a man, a plan, a cake: nirvana

Vista RC1 in a VM

I got Vista RC1 running with a VMWare Workstation 5.5 virtual machine today. The graphical install doesn't work with VMWare out of the box (it sticks on the initial "loading files" screen).

Fortunately echelon9 posted a workaround on the VMWare forums.

  1. Stop the virtual machine.

  2. Edit the virtual machine's VMX file to include the lines (bottom of the file is fine):
    svga.maxWidth = "640"
    svga.maxHeight = "480"

  3. Start the virtual machine. It will be stuck in VGA mode and the colors are limited so it won't look too hot, but the install should proceed just fine.

  4. Once your VM is booted into Vista, install VMWare Tools from the VM menu.

  5. Stop the virtual machine and remove the two lines from the VMX that you added earlier.

  6. Start the VM back up and you should be able to go into the Control Panel and change the resolution to something more usable.

Once you've done all that you can do the next most important thing:


greasemonkeying my backpack

For a while now I've been maintaining a running log on a Backpack page. I like Backpack because it's quick and convenient to use. However, for my running log I could really use a little bit of spreadsheet functionality, to sum the miles I've run in a given month for me, and that's just not Backpack's bag (pardon the pun).

So, since I'm reading Ajax in Action at the moment, it seemed like a good time to play a little bit with JavaScript and greasemonkey. If you're not familiar with it, greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to apply custom JavaScript to webpages. You install scripts that you write or download, into greasemonkey. You then tell it, via one or more regular expressions, which pages the scripts should be applied to. I use a few greasemonkey scripts already, for viewing images (Greased Lightbox), tweaking Flickr's interface, and so on.

So I decided I would write my own greasemonkey script to do all that bothersome addition for me on my running log. After a few false starts, caused by me trying to use FireBug's console for logging, which isn't exposed in greasemonkey, I got it to work:


The text in green at the bottom is generated by the script (the total above it in black is my previous hard-coded one). The script isn't done yet; for one it has next to no error handling. Also, because of the ajax nature of Backpack, my totals get lost whenever I edit the page, forcing me to do a full page refresh to get them back. So, I might add a keyboard shortcut to turn the totals on and off next.

FWIW, here's the script in all its "glory". Try not to laugh at my JavaScript skills or lack thereof.


If you haven't come across it before, lifehacker is an excellent resource for general computing news, GTD, Web 2.0 and general hints and tips. They recently posted a little tip I sent them about Sysinternal's excellent contig utility.