HOW TO: Full screen Ubuntu in VirtualBox

6 Jun 2009

VirtualBox is a great way to test different platforms without actually installing them. It creates a perfect virtual machine to play with. Of course, a dummy virtual machine is of no use, until you install on OS on it.

VirtualBox under Windows

 

To learn more on setting up VirtualBox, check out this great post at Lifehacker.

And if you want pre-compiled VirtualBox images, head over to VirtualBox Images.

This post is about how to get the Guest Additions running for Ubuntu. Why would you want to run the Guest Additions? For one, it provides full-screen ability. Complete screen-size, not the teeny window size that is present by default. There are other goodies too, such as, mouse-pointer integration and improved performance.

The only drawback is the license. These additions are covered under the PUEL license, rather than the GPLv2.

Alright, now how do you get the additions working. I'm using Ubuntu as my guest OS. But, these steps can be easily modified for other Linux OSes too.

  1. Mount your Ubuntu cd/ISO from the VirtualBox GUI.
  2. Mount the VirtualBox Guest Additions by clicking on Device > Install Guest Additions.
  3. Once Ubuntu is up and running, open a terminal and find the kernel version by running uname -r
  4. Run the following command to install pre-requisites. (Replace KERNELVERSION with the output of the above command). sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-KERNELVERSION
  5. Depending on your platform, run the VirtualBoxAdditions installer sudo sh /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run all (Use VBoxLinuxAdditions-x64.run for 64-bit platforms).
  6. Restart the machine.

Note: For Fedora (or rpms based machines), run the 4th step as

yum install kernel-headers kernel-devel gcc

Source: Robotification [via Ubuntu Forums] & FedoraSolved

Steampunk – a new Jitterbug for rural India?

19 May 2009

Steampunk - Concept Phone for Rural India

Adaptive Path has a great design for mobile phones for rural India. Their study is absolutely correct. I know people who use the mobile more like a handy telephone. They never use the screen. They don't bother with the messages that pop up on-screen. Heck, they rarely use the phone for anything other than calling. And many of them carry a separate black book to look up telephone numbers. And this is by educated, well-to-do people. Imagine what the illiterate do.

Personally, I have an aversion towards touch-screen phones. (The iPhone in particular). I like the overall look and feel of the device. But I can't imagine using it on a daily basis. So I'm all for the Steampunk design. However, I also like slim and handy phones. That is where the Steampunk fails. It looks bulky.

Jitterbug - The phone for seniors and kids.

This is not the first time that companies have tried to address the issue of newer technology in older / uneducated hands. JitterBug is one such company. Their target is older folk and young kids. They just used an older design and a simpler interface for the phone. This phone wouldn't win awards. But it was simple to use.

These two phones address the same issue. But I feel that they are both focusing on the area.

Its not the device, silly. Its the interface.

One of the few things that I like about the iPhone is its interface. I beleive that anyone can pick up the phone and start using it. Of course, it takes some time to get used to it. Still, its got a certain intuitive interface that is much better than any other mobile OS. The accelerometer is the icing on the package. Its drawback is the touch-screen.

Steampunk gets part of it right by having seperate buttons for each operation (like photos, music, etc.). UI however is equally important. Intuitive, adaptive and evolving interfaces are the ones that are going to get the masses. Many main-stream OSes are trying this out. Even software are getting this functionality. (Firefox's Awesome Bar, Google Chrome's new tab, etc.).

Still, this is a concept and as such is a good one. Whether it will work or even be implemented is upto the device manufactures. For now let's wait and watch.

55 Ways to Get More Energy

19 May 2009
Yin & Yang - ZenHabits
There's a great post over at ZenHabits that shows 55 ways to get more energy. Great tips.
 

 

 

If you’re tired all the time, a change in what you eat (diet) or what you do all day (activity pattern) may be all you need to turn things around 180°. You won’t be able to do everything on this list all the time — you’d tire yourself out trying to get more energy — but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting. Read more (ZenHabits)

Resetting the Sansa e280 v2

18 May 2009

My SanDisk Sansa e280 v2 ran into a glitch recently. It just wouldn't recharge the battery. The Sansa charges via a proprietary cable through the USB port. Having never experienced this issue before, I thought it was something wrong with the cable or with the USB ports on my computer. Well, after a bit of googling, I found the solution. Reset the device! So how do you reset the Sansa.

  1. Slide the HOLD switch atop the device to the right.
  2. Press and hold the Power / MENU button for 15 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the << button, while plugging in the USB. Keep holding it till the Sansa says "Connected".

This should cause Windows to pop up with the installing driver status message. Windows Explorer will now list two flash drives as devices with removable storage. Viola, Problem solved.

Reference:http://bit.ly/Hh9ov

New Home

4 May 2009

Hello World! I've moved my blog to a a new home. I just finished importing my previous posts. Hope I can keep this as my permanent online residence. More later.

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