Virtual Virtuosity

Last week I got a new desktop at work. It’s a real nice workstation class PC with a lot of CPU power and memory. It’s purpose is to simulate a small network of computers via VMware Server for software testing.

I was of course curious if I can run NetBSD as a guest operating system. I decided to try NetBSD-amd64 because both the hardware and software support 64Bit mode. I downloaded an ISO image from the daily builds, created a virtual machine with two CPUs and started it. NetBSD booted without any problems and detected all the emulated hardware. VMware Server still emulates an old Intel i440BX chipset from the times of the Pentium II and III. But the virtual AMD PCnet network chip has been replaced by a virtual Intel Gigabit i82545 network chip. I don’t know why they made that change but I guess it helps network performance of virtual machines using more than 4GB of memory. Installing NetBSD to the (virtual) harddisk worked without any problems. The new system started up fine and I had networking up and running in no time.

The last experiment was to try to boot a NetBSD kernel with multi processor support. The kernel took a long time to boot up but finally reached multi user mode after a few minutes. I upgraded the NetBSD sources and started a build using four parallel jobs. The build finished without any difficulties and top on the host machine confirmed that the virtual machine was indeed keeping two CPU cores busy.

Best Burger in Town

A few weeks ago I was very unhappy because my favourite burger is no longer available. I’ve finally come to terms with my loss thanks to the gourmet burger kitchen.

My wife spoted their local restaurant in Cambridge when we cycled in the city centre today. After our appointment we decided to try it out. The name gives it away: they have a lot of burgers on their menu with all kinds of meats and flavours and even several vegetarian options. We both ordered a Blue Cheese burger, fries and salad. The amount of food we ended up with was impressive, one portion of fries and salad would have been enough. Our meal was really delicious and we even managed to eat most of it.

Stuffed and happy we continued shopping expedition. Despite the lovely weather we passed on ice creams because we weren’t even a little bit hungry.

Pirates of Hollywood: The Curse of the Bad Sequel

Last Sunday my wife and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in a local cinema. And like Spider-Man 3 the movie didn’t impress me very much. A confused story, inconsistencies, superfluous subplots and missing scenes spoiled the party. And while the second part at least contained a lot of slapstick the third part was dark and depressing. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a really good movie but its sequels fall short of it unfortunately. A friend of mine even wondered whether the scripts were written by the same people who came up with the sequels of Highlander. 🙂

At the end of the year big film-studios will probably once again complain about the box-office results and blame it on movie piracy. But it will of course not occur to them that people don’t like bad sequels or the hundredth bad copy of Finding Nemo.

Taking comfort in the Unfairness of the Universe