I suffered a bit of a disaster over the weekend when the fan in my Synology DS106e network attached server stopped working. For 18 months it had worked well (I had bought it used from eBay), then at some point last week the fan died. This wasn’t immediately apparent, and only became an issue when the server started a scheduled backup to an external USB drive. Lots of drive activity and reduced cooling quickly resulted in an overheated hard drive and email warnings of read errors. Not the sort of message you want to receive when you are 20 miles away at work. Read more…
News broke yesterday that iPhone Dev Team member planetbeing has succeeded in booting a Linux 2.6 kernel on the iPhone. A lot of the required drivers are still not available so this is not a replacement for the iPhone OS, but it is the first step on the path to a working Linux on iPhone or iPod Touch hardware.
The big push doesn’t start until Monday, but the third release of the OpenOffice.org office suite is now available from mirror servers. I grabbed the Mac version (with native Aqua interface) from the UK mirror server a short time ago but there is a long list of worldwide mirror servers at the distribution.openoffice.org site.
I had a quick play with the suite this morning and so far I’m impressed. The Writer component managed to import my CV (resume) with no problems. It’s a Word document with lots of fancy tables so the software coped well to keep all the elements where they should be. The interface looks a little dated with white toolbars, but for a free office suite the Mac version of OOo 3.0 looks like a highly usable bargain. Also available for Linux, Solaris and Windows, read on for a screenshot gallery. Read more…
Firefox 3 was due to hit the download sites at 6pm UK time but it’s just appeared at mozilla.com. Download the version for your OS here or choose an OS and language here. Spreadfirefox.com appears to be down at the moment, so hopefully this won’t interfere with the world record attempt.
A while back I compared the three biggest Virtualisation products for the Mac. Parallels, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox are all impressive products that performed equally, and I used the free Virtualbox for my occasional Windows needs. Parallels was part of the recent MacUpdate bundle which I bought, so I’ve been using that most recently. It’s been running well and seems more responsive than the previous versions I tried.
The reason for this recap is that VMware Fusion 2 beta 1 has been released, and adds some interesting new features. Multi display support will please some users, even if support for eight monitors is very niche. Importing Parallels and Virtual PC machines is a useful if late addition. DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 is perhaps the most interesting, and I’m wondering how well this will work on my hackintosh. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that version 2 allows any printer attached to your Mac to be used direct from Windows without installing drivers.
Also new is an updated version 1.6 of Virtualbox. It’s now out of beta, although there are a few things still not supported:
Currently, we are aware of the following restrictions:
• No support for Host Interface Networking
• No support for Internal Networking
• No support for audio input
• No support for VT-x/AMD-V (rarely required)
• No support for raw disk access
• The numlock emulation isn’t implemented yet
• The VirtualBox kernel extension is currently accessible from all user accounts
Note that we are planning to address all known issues.
Things are certainly moving on in the Mac virtualisation market, so I’ll be trying all three products again this week with some updated results to follow.
In part 1 I looked at results from Geekbench, Photoshop and VLC to see how much of an impact the operating system has on application speed. For part 2 I used two more cross platform test, the first person shooter Doom 3 and 3D modeller and renderer Blender. Read more…