Augustina's Technological Blog

Technology, Perl, Linux, and a Woman's perspective on the FOSS community

Vmware Workstation on Ubuntu Feisty 7.04

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Installing VMWare workstation was somewhat painless on Ubuntu.  I only had access to an RPM package, so I had to download Alien in order to convert it to .deb.

I searched for “alien” in Synaptic and installed it through there.  Once I’d done that, I opened up my terminal, went to the location where I’d saved the RPM, and typed “sudo alien –scripts vmware….rpm” (insert the filename where the ….’s are, the suffix is .rpm).

Once I had my .deb package, I double clicked it to launch the package installer.  Everything installed properly.  Next I opened up a terminal window and typed “vmware” since I didn’t see it in the menu.  I was prompted to run a configuration Perl script.  At this point, depending on what you want to do with VMWare you might want to download the PDF manual:

After running through that (I just used the defaults for most things), I found VMWare in the Applications menu under “System Tools”.  VMWare was unable to start because it couldn’t find the EULA.  I dug around and found a link to a .gz file that must not have gotten decompressed properly.  I uncompressed it, and ran VMWare again, this time successfully.

VMWare requires you to have a copy of whatever OS it is you want to install, in my case I was installing the OEM version of Windows XP that came with my machine.  I selected to create a new Virtual Machine, Windows XP Professional, 8 gig.  I inserted my installation CD and clicked to “run” my Virtual Machine.  At this point I was prompted to enter my VMWare serial number.  I did, and the Virtual Machine started reading the CD.

The UI is very helpful and intuitive.  I didn’t have to consult the manual for anything.

Written by missaugustina

August 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Gutsy Gibbon.. to upgrade or not?

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I upgraded my home computer but I did not upgrade my work machine.

My home machine is a bare bones Asus system with a P4 processor and an Nvidia 6800 GPU.  Major changes were Compiz Fusion (I had been running Beryl and had to re-set everything up) and VMWare workstation.  VMWare workstation needed to be reconfigured and wouldn’t run properly.  The issue is addressed here.

Using the linked utility I was able to get things up and running on the home system, but without official VMWare support for 7.10 I’m not going to be upgrading my work computer just yet.

Reconfiguring Compiz Fusion was a hassle.  I don’t have my cool splashy water effects anymore 😦  However, now I can add more sides to my cube, and I did finally figure out how to make my firey windows multi-colored again.

The upgrade process itself was SUPER EASY.  Just click the upgrade button on the software updates screen.  You’ll want to hang around for about the first 10-15 minutes to take care of any dialogues.  Also be sure to update everything in 7.04 before running the upgrade.

Written by missaugustina

October 31, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Ubuntu

FileMaker ODBC Fetch Forward Error

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After scouring the internet for this mysterious “Fetch Forward” error I sometimes get when migrating FileMaker records to other database formats via ODBC and Perl DBI, I discovered what causes it.

The error is seemingly random and goes like this:
[FileMaker][ODBC FileMaker Pro driver][FileMaker Pro]Unknown error (SQL-HY000)
[FileMaker][ODBC FileMaker Pro driver]An attempt to fetch forward has failed for table: TABLENAME (SQL-HY000)(DBD: st_fetc/SQLFetch err=-1) at line 123.

This occurs when FileMaker drops the ODBC connection or is unable to respond in a timely manner.

Solutions are as follows:
1) Set up your access script in a while loop so that when it aborts due to an error it will resume after x amount of time.
2) Minimize the number of indexes (if you had to recover a corrupted database check for indexes in your field definitions, FileMaker likes to create them for you).
3) Minimize the number of calculated fields and summary fields.  Only use what is absolutely necessary.

Written by missaugustina

October 29, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Perl, Programming

As if the “blowjob” ad wasn’t enough

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QSOL published an extremely misogynistic ad in Linux Journal that has been dubbed the “blowjob” ad.  It showed a sultry woman with red lipstick and the line “Don’t worry, our servers won’t go down on you either”.  I was curious to find out more about QSOL and I found another inappropriate ad that lists commands in a context of inuendo:

The “commands” Ad

Frankly, when I saw this I felt sick to my stomach.

If this was fan art or a joke, I wouldn’t care quite as much and might think it was funny in a Beavis and Butthead way.  This is a professional organization that advertises in professional publications!!!  Ignoring the female demographic and resorting to using “sex” to sell servers must mean that their servers SUCK.  If they were any good they wouldn’t have to resort to this nonsense.  It’s disgusting.

Written by missaugustina

October 2, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Upgrading Ubuntu Server via CLI

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I needed to upgrade my 6.10 Edgy Ubuntu server to 7.04 Feisty.  It was pretty easy to do, the trick is knowing the right commands.

First, update the sources.list file and change each occurrence of “edgy” to “feisty” (without the quotes):

<code>sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list</code>

Then, for example, change
deb edgy main restricted
deb feisty main restricted

Now update package list:

<code>sudo apt-get update</code>

Install the update manager:

<code>sudo apt-get install update-manager-core</code>

Start the upgrade tool:

<code>sudo do-release-upgrade</code>

The update can take several hours as it has to download a lot of stuff.  I did mine unattended for the most part, just peeking in to make sure there weren’t any dialogues holding things up.

Written by missaugustina

September 13, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Server, Ubuntu

NXServer for Remote Desktop Access

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I had set up NX Server awhile ago for remote desktop access to my Linux machine and recently had to re-set it up again, so I thought I’d document what I did so that I don’t forget ;D

NXServer is an alternative to VNC.  It’s faster and served over a secure channel, which is important if you need to manage machines without a VPN.  Generally it’s easier to use VNC, but I thought it would be fun to play around with a different system.

It’s important to know that you need a GUI, preferably Gnome in order to do this.  Otherwise you might as well SSH.  Speaking of SSH you’ll need to install openSSH if you don’t have it already.  You can do that by going to your terminal and typing the following:
<code>sudo apt-get install ssh</code>

once you have that installed, you’re ready to get NXServer, et al..

NX Server is made by NoMachine.  You’ll need to go to their <a href=”″>Linux downloads page</a> to get a copy.  Select “NX Free Edition for Linux DEB – i386 ” to get .deb packages that can be automagically launched from Firefox.  You’ll need to download the Client and install it, then the Node, then Server.

Once you have installed those, you’ll need to set up a user for your connection.  I recommend using whatever user you already log in with.  If you need to create an additional user specifically for remote access, use the “useradd” command to do it within Ubuntu first.  In the terminal type the following:
<code>/usr/NX/bin/nxserver –useradd yourusernamehere</code>

You’ll need to install nxclient on any machine you want to be able to connect to your Linux machine.  There are both Mac and Windows versions available (Mac requires X11).  Also if you want more than 2 concurrent connections you’ll need to buy a license.

Written by missaugustina

August 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Applications, Server, Ubuntu

LinuxFest Northwest 2007

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I went to <a href=””>linuxfest</a&gt; this past weekend and really had a great time.  I had volunteered to help out at the Ubuntu Lo-Co team table but they had it pretty well covered.  I think a Pacific Northwest Lo-Co is a bit broad since we’re too spread out to really meet.  Several people and groups in Seattle do use Ubuntu so I think it’s a shame there really isn’t a LUG or Seattle Ubuntu Lo-Co.  Being at the conference also, to me anyways, emphasized a need for a Linux Chix chapter in Seattle, and I might just have to revive it  (as if i don’t have enough on my plate already).

My favorite sessions were Copyright, XUL, One Laptop Per Child, and Asterisk.  A few big names had sponsored some events which made it fun – SecondLife, Google, and Pogo.  I’d really love to get involved with some game programming on OLPC, especially since they are using PyGame, but I have no idea where or how to get started, there wasn’t much info on their wiki.  XUL was neat as well as an alternative to Adobe’s Apollo/Air.  When I started playing around with the samples, however I realized it’s a mess.  Air is way easier to use out of the box and is better documented.  Hopefully Mozilla works to improve this because XUL could really be a decent Free alternative.

Written by missaugustina

May 2, 2007 at 5:58 pm