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Sunday, 22 September 2013

This is a box a Virtualbox.

Wrapped up and ready to go. Hello readers this is a short musing on virtualbox and Linux in general, its possibly not that helpful but its been keeping me interested for the past few days. 

We've been wanting to explore some old hard disks and as part of a recent Maplins binge have got ourselves a Hard disk / card reader all in one job.  Most of what I have isn't really readable and as I found out dead.  What I did find out reading around that booting some form of Linux could make those drives with missing letters readable.  To be honest I still haven't gotten them read as you will see but so far I'm not all that struck with virtualbox.

If you want to do what I did you'll need the following:

A USB flash drive (mine was 8GB we wanted to put PS2 isos onto it of course that never came to fruition)
A linux live USB creation program.
Some sort of Linus image see top.
Some sort of Linux Image.

And follow the straightforward instructions on the Linux live USB creator.

For our test program and first foray into Linux we trialled 2 tiny linuxes as our target Machine, an old XP beast liberated from work years back would struggle with current popular builds such as Fedora and Ubuntu (incidentally could some distro guys actually come up with Linus Linux or Ubunton with the face of Emma Bunton as desktop wallpaper just to satisfy my stupid sense of humour). 

First up as everthing seemed to be going well we had our download verified (we used Puppy Linux and DSL) and installed.  Our key was created and loaded, we found out we had a portable version of Virtualbox
and our Linux ran from this environment.  So far so good, we decide to boot up our virtual Puppy and see how it goes, except we get to a start up screen that goes nowhere and does nothing.  I'm no good at programming and command line stuff yeah I know Linux is all that even with its windows veneer over it, its still command line at heart.  So we try another distro Damn Small which is smaller than Puppy and thankfully has none of the issues either as we successfully boot it into its GUI and then discover Virtualboxes other dickish thing getting a mouse pointer to work.  If you've ever used WinUAE emulator its a bit like that there is a hotkey to trigger mouse capture (or in WinUAEs case to switch screens) except it captures fuck all and does nothing.  We decide to do the decent thing and burn it to a CD via IMGburn and switch priority at the bootscreen to see it in action.

Our main thoughts on DamnSmall is that it reminds me of Workbench 3.5 not the old school 4 colour Amiga OS, but something from 1998 with all the hacks added to make it 32 colours or so.  PC owners of an age may recall Windows 98 instead (only a lot greyer).  Its rather nice and the mouse works in the live CD just like a boss, I still didn't get my drives to work or be read so will have to read up on that via on line with my current PC.

They had a lot of stuff to look at including Firefox and a few file manager stuffs as well as a cute version of Tetris that looked like it was an exile from Workbench or Win95 and wasn't half bad.  After some tinkering and that we decided to close down and remove the CD. 

We may download Virtualbox proper and try out something more modern like Mint  or obscure such as AROS (which I remember from Amiga Format way back in 98).

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