The little things that make virtual computing such fun...

Dialogue Box filming day, and I'm busy preparing some bits and pieces at home before dashing into work.At least, that was the plan.
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

Dialogue Box filming day, and I'm busy preparing some bits and pieces at home before dashing into work.

At least, that was the plan. Today's DB (and if you haven't seen any of the new series yet, do - Drew and the gang in production have got it honed like a samurai sword) is about virtualisation, so Charles and I have been loading this, running that and generally tweaking the other. I decided to check out USB performance on my home machine, which runs Ubuntu 7.10 natively and XP on top of VirtualBox. I also had a bunch of podcasts downloaded which I thought I might as well slip onto my iPhone for listening pleasure on the number 45 bus.

So what could be more sensible than installing iTunes on the virtual XP? That went well - ah, the delights of seeing software rampage in over the net at 12Mbps - and all was well. Until I plugged in the Jebusphone... and nothing happened. I restarted iTunes, and got error code 0xE8000035. A quick scout around, and it turns out that this is a known bug in VirtualBox, with no fix yet.

Well, I say there's no fix. There's also no feedback in the bug report thread from the VirtualBox developers - with the result that the people there are saying "VMware works. I had to switch."

Four lessons:

1. People who write software that pops up long error messages with hexadecimal in should be hung, drawn and quartered -- if they don't let you cut and paste from the error box. I'm building the gibbet for the iTunes folks.

2. Virtualisation works remarkably well, considering. But it isn't perfect - sometimes, it's an extra layer of complexity in an already insanely complex system

3. It is very good to have public bug reporting systems with discussion enabled. People will work things out for themselves. But if you don't pay attention, the things they work out may actually harm you. Pay attention.

4. I'm not going to be able to listen to my podcasts this morning on the number 45 bus. (As these are the last two episodes of Soldersmoke and the latest from Conversations With Apollo, you'll feel my pain.)

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