Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007 – part trois

September 22nd, 2009 1 comment


There is one last problem with the Ubuntu install, when you update the Kernel it will remove the noreplace-paravirt vga=771 that you added.

This is probably because Ubuntu assumes you made a mistake. Whatever the reason you need to update the menu.lst file.

First of all lets make sure that you read all the previous articles so we are all talking about the same thing.

  1. Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007.
  2. Update the menu.lst after install.
  3. Update the menu.lst again after updating the kernel.

From time to time Ubuntu will update various software, (or you can do it your self,  System > Administration > Update Manager. Any one of those update might be a brand new kernel update, in that case you will need to edit the menu all over again.

  1. Open the terminal , (‘Applications>Accessories>Terminal’)
  2. At the cursor type ‘gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst‘, (without the quotes), press enter.
  3. Enter your password if you have to.
  4. Look for the first boot option
  5. look for the entry that mentions Kernel’.
  6. Add ‘noreplace-paravirt‘ at the end of it.
  7. Save the file
  8. Close the editor.
  9. Tell Ubuntu that you changed the file:
  10. Reboot and everything should be back to normal … until you update again.

NB: If you cannot boot at all, (because your screen is black or throwing some errors), simply follow the same instructions in the first article on booting up Ubuntu.

NB2: If you still have a question, feel free to go to the forum and I’ll try to help as much as I can.

Back in the flying seat

August 23rd, 2009 3 comments
Courseplanner tracking a waypoint

Courseplanner tracking a waypoint

I finally managed to get back to flying a little over the week-end, I am working on some new features for Courseplanner, namely the ability to turn into a waypoint, (or past a waypoint depending on the one you want to visit).

All the coding is done, I am just testing with various aircraft if everything works as expected. With all the small aircraft, (Cessna, Mooney and so on), it works well, but it is another story for the heavies. It is just very hard to remain on course without having some wild turns in order to remain on course.

I also added some small features to see where the automatic flight management of Courseplanner is aiming.

But all in all it is fun to get back to flying again.

Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007 – part deux

July 4th, 2009 10 comments

Ok, so you installed Ubuntu 9.04 on Virtual PC 2007, and it now asks you to reboot, (or you already tried to reboot, cursed me, and came back here to see if you missed something).
If you are lucky, everything works fine, if not you cannot see anything or you get a bunch of errors. This is because, once again, Ubuntu is trying to guess your virtual screen resolution and it is guessing it wrong.

So you need to edit the ‘boot’ file once and for all so that from now on it boots into the right screen.

You need to do 2 things, first you need to edit the boot, one more time to get into Ubuntu and then you will need to update the boot file so that you no longer have to do this again.

So, reboot Ubuntu, when you see something like ‘grub loading…‘, press esc and you will see a menu.

Select the first line, it will say something along the lines of ‘Ubuntu 9.0.4, Kernel …’. The other lines should say almost the same with extra words like, ‘Recovery mode‘ and ‘memtest86+‘ don’t choose those.
Press ‘e’ to edit the boot commands.

Select the line that says something like “Kernel …“, (normally the first one, but sometimes the second line).
Press ‘e’ again, (to edit that line).
At the end of that line simply add

or

Press ‘enter‘.
Press ‘b’ to start the boot sequence.

Now you are back in business, Ununtu is up and running again.
The last thing you need to do is make sure the changes you just did are saved so you don’t have to do the same thing over and over.

So, once Ubuntu is up and running select the menu option, ‘Applications>Accessories>Terminal’ and you should get a white window with a blinking cursor.
Next to that cursor type the following, ‘gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst‘, press enter, give your password.

At the end of the line that says ‘Kernel‘ add ‘noreplace-paravirt‘, (without the quotes of course).
Save the file.
Close the editor

Back at the command prompt simply update the grub, (in other words tell Ubuntu that you changed the file).

And that’s all, you can now reboot into your Virtual PC Ubuntu and all should be fine.

Note: If like me you are lazy and you don’t want to type everything, simply copy the text, place your cursor where you want the text to go and in Virtual PC select ‘Edit>Paste‘ and it will ‘type’ everything for you.

<Edit>Have a look at the third post to help you handle updates.

modprobe s

Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007

July 3rd, 2009 26 comments


I have been using Virtual PC to test reported problems, as a windows developer we only ever had to use Virtual PC for Windows OS, (Vista, XP and so on), but now I wanted to use it to install Ubuntu. If you don’t know what Ubuntu is, Wikipedia has a nice little article about it, basically it is a Linux operating system that has all the pretty desktop feature that most of us Windows users have grown to love.

This is what I used to install Ubuntu on my virtual server.

  • Virtual PC2007 sp1, (get it here).
  • Ubuntu Alternate CD, (get it here).

Create a virtual machine with enough resource, I chose 1024Mb of memory and 30Gb disk space. I think the minimum requirement is 256Mb of memory or something like that but if you can spare 1Gb of memory, use it .

Start the virtual machine and go to CD->Capture ISO image…, (you might need to reset the virtual machine afterwards if, like me, you are not quick enough).

When Ubuntu start it should pickup your ‘CD/ISO image’, you then choose your language
At this point if you try to do the install it will not work, this is because the install program does not ‘guess’ what your video mode is, (after all it is a virtual machine, so you cannot blame Ubuntu for guessing wrong).
So you need to tell it what to use.

To do that when you see the Install Ubuntu menu, (make sure that it is highlighted) . Press F6 and then press esc again to close the menu, (I know, I know there are other ways of doing it, but this way is good enough).

You will see a new line at the bottom that will say ‘Boot Options‘ at move your cursor, (with the arrows), to the end of the line. It should say something like “… quiet —“, delete that and replace it with “ noreplace-paravirt vga=791” and press enter to start the install.
The rest of the install should be fairly straight forward.

A couple of notes:

Select ‘No’ when asked to setup the keyboad, it will then ask you what country you are in and what country your keyboard comes from, otherwise Ubuntu will ask you to test your keyboad.

Be careful when choosing a username and password, remember that this is all case sensitive and the username must start lower case.

I chose not to encrypt the directory.

That’s it, enjoy Ubuntu 9.0.4.

<edit>Please have a look at the 2nd part, there are still some more tweaks needed to get your Ubuntu to work as expected.

www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/
Categories: development Tags: ,

Recovering from a crash

June 20th, 2009 Comments off

I finnally managed to bring my computer back to life, it was a hard drive faillure and none of the data could be recovered, (well, hardly anything worthwhile anyway).
I am normally really careful when it comes to backing up my data so I did not really loose anything important, but I still lost a lot of time re-installing everything, looking for passwords I forgot I even had and so on.
Outlook alone took forever, I use popfile as a spam filter, but it takes a while to ‘teach’ it what is spam and what is not. I also have to check every emails to make sure that it did not report something as that is not spam, (and it did a couple of time), I get in the region of 3500 emails a day, (almost all spam), but I cannot really afford to miss one email.
Then there is firefox and all the passwords that it saved over the years and so on.

I also descided to update my computer so now I have a x64 machine with 4Gb of memory, truth be told, I have not really noticed anything ‘outstanding’ with it yet, maybe my old computer was not so bad after all.

Maybe one day I’ll write myself a little app to backup all those settings so in case of a crash not as much data is lost.

Categories: Real life news Tags: ,

System crash

June 16th, 2009 2 comments

Last night I cam home to find that my good old windows Vista machine would no longer boot properly. It works for a few minutes and then crashes, (with the famous blue screen/memory dump).
So now I am wasting a lot of time trying to recover my system before I can do any ‘real’ work, as luck would have it I was planning on getting some of the more difficult bugs done.

I am actually quite happy that I copy all my code in 3 different locations, imagine if I had lost all my code, that would not have been fun.

But anyway, I guess it happens from time to time, I just have to re-install everything and I should be ready to go.

Categories: Real life news Tags: ,

New bugtracker

June 12th, 2009 Comments off

I finally got around to implement a new bug tracking system. The main reason for that is because I was starting to loose track between requests and bugs, my roadmap was also starting to look a bit like a bug tracking tool as well.  I was also starting to loose track of what I had done when it came time to do releases.

Everybody is more than welcome to create an account and log new bugs, I chose Mantis as it seems to be a fairly ‘up-to-date’  online application.
I am new it, so I might make some mistakes as I go along, so please, bear with me.

I am very keen to do another stable release, but I first have to finish the database import application as it is still a bit ‘clunky’, I want the users to be able to click on one button only to load the database, (a bit like the aircrafts are been imported curently).

Categories: Courseplanner, News Tags:

Finally completed the courseplanner import function

June 3rd, 2009 Comments off

I finally found some time to complete the database import function in Courseplanner.
The database can be created with data from FSX and FS9. I must admit that I am a bit disappointed with the result, it seems that Microsoft flight simulator relies on graphics a lot more than I thought, the data on the .bgl files is not enough to display nice clean airports.
But I am working on ways of building proper curves in taxipath, (and I am also working on improving the general look of surfaces).

I am very busy at work and sadly I cannot work on Courseplanner as much as I would like. But once most of the bugs have been ironed out of the import function I will be able to continue working on various other bugs/features that have been reported on the forum.

A quiet Easter week

April 12th, 2009 Comments off

This whole week I have been busy with my ‘real’ job, and I have not been able to do as much work as I was hoping.

Even this Easter weekend, (a bank holiday on Friday an Monday for us), I was not really able to do much. The wife and I went to visit some friends about a 100 miles from our home, (a good 4 hours round trip at least).
And to make matters worse I also had to  do some DIY work around the house, (the shower will never be the same!, I should really stick to programming).

But here I am now, trying to get back to work and finish the map work I have been putting off for far too long.

Categories: Real life news Tags: , , ,

Tackling the map issue

April 7th, 2009 2 comments

I have finally started working on the map issue we have been having. The problem is that the map is perfect when it comes to looking far away but it is blurry, (at best when looking at it up close)

In courseplanner version 3 the map was actually a set of points of the world that was drawn. The result was a far from picture perfect image but it worked rather well when zooming in really close, (about as close as an airport for example).
So I am going to re-add the outlining and try to ‘marry’ the NASA photo realistic image with the outline drawing.

Another option is to offer the 600Mb map of the world to the users. Maybe ship it to them via CD or something, (maybe allow a download?) This will partly solve the problem and make the image even more realistic, (the definition is 50M or something like that. So the map should be close to ‘perfect’ I hope.

But, before I do that, let me finish the outline. I see that a few flight planners offer the outline to simplify the view, so let me also try it.

As I am on leave for the next few days I will try and get it all done in 3 or 4 days.

Categories: Courseplanner, News Tags: ,