December 2005

VMware Player 1.0 Released!

As of yesterday, we’ve released the final version of VMware Player 1.0. Up to now, VMware Player has been in beta, so if you’ve been using it, it’s time to upgrade.

For those who haven’t heard of VMware Player, I’ll give some details. The Player is a program for Windows and Linux used to run existing virtual machines. If you have a VM created with Workstation or through a third party VM creator program, you can run it in the Player. It won’t be slower than in Workstation, it won’t have a time limit, and it won’t nag at you to purchase a product. It’s a free program so that people can see the power of VMs and make use of them in their day-to-day activities. If you decide later to buy a more powerful VMware product to take advantage of VM creation, snapshotting, teams, etc, that’s entirely your choice 🙂

There is a FAQ discussing several questions such as redistribution rights of the player.

We’re now starting to link to interesting virtual machines built by the community. Want to try Fedora Core 4? Download a VM and the Player and start using it without setting up a new partition and rebooting. There’s AstLinux, an open source PBX. The links on the left of the page will take you to VMs created by other companies. These include the Ubuntu Breezy VM, SuSE and Novell Linux Desktop, amongst many others.

There is also our Browser Appliance VM, which is designed to provide basically a jail for web browsing, instant messaging, and e-mail. Useful to give to your kids so that they won’t mess up your computer 🙂 We’ve had this for a while, but it’s recently been updated, and we now even provide a bittorrent of the VM.

A search for “VMware Player” provides over 2 million results. There’s a number of good links that show up, including VMs provided by others and third party tools.

About a year ago, I had plans to purchase a computer for my little sister so that she’d have a desktop of games that she could use without having to touch the family computers. Instead, I’m going to less expensive route and will be building a VM of games like Tux Paint. I can now put the VM on the computer and install VMware Player, and she’ll be set. Or maybe stick them on a 1GB memory stick so that she can play her games anywhere she goes… once I’m confident she won’t lose it 😉

The Big 22

Okay, I don’t know how big it is, but I’m 22 today! Now I can, um, get drunk? No, that was last year. Hmm. Okay, so 22 isn’t special. It’s just one day closer to 30. Still, today should be a very fun day. My girlfriend is coming to visit, I have some presents to open, and I bought some good movies to watch.

Yesterday was fun as well. My team at work treated me to sushi at my favorite sushi restaurant (Fuki Sushi). We sat in one of those Tatami rooms (where you take your shoes off and sit on the ground), which I’ve always wanted to try. Later we played Tetrinet for a bit, and then I took off with my dad. We got some dinner, watched Sahara, and then called it a night.

I’ve spent most of today looking online for old Zelda and Mario comics. I’m quite pleased to find a large selection of scans 🙂 If anyone has any resources for Mario comic scans, I’d love to see them.

For all those people who just love me so much and have nothing better to do with their money, I’ve posted a small wishlist up 😉 You know you want to.

And now it’s about time to take off and meet my girlfriend at the train station.

Tagging and the GNOME Desktop

Just a little preview. It’s not done yet, but will be shortly. What you see below is a small python module, a useful command line utility (well, that’s not shown, but if you check the gallery these are in there will be a full-size screenshot showing one), and plugins for Nautilus, GNOME-VFS, and Deskbar. There are plans for Beagle support in the near future, and to make the system more robust.

Stay tuned. There should be a release soon.

Tags in Nautilus lists

Tags in Nautilus lists

tags URI

Deskbar Integration 1

Deskbar Integration 2

Welcome to Cingular. Your money is very important to us. Please hold.

A few months ago, I bought my girlfriend Jamie a phone for her birthday. I had been using Sprint for years, but decided to try Cingular and their Razr phone. I received a corporate discount on the service, the phone, and they waived the activation charges. I kept it for less than a week, and I’m still regretting walking into that store at all.

When I bought the phone, the guy said I would not have to pay activation charges, and put that into the account info. He also said I’d have to return this within two weeks in order to get all charges dropped. As I was leaving a few days later for a trip back home to see my girlfriend, and wanted to try the reception there, I felt this was reasonable.

I took the phone home and waited a few hours, as I had to wait until the thing was activated. After several hours, I still couldn’t place a phone call. I’d be redirected to their automated line. The quality of that call alone was so bad I could barely hear what they were saying.

I decided to concentrate on the Razr itself. It’s a very nice looking phone, but the software was so horrible that I couldn’t stand using it. Motorola seems to be quite bad in this regard, and I’m choosing to stay away from Motorola phones for the foreseeable future. Anyhow, I decided that this whole thing needed to go back, but I didn’t have time to deal with it that day.

I left for a couple of days and then came back and returned the phone and cancelled the service. I had to talk to a person on the phone at Cingular, who was trying to get me to stay with them, offered me things, etc., but I said no. I then confirmed from both her and the employee at the store that I wouldn’t be billed a single thing. They both said that all charges are dropped and not to worry.

A month and a half passes. I get a call from a collections agency. Cingular wanted my wallet.

I called up Cingular and dealt with them for a bit. They were persistent, but not as persistent as I was. They claimed that I only had 3 days to return everything in order to not be billed for activation charges, rather than 2 weeks as the sales person told me. Furthermore, due to my corporate discount, I didn’t have to pay activation charges. Finally, the lady on the phone looked this up and found that, yes, there was a note saying I didn’t have to pay activation charges. They were just going to try anyway and hope that I wouldn’t notice/remember. Thanks guys, you really made me want to go back to you someday.

That phone conversation was in early November. I thought I was done, honestly. I received a letter with a “Sorry” and a “Due: $0” written on it. And a check for something like $17, which I’m sure is a trap. So that was it, right? Nope, of course not! This morning, I received a phone call. Cingular apparently hasn’t informed the collections agency that I no longer owe them anything, and the collections agency wants to know where the money is. I told them the story and they’re checking up on it, but I imagine this battle is going to begin again.

Another company on my personal blacklist.

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