Virtual PC.  It really makes me think of a Linux version of VMWare workstation, but the product is free for personal use.  There are two versions:

  • The full VirtualBox package is available in binary (executable) form free of charge from their download page. This version is free for personal use and evaluation under the terms of the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License.
  • The VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE) is the one that has been released under the GPL and comes with complete source code. It is functionally equivalent to the full VirtualBox package, except for a few features that primarily target enterprise customers. This gives us a chance to generate revenue to fund further development of VirtualBox.

The following list shows the enterprise features that are only present in the closed-source edition. Note that this list may change over time as some of these features will eventually be made available with the open-source version as well.

  • Remote Display Protocol (RDP) Server – This component implements a complete RDP server on top of the virtual hardware and allows users to connect to a virtual machine remotely using any RDP compatible client.
  • USB support – VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and supports passing through USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices to virtual machines.
  • USB over RDP – This is a combination of the RDP server and USB support allowing users to make USB devices available to virtual machines running remotely.

I installed a simple Windows XP machine on it and did a few things and found the program to be very funtional.  It allowed for sharing of folders between the virtual and the host, along with sharing the same internet connection or having a nic of it’s own.    One of the parts that I found interesting was the fact that you could deticate video memory for the virtual.  I have VMWare Workstation 6 and you can’t assign video memory with that program.  However the best part of this program is the fact that it is free.  You get the total virtual machine package and don’t have to pay a dime.  I love it.  It will run on Windows, Linux, and MAC.  This is a great program and I already have recommended it to several people.  Here are some screen shots of Virtualbox.

vbox_under_vista_in_vbox_under_xp

1-new-vm

2-empty-vm-created

The pics are of a previous version, but the images are still pretty close.  Give this program a shot, I think you will like the functionality and all of the possabilities that a virtual machine brings to the computing world.

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Facebook changes privacy policy

Facebook website screen shot

Not that I’m a fan of facebook, but protection of personal data is very important.  Check out this article about facebook and some new rules.

Social networking site Facebook has agreed to change its privacy policy as a result of negotiations with Canada’s privacy commissioner.

Last month the site was found to be in breach of Canadian law by by holding on to users’ personal data indefinitely.

Facebook has now agreed to make changes to the way it collects and handles this information.

It will also make it clear to users that they have the option of either deactivating or deleting their account.

“These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected,” said Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

“We’re very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations.”

Facebook has said work on the changes will begin immediately but they would take around 12 months to implement.

The regulator first started its investigation as a result of complaints by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa.

Canada has around 12 million Facebook users, more than one in three of the population.


This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Apple unleashes Snow Leopard OS

Apple Snow Leopard

The latest update of the Apple Mac operating system OS X, known as Snow Leopard, goes on sale on Friday.

The software – available only as a DVD, not a download – was originally due to hit shops in September but Apple brought it forward at the last minute.

The system will go head-to-head with Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, due for release in October.

Both will also compete with a system from Google, called Chrome OS, set for release in the second half of 2010.

Whilst both Google and Microsoft will offer entirely new operating systems, Snow Leopard is a refinement to its predecessor Leopard.

Graham Barlow, editor of MacFormat Magazine, said the update “streamlines performance”

“[It] doesn’t add that many more features to the previous incarnation of OS X,” he said.

The update will retail at £25 in the UK ($29 in US) for Mac users who run Leopard.

A quick tour around Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Apple recommends that owners of older Intel-based Macs that are running the older Tiger OS, should purchase an upgrade which costs £129 ($169 in the US).

The package comes bundled with various other pieces of software, such as iWork, Apple’s Microsoft Office competitor.

However, initial reports suggest that Tiger users can upgrade using the cheaper package.

Apple says that its engineers have “refined 90% of the more than 1,000 projects” that make up the operating system.

Many of these changes are hidden deep inside the software’s code and are aimed at making the system smaller, faster and more responsive.

The firm claim that users who install the update will free around 7GB of hard drive space on average because of the stripped-down code.

Operatign system insatlled base graphic

Applications should load faster and the machine should also boot up more quickly.

Tweaks will also make it easier for third-party developers to take advantage of the Mac hardware.

However, the system does have some new features.

For example, it is the first operating system to come with inbuilt support for Microsoft Exchange Server, popular email and calendar services used by many companies.

The system will also ships with a new version of the Quicktime player, which will allow users to record and trim their own movies.

Reports also suggest that the ships with anti-virus software for the first time.

“It’s a sign of the times that anti-malware features are appearing in OS X,” said Mr Barlow.

“The protection built into Snow Leopard appears to be very basic, but since Macs aren’t under the same threat from the thousands of viruses that affect PCs, it doesn’t need to be particularly advanced.

“It remains to be seen how often Apple will update the malware definitions, and it’s not yet clear whether this is a technology Apple has developed itself or whether it’s using information from a third party.”

Apple’s operating system is currently installed in around 3% of personal computers, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Microsoft still commands the market with 95% of machines running a version of Windows.

The open source software Linux trails both, with around 2% of the market.

A review of Snow Leopard will be published on the BBC News website on Monday.


This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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