How to use VirtualBox

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Looking for some good software for your virtualization needs? Look no further! VirtualBox is a great software for running the obvious, like Windows, to running the unknown, like JRocketVE or L4. This simple tutorial tells you how to make a virtual machine in VirtualBox. Here’s what you’ll need:

VirtualBox and an Operating System of your choice.

I will be installing Windows 3.1 on my Virtual machine today. Let’s go ahead and get started!

Continue reading

We have big news for you!

I have quite a few things I want to go over today, so get ready!

To start us off, Brenden is back! The whole deal was a confusing thing and he has returned after confusing the heck out of me. So, welcome back, Brenden! Smile

Second, the Google+ hangout and IRC Q+A session is going to be a little confusing for us tomorrow, as I doubt I’ll be there, so it will just be Brenden. We are trying to figure this out, so stay tuned!

Third, and most exciting, GB7 now has an operating system!! I was up until 2:00 AM last night working with my copy of Windows NT 4, working like crazy making GB7 OS! It’s low on features and doesn’t look very inviting, but it’s totally stable and runs on any computer with a floppy drive or VMWare (or VirtualBox or Virtual PC.) It is based off of the MikeOS project and I used a tutorial from Tinkernut. (www.youtube.com/gigafide or www.tinkernut.com) Big thanks to those two! I was only working on it for 3 hours and don’t know much about the language it’s written in, so I don’t have any programs, but GB7 OS comes with a few games and programs with it, so don’t worry about that! Winking smile How will I get it to you guys is the question. I can’t access the website for WordPress, our provider, so I made another website for downloads from GB7! Here is the link: http://www.gb7specialdownloads.webs.com. Here’s a screenshot for GB7 OS:

GB7OS

I took that screenshot an put it in Paint.NET (www.paint.net), and here are my color scheme hopes:

GB7OSNewCol

And here’s similar to what I want to get out of GB7 OS by 2014:

GB7OSFUTURE

 

Also, If you have a good name for the OS, please don’t hesitate! I don’t really like the name GB7 OS. We need a new, awesome one, and it’s up to you guys to give us a good one!

Thanks a ton for reading and I’ll keep you posted on GB7 OS! Winking smile

-Ben

Ubuntu Tutorial: How to personalize Ubuntu–Part 1

Hey guys!

I did a review on Ubuntu about a month ago and promised a tutorial or two, so here’s one on how to personalize your Ubuntu Desktop! Of course, you will need to have installed Ubuntu or use it on a LiveCD. After you have booted into Ubuntu, continue reading!

1: Window ribbon style

Unlike Windows or Mac, Ubuntu lets you change the top bar style to fit your preferences! This is how you do it:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and click “Change Desktop Background”
  2. Click the “Theme”tab.
  3. You will be presented with a list of themes for you to use.

You can also use some other themes you find on the Internet to change it up a bit!

2: Window ribbon button position

This is a bit harder, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake!

  1. On the desktop, press ALT+F2 and type “gconf–editor” in the box that appears. Click “Ok”.
  2. Navigate to apps—> Metacity –> General
  3. On the right, you will see a list. Navigate to “button_layout”

Now you can change the button layout. Check the help text below it for more info.

3: Templates

This had me stumped for so long. But, I have it down now! Here’s how you do it!

  1. Go into the Ubuntu Software Center and download and install Ubuntu Tweak.
  2. Open Ubuntu Tweak and navigate to “Manage Templates”
  3. On the right, move all of the items from the right of the screen to the left.

That’s how it’s done!

I’m going to go ahead and end this part of the tutorial right here, so thanks for reading and I’ll have a part 2 up pretty soon! Smile

-Ben

Ubuntu review

Ubuntu Linux 10.10 was the first Linux distribution I ever used. You may remember the name in my last post, “How to get started with Linux.” While I was writing that post, I realized that I had not done a review on Ubuntu yet. Well, here is the review I have been nagging myself about for the past few days! Ubuntu is the easiest Linux I have used. It’s one of the most known Linux distributions out there today. It is also the only Linux distribution that supports VirtualBox Additions. Ubuntu has a few “official” derivatives, as well as the ones made by the Linux community. The official ones are Kubuntu (Ubuntu using KDE instead of GNOME), Xubuntu (Ubuntu using XFCE instead of GNOME), Lubuntu (Ubuntu using LXDE instead of GNOME), Edubuntu (Educational version of Ubuntu) and Mythbuntu (Something to do with TVs…) Ubuntu has countless unofficial (or community) derivatives, such as Macbuntu, a Macintosh OS X-style derivative. The current version of Ubuntu is 11.10, but is coming up to 12.04 pretty soon here. If you have not noticed it yet, the “version number” is actually a date. Ubuntu is released every 6 months. Once in April and again in October of that year. 2011 has finished for Ubuntu releases, but the new year is coming up really quickly. 2012 will bring new changes for the Ubuntu line. 10.10 is already a huge change since the project started. If I look back, there was no default background in the early versions of Ubuntu and the window ribbon style was different back then. The color of the distribution has changed also. It was once orange, but now it’s a dark purple color. One of the best things about Ubuntu is that it’s Linux. What I mean by that is that it is fully customizable. You can change the window ribbon style, panels and so much more with a click of a button. You can also download what’s called “XPGnome”, which transforms any GNOME desktop (Ubuntu or Edubuntu) into a Windows XP-like desktop. It is best for versions before 10.10, but works on any version of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Software Center

Something I like best about Ubuntu is the Ubuntu Software Center. Here, you can browse for programs without even needing to know the name! It’s simple and very graphic, making it easy to navigate in. All you need to know is what kind of program you are looking for! You can use the categories in the Software Center to find the program you want! Once you find it, you can read up on it and see a screenshot! (not available on all programs) Before you can download or read about any programs, you have to update your cache, Ubuntu makes this easy by letting you select a program and downloading the cache for that source.  After that, you can download and install programs with a few clicks and keystrokes! The bad thing about the software center is that it prompts you for you “root user” password. This can probably be turned off somehow, but I have yet to find out.

All-in-all, Ubuntu is a great Linux distribution, though it needs some work on programs crashing. That’s all I have for now folks! Stay tuned for some Ubuntu tutorials possible in the future! Smile

p.s.: Happy new years, everybody!

-Ben

How to get started with Linux

If you have been following the blog, you have noticed 2 posts about Linux, both of them are reviews. You may know exactly what Linux is, or you may not have ever heard the word “Linux” before in your entire life. If you have never heard of Linux, this is for you, if you have used or know what Linux is, but don’t own a Linux computer, read over this article. If you use Linux, watch out for some more reviews!

What is Linux?

This is a question I get from a lot of people. Linux is older, so some people don’t know about it, but Linux is gaining more popularity lately. One person knew that I was running Ubuntu Linux on my old laptop, but it took him a second to identify it. Oh, the question! Linux is an operating system, like Windows or Macintosh (now known as Mac), but is a little more command-line oriented. No matter how hard you try, you can never pass a command-line system while starting Linux. In some cases, command-line is all Linux is. The thing that sets Linux apart from Windows and Mac, other than the appearance, of course, it that it is the only operating system (OS) that is free. You are able – and encouraged, actually – to customize it! You can change the close, minimize, maximize buttons position and appearance quite easily. Something that I did for a long time was use what is called a “Live-CD.” A Live-CD allows you to run Linux without touching your computer, though not all Linux distributions (distros, the different kinds of Linux, created by other people) support Live-CD. The ones I know that support it are Ubuntu, Slax (though Live-CD is the only way to run Slax, see Slax review.) and OpenSUSE. Those can be found here: Ubuntu’s website  |  OpenSUSE’s website  |  Slax’s website

Different Linux distros have different tastes to it. They also have different software to them. Most Linux distros have all-free software, where some may have proprietary/commercial software to it, too.

Where can I get Linux?

When I first got into Linux, I asked myself this question. The answer is not linux.com or linux,.org, though. Google Linux distros. Wikipedia.org has a nice chart for Linux distros, which I have actually contributed to the article myself. One great Linux distro for beginners is Ubuntu. (Link above) It allows Live-CD booting and is easy to install and use. Updates come every 6 months for Ubuntu. (the 10th and the 4th month of each year.) After you find a Linux distro you like, you have to download the .iso file. This could take from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on your Internet speed, the mirror you use and the Linux disto you picked out.

Ok, I just downloaded the .iso file… what now?

After you download the .iso file, you need to burn it to a CD or DVD, or a USB drive. There are also ways to test Linux without rebooting or using a disc, it’s called virtualization (also called Virtual Machines). They simulate a computer inside your computer. You can find a virtualization software free online. I trust VirtualBox (virtualbox.org) for all of my Linux work. After you have burned the .iso file to a disc using a burner or “unetbootin” for USB drives, restart your computer and look for a key to press to enter your “BIOS settings.” From there, use your arrow keys to navigate to your boot tab and move the CD drive (or USB) to the top of the list, save your configuration and restart the computer. It should boot into Linux. You can then use your arrow keys to select whether you want to boot the Live-CD or install it to your hard drive. After that, Linux will boot up eventually, depending on your choice. There you are. Linux!

How do I work this thing?!

If you are having problems with Linux, check the Help program, or the distro’s website. They should have what you need there. If you don’t know how to work it at all, move the mouse around and click stuff. Winking smile I will also be happy to help you with your Linux questions. You can reach me at pack5guy@yahoo.com.

 

Thanks for reading guys! Smile

-Ben

Windows 8: Developer Preview: Part 2

I just installed Windows 8: Developer Preview on my old Toshiba laptop. I could have done the 64-bit version, but I didn’t want to take any chances, plus my discs are only –W, so I can’t re-write them. It runs a whole lot faster on a real computer then it does on a Virtual Machine. It took about 5 minutes to do what a 30 min process took on a virtual machine, but the first boot was almost 3 times as long on a physical computer. It takes a while to install Windows if you haven’t noticed. One of the new things that I like about it is that when your battery goes low, it notifies you instead of doing a popup which could be covered by an application on Vista and 7. One thing I need to get used to is the new start menu. When I need a desktop app, I have to go to my charm-bar (which is easier on a physical than a vm.) and choose Search, or go to my start menu and type. The other bad thing about that is that I need to scroll down and choose “Applications”, because the default is searching /BUILD. That aside, I applaud Microsoft for they’re new OS. Sorry about me not posting much, nothing to post about lately. Thanks for reading this and I will hopefully be posting a video of Windows 8 running soon. Also!! I forgot to say that it takes Windows about 10 seconds to boot up and it boots up almost instantly from a hibernate, so that’s way faster than the OS I covered! (10-15 minutes booting Vista, 15-20 minutes shutting Vista down.) Ok, that’s done. Thanks, guys! Smile

Microsoft Windows Developer preview initial impressions

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, they promise a “reimaging” of it. Well, we got that from XP to Vista and a slight change from Vista to 7. Not to mention Windows 3 to NT and 1 to 2, 2 to 3, of course. Once again, Microsoft was able to keep they’re promise… Sorta. They released Windows 8: Developer preview this September and we were unable to install it until last night. (touchy OS…) Once I was done installing it which took two and a half hours (and a reinstall due to a first-boot error… .~.), I was taken to the new Metro UI start menu. It was nice. I liked how they managed to let not only touch-screen users in on the fun, too. Windows 8’s Metro UI was a bit different and I kept hitting the start menu on the desktop, forgetting what it did. I was unable to actually start any Metro apps with my mouse for some reason and needed to use the touch-pad on my laptop to access any Metro apps. I will need to re-enable the start menu we have in Windows 7, because there is no way to get to paint to make my “tile”. The lock screen was great. Again, both touch-screen and non-touch-screen users could use it. What I found one of the best things about the new Windows was that they re-did the ribbon on the top of windows by changing the Close, Maximize and Minimize button graphics and they moved the title to the center of the ribbon, as well as making it slightly larger. One of the things I disliked most was that in order to “customize” the PC, you had to activate Windows, which required Internet, of course, and we don’t have Internet where we live. You get a 30 day trial, but the activation is free and automatic! If you don’t have Internet on your desktop PC, do NOT install Windows just yet. They give you an option to “Activate via phone”, but that requires a certain file which was missing… I installed it in a virtual machine and plan on installing it on my old laptop as an upgrade from Vista tonight. Using it in a virtual machine was strange. I gave it half my RAM of the host system and some extra acceleration, but it still froze up. It also will fail to reboot, so make sure you use VirtualBox’s “Snapshots”. They are life savers. Put one after installing, after first boot and after everything is ready to go if you use it in a virtual machine. I suspect the issues I get in a VM will disappear when I upgrade my Vista tonight. The installer includes a “Repair” dialog, which is actually Windows 8 style. I hope they can manage to make the whole installation like that repair dialog in the final version. You can download Windows in three versions; 32-bit, 64-bit and 64-bit with extras from http://www.buildwindows.com/. Thanks for reading this really long and rather obnoxious blog post. Winking smile See ya!

-Ben