Archive for September, 2014

Surface Pro 3, the big disappointment

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

For some days I had a Surface Pro 3 for some testing. In general the new, bigger 3:2 12″ display is much nicer to work (code) on. I personally find the “silver”ish magnesium looking a bit cheap. The black option of the Surface Pro 1 & 2 looked a bit more Pro. However, the unpainted version should be less sensitive to scratches.

The new flexible kickstand is of course a big plus, though it is still not very comfortable to use it on the lap, e.g. an armchair, or on an airplane tray.

A real showstopper, however, came this morning. Powering the Surface Pro 3 up resulted in an unexpected and automatic firmware update (I guess left over from the last shutdown) which never finished and thus bricked the device. And being in Germany I would not even get an in-store replacement for a self-destructed, 5 day old Surface, and now sit without anything waiting weeks for (a hopefully repaired) device in return. Sigh.

Definitely not a good start for a new companion. I guess a sign that I should have quickly installed Linux, and not let Windows 8 take over the self-destruct sequence, … :-/ !!1!

PS: One more thing: Dear companies - if you want no bad press here, then please sell products that a) work and b) do not self destruct due nightly updates. You’re welcome.

VMware fusion and the third mouse button

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

For all too long I was wondering why the middle (center, third) mouse button would not work in a Linux VM on VMware Fusion on a Mac. You know, for copy and paste, … in terminals, … all that text ;-)

I actually googled another rainy day, month or winter, but only found more questions than answers (like mouse.vusb.useBasicMouse = “FALSE” and whatsoever).

Today –clicking around in the Mac’s System Preferences– I came arose the setting for the center button that I would normally not use for Mac apps. Turns out setting this to “Button 3″ is just what is needed for VMware to actually get it and pass it down to the Linux VM.

Sometimes solutions can be so simple, sigh!

Update: Hm, only still a problems with the mighty MagicMouse - as it does not allow to configure a “Button 3″ in Apple’s SystemPreferences … Third party hacks apparently floating in the interweb for this :-/

Simply creating sparse files

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

for virtualization and such, on Linux, BSD, Mac OSX (Darwin), Unix:

dd if=/dev/zero of=some-qemu-vm.img bs=64G count=0 seek=1

Update: and resize / growing:

dd if=/dev/zero of=some-qemu-vm.img bs=1G count=0 seek=200