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Blog Archives for November 2007

BOO!!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007 - Comments (4) in Holidays, Life

halloween!!So last night was Halloween, and it was a gamble as to how much candy to buy. This is the first Halloween in this neighborhood so we did not know, but based on the amount of kids running around we expected a ton of twickertweeters. We were wrong. There was a decent amount; a few clods of 8-10 and a bunch of smaller groups. There was even a couple singles (weird). Now we have tons of left over candy that keeps finding its way into my mouth. At least we were able to hand out most of the Almond Joys (gag me).

This is better than last year, but only by a little. For Halloween 2006 I ran out of candy at like 6:30pm, so instead of turning my lights off and getting egged I ran out to Wegmans down the street and got a few more bags of candy. I got back by like 6:50, and did not see another soul all night! I was rather annoyed that I went all the way to get more candy and then had to eat it all myself.

Virtually Worthless

Thursday, November 1st, 2007 - Comments (5) in Computers, Life, Nerd Stuff, Virtualization, Work

Over the past few years Harley has been transitioning to a new HVAC system. As areas in the building are renovated, they're converted to work with the new system.

Recently (this week) I realized that the old system is controlled by DOS software running on some ancient Windows 95 machine in the maintenance shop. After futzing around for a while trying to run this software on newer machines (2k or xp), it just won't work on anything other than the machine it's on. Of course the company that wrote the software won't even speak to us about it since it hasn't been supported in years.

The only option I can think of for replacing this decrepit computer is to host the Windows 95 operating system as a virtual machine inside XP. Brilliant right? Now the question is how to get the contents of the ancient machine into a virtual hard disk file (.vhd). Microsoft Virtual PC as the ability to link to a physical drive and convert it to a virtual hard drive. So yesterday I opened up this ancient desktop getting coated in dust that was probably older than I am and yanked out the hard drive. I set the drive up in the replacement machine as a secondary, fired up Virtual PC and started the conversion process. I tried this about 3 times each failing miserably before I gave up.

My next thought was to use Ghost to copy the drive. Ghost will copy the entire contents of the drive to a server on the network and then I can use it on the virtual machine to copy the contents down from the server to the virtual hard drive. This worked very well, but it was annoying to have to jump through all the extra hoops (finding DOS drivers for the old machine, building a CAB files with those drivers, and then ghosting both machines). MS has the functionality built into Virtual PC to convert from a physical drive to a virtual drive, but it didn’t work for me at all. In fact I searched around online and found more than a few people complaining that it just doesn't work.