Friday Oct 30, 2009

VirtualBox 3.0.10 is now available

VirtualBox 3.0.10 has been released for all platforms. 3.0.10 is a maintenance release and contains quite a few performance and stability improvements.

# psrinfo -v
Status of virtual processor 0 as of: 10/30/2009 14:33:18
  on-line since 10/30/2009 08:18:50.
  The i386 processor operates at 2613 MHz,
	and has an i387 compatible floating point processor.
Status of virtual processor 1 as of: 10/30/2009 14:33:18
  on-line since 10/30/2009 08:18:52.
  The i386 processor operates at 2613 MHz,
	and has an i387 compatible floating point processor.
Status of virtual processor 2 as of: 10/30/2009 14:33:18
  on-line since 10/30/2009 08:18:52.
  The i386 processor operates at 2613 MHz,
	and has an i387 compatible floating point processor.
Status of virtual processor 3 as of: 10/30/2009 14:33:18
  on-line since 10/30/2009 08:18:52.
  The i386 processor operates at 2613 MHz,
	and has an i387 compatible floating point processor.

As you can see my 4 CPU Solaris guest is running just fine. I was encouraged after 3.0.8 but under heavy network loads the SMP guest would lock up. I've been playing youtube videos while doing live upgrades for the last couple of hours and everything seems to be running as expected.

Changes in VirtualBox 3.0.10 include
  • VMM: guest SMP stability fixes
  • VMM: fixed guru meditation with nested paging and SMP guests
  • VMM: changed VT-x/AMD-V usage to detect other active hypervisors; necessary for e.g. Windows 7 XP compatibility mode (Windows & Mac OS X hosts only)
  • VMM: guru meditation during SCO OpenServer installation and reboot (VT-x only)
  • VMM: fixed accessed bit handling in certain cases
  • VMM: fixed VPID flushing (VT-x only)
  • VMM: fixed broken nested paging for 64 bits guests on 32 bits hosts (AMD-V only)
  • VMM: fixed loading of old saved states/snapshots
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed memory leaks
  • Mac OS X hosts (Snow Leopard): fixed redraw problem in a dual screen setup
  • Windows hosts: installer updates for Windows 7
  • Solaris hosts: out of memory handled incorrectly
  • Solaris hosts: the previous fix for #5077 broke the DVD host support on Solaris 10 (VBox 3.0.8 regression)
  • Linux hosts: fixed module compilation against Linux 2.6.32rc4 and later
  • Guest Additions: fixed possible guest OS kernel memory exhaustion
  • Guest Additions: fixed stability issues with SMP guests
  • Windows Additions: fixed color depth issue with low resolution hosts, netbooks, etc.
  • Windows Additions: fixed NO_MORE_FILES error when saving to shared folders
  • Windows Additions: fixed subdirectory creation on shared folders
  • Linux Additions: sendfile() returned -EOVERFLOW when executed on a shared folder
  • Linux Additions: fixed incorrect disk usage value (non-Windows hosts only)
  • Linux installer: register the module sources at DKMS even if the package provides proper modules for the current running kernel
  • 3D support: removed invalid OpenGL assertion
  • Network: fixed the Am79C973 PCNet emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests
  • VMDK: fix handling of split image variants
  • VHD: do not delay updating the footer when expanding the image to prevent image inconsistency
  • USB: stability fix for some USB 2.0 devices
  • GUI: added a search index to the .chm help file
  • GUI/Windows hosts: fixed CapsLock handling on French keyboards
  • Shared clipboard/X11 hosts: fixed a crash when clipboard initialisation failed
If you are running on a Solaris or OpenSolaris host you should reboot your systems after reloading the kernel driver as soon as it is convenient. This is a temporary situation that is expected to be resolved soon.

For a complete list of the changes in this release, please take a look at the VirtualBox Changelog.

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Wednesday Oct 21, 2009

Pun for the day: Truculent

    Truculent (n) - A borrowed vehicle, normally from a neighbor or family member.

    Usage: I've returned that truculent me last week.

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

Pun for the day: Biathlon

    Biathlon (v) - Choosing an AMD motherboard over Intel for your next home computer project.

Monday Oct 19, 2009

Pun for the day: Iconoclast

    Iconoclast (n) - Your most recent Twitter profile picture.

Saturday Oct 17, 2009

Pun for the day: Latency

    Latency (adv) - A warning, generally issued to teenagers.

    Usage: You can go to the movies with your friends, but come home latency that you will be grounded for the next two weeks.

Friday Oct 16, 2009

Pun for the day: IO Channel

    IO Channel (n) - A new cable TV network dedicated to actors who made careers out of playing peripheral characters.

Thursday Oct 15, 2009

Pun for the day: Hypervisor

    hypervisor (n) - the type of boss that wants regular status reports. Hourly.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2009

Pun for the day: Paravirtualization

    paravirtualization (n) - what happens when you run both VMware and VirtualBox in your environment.

Friday Oct 09, 2009

What's New in Solaris 10 10/09

Solaris 10 10/09 (u8) is now available for download at DVD ISO images (full and segments that can be reassembled after download) are available for both SPARC and x86.

Here are a few of the new features in this release that caught my attention.

Packaging and Patching

Improved performance of SVR4 package commands: Improvements have been made in the SVR4 package commands (pkgadd, pkgrm, pkginfo et al). The impact of these can be seen in drastically reduced zone installation time. How much of an improvement you ask (and you know I have to answer with some data, right) ?
# cat /etc/release; uname -a

                        Solaris 10 5/09 s10x_u7wos_08 X86
           Copyright 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
                        Use is subject to license terms.
                             Assembled 30 March 2009
SunOS chapterhouse 5.10 Generic_141415-09 i86pc i386 i86pc

# time zoneadm -z zone1 install
Preparing to install zone .
Creating list of files to copy from the global zone.
Copying <2905> files to the zone.
Initializing zone product registry.
Determining zone package initialization order.
Preparing to initialize <1453> packages on the zone.
Initialized <1453> packages on zone.
Zone  is initialized.
Installation of these packages generated errors: 
The file  contains a log of the zone installation.

real    5m48.476s
user    0m45.538s
sys     2m9.222s
#  cat /etc/release; uname -a

                       Solaris 10 10/09 s10x_u8wos_08a X86
           Copyright 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
                        Use is subject to license terms.
                           Assembled 16 September 2009
SunOS corrin 5.10 Generic_141445-09 i86pc i386 i86pc

# time zoneadm -z zone1 install
Preparing to install zone .
Creating list of files to copy from the global zone.
Copying <2915> files to the zone.
Initializing zone product registry.
Determining zone package initialization order.
Preparing to initialize <1432> packages on the zone.
Initialized <1432> packages on zone.
Zone  is initialized.
Installation of these packages generated errors: 
The file  contains a log of the zone installation.

real    3m4.677s
user    0m44.593s
sys     0m48.003s
OK, that's pretty impressive. A zone installation on Solaris 10 10/09 takes about half of the time as it does on Solaris 10 5/09. It is also worth noting the rather large reduction in the amount of system time (48 seconds vs 129 seconds) too.

Zones parallel patching: Before Solaris 10 10/09 the patching process was single threaded which could lead to prolonged patching time on a system with several nonglobal zones. Starting with this update you can specify the number of threads to be used to patch a system with zones. Enable this feature by assigning a value to num_proc in /etc/patch/pdo.conf. The maximum value is capped at 1.5 times the number of on-line CPUs, but can be limited by a lower value of num_proc.

This feature is also available by applying Solaris patches 119254-66 (SPARC) or 119255-66 (x86).

For more information on the effects of zone parallel patching, see Container Guru Jeff Victor's excellent Patching Zones Goes Zoom.

ZFS Enhancements

Flash archive install into a ZFS root filesystem: ZFS support for the root file system was introduced in Solaris 10 10/08 but the install tools did not work with flash archives. Solaris 10 10/09 provides the ability to install a flash archive created from an existing ZFS root system. This capability is also provided by patches 119534-15 + 124630-26 (SPARC) or 119535-15 + 124631-27 (x86) that can be applied to a Solaris 10 10/08 or later system. There are still a few limitations such as the the flash source must be from a ZFS root system and you cannot use differential archives. More information can be found in Installing a ZFS Root File System (Flash Archive Installation).

Set ZFS properties on the initial zpool file system: Prior to Solaris 10 10/09, ZFS file system properties could only be set once the initial file system was created. This would make it impossible to create a pool with same name as an existing mounted file system or to be able to have replication or compression from the time the pool is created. In Solaris 10 10/09 you can specify any ZFS file system property using zpool -O.
 zpool create -O mountpoint=/data,copies=3,compression=on datapool c1t1d0 c1t2d0
ZFS Read Cache (L2ARC): You now have the ability to add persistent read ahead caches to a ZFS zpool. This can improve the read performance of ZFS as well as reducing the ZFS memory footprint.

L2ARC devices are added as cache vdevs to a pool. In the following example we will create a pool of 2 mirrored devices, 2 cache devices and a spare.
# zpool create datapool mirror c1t1d0 c1t2d0 cache c1t3d0 c1t4d0 spare c1t5d0

# zpool status datapool
  pool: datapool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        datapool    ONLINE       0     0     0
          mirror    ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t1d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t2d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t3d0    ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t4d0    ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t5d0    AVAIL

errors: No known data errors
So what do ZFS cache devices do ? Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of the L2ARC, I would rather refer you to Fishworks developer Brendan Gregg's excellent treatment of the subject.

Unlike the intent log (ZIL), L2ARC cache devices can be added and removed dynamically.
# zpool remove datapool c1t3d0
# zpool remove datapool c1t4d0

# zpool status datapool
  pool: datapool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        datapool    ONLINE       0     0     0
          mirror    ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t1d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t2d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t5d0    AVAIL

errors: No known data errors

# zpool add datapool cache c1t3d0

# zpool status datapool
  pool: datapool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        datapool    ONLINE       0     0     0
          mirror    ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t1d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t2d0  ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t3d0    ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t5d0    AVAIL

errors: No known data errors
New cache control properties: Two new ZFS properties are introduced with Solaris 10 10/09. These control what what is stored (nothing, data + metadata, or metadata only) in the ARC (memory) and L2ARC (external) caches. These new properties are
  • primarycache - controls what is stored in the memory resident ARC cache
  • secondarycache - controls what is stored in the L2ARC
and they can take the values
  • none - the caches are not used
  • metadata - only file system metadata is cached
  • all - both file system data and the metadata is stored in the associated cache
# zpool create -O primarycache=metadata -O secondarycache=all datapool c1t1d0 c1t2d0 cache c1t3d0 
There are workloads such as databases that perform better or make more efficient use of memory if the system is not competing with the caches that the applications are maintaining themselves.

User and group quotas:ZFS has always had quotas and reservations but they were applied at the file system level. To achieve user or group quotas would require creating additional file systems which might make administration more complex. Starting with Solaris 10 10/09 you can apply both user and group quotas to a file system much like you would with UFS. The ZFS file system must be at version 15 or later and the zpool must be at version 4 or later.

Let's create a file system and see if we are at the proper versions to set quotas.
# zfs create rpool/newdata
# chown bobn:local /rpool/newdata

# zpool get version rpool
rpool  version   18       default

# zpool upgrade -v
This system is currently running ZFS pool version 18.

The following versions are supported:

---  --------------------------------------------------------
 1   Initial ZFS version
 2   Ditto blocks (replicated metadata)
 3   Hot spares and double parity RAID-Z
 4   zpool history
 5   Compression using the gzip algorithm
 6   bootfs pool property
 7   Separate intent log devices
 8   Delegated administration
 9   refquota and refreservation properties
 10  Cache devices
 11  Improved scrub performance
 12  Snapshot properties
 13  snapused property
 14  passthrough-x aclinherit
 15  user/group space accounting
 16  stmf property support
 17  Triple-parity RAID-Z
 18  snapshot user holds
For more information on a particular version, including supported releases, see:

Where 'N' is the version number.

# zfs get version rpool/newdata
rpool/newdata  version   4 

# zfs upgrade -v
The following filesystem versions are supported:

---  --------------------------------------------------------
 1   Initial ZFS filesystem version
 2   Enhanced directory entries
 3   Case insensitive and File system unique identifier (FUID)
 4   userquota, groupquota properties

For more information on a particular version, including supported releases, see:

Where 'N' is the version number.
Excellent. Now let's set a user and group quota and see what happens. We'll set a group quota of 1GB and a user quota at 2GB.
# zfs set groupquota@local=1g rpool/newdata
# zfs set userquota@bobn=2g rpool/newdata

# su - bobn

% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file1
% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file2
% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file3
file3: initialized 40370176 of 524288000 bytes: Disc quota exceeded

As expected, we have exceeded our group quota. Let's change the group of the existing files and see if we can proceed to our user quota.
% rm /rpool/newdata/file3
% chgrp sales /rpool/newdata/file1 /rpool/newdata/file2
% mkfile 500m /rpool/newdata/file3
Could not open /rpool/newdata/disk3: Disc quota exceeded

Whoa! What's going on here ? Relax - ZFS does things asynchronously unless told otherwise. And we should have noticed this when the mkfile for file3 actually started. ZFS wasn't quite caught up with the current usage. A good sync should do the trick.
% sync
% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file3
% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file4
% mkfile 500M /rpool/newdata/file5
/rpool/newdata/disk5: initialized 140247040 of 524288000 bytes: Disc quota exceeded

Great. We now have user and group quotas. How can I find out what I have used against my quota ? There are two new ZFS properties, userused and groupused that will show what the group or user is currently consuming.
% zfs get userquota@bobn,userused@bobn rpool/newdata
NAME           PROPERTY        VALUE           SOURCE
rpool/newdata  userquota@bobn  2G              local
rpool/newdata  userused@bobn   1.95G           local

% zfs get groupquota@local,groupused@local rpool/newdata
NAME           PROPERTY          VALUE             SOURCE
rpool/newdata  groupquota@local  1G                local
rpool/newdata  groupused@local   1000M             local

% zfs get groupquota@sales,groupused@sales rpool/newdata
NAME           PROPERTY          VALUE             SOURCE
rpool/newdata  groupquota@sales  none              local
rpool/newdata  groupused@sales   1000M             local

% zfs get groupquota@scooby,groupused@scooby rpool/newdata
NAME           PROPERTY           VALUE              SOURCE
rpool/newdata  groupquota@scooby  -                  -
rpool/newdata  groupused@scooby   -   
New space usage properties: Four new usage properties have been added to ZFS file systems.
  • usedbychildren (usedchild) - this is the amount of space that is used by all of the children of the specified dataset
  • usedbydataset (usedds) - this is the total amount of space that would be freed if this dataset and it's snapshots and reservations were destroyed
  • usedbyrefreservation (usedrefreserv) - this is the amount of space that would be freed if the dataset's reservations were to be removed
  • usertbysnapshots (usedsnap) - the total amount of space that would be freed if all of the snapshots of this dataset were deleted.
# zfs get all datapool | grep used
datapool  used                  5.39G                  -
datapool  usedbysnapshots       19K                    -
datapool  usedbydataset         26K                    -
datapool  usedbychildren        5.39G                  -
datapool  usedbyrefreservation  0                      -

These new properties can also be viewed in a nice tabular form using zfs list -o space.
# zfs list -r -o space datapool
datapool        480M  5.39G       19K     26K              0      5.39G
datapool@now       -    19K         -       -              -          -
datapool/fs1    480M   400M         0    400M              0          0
datapool/fs2   1.47G  1.00G         0   1.00G              0          0
datapool/fs3    480M    21K         0     21K              0          0
datapool/fs4   2.47G      0         0       0              0          0
datapool/vol1  1.47G     1G         0     16K          1024M          0


Support for 2TB boot disks: Solaris 10 10/09 supports a disk Volume Table of Contents (VTOC) of up to 2TB in size. The previous maximum VTOC size was 1TB. On x86 systems you must be running Solaris with a 64bit kernel and have at least 1GB of memory to use a VTOC larger that 1TB.

pcitool: A new command for Solaris that can assign interrupts to specific threads or display the current interrupt routing. This command is available for both SPARC and x86.

New iSCSI initiator SMF service: svc:/network/iscsi/initiator:default is a new Service Management Facility (SMF) service to control discovery and enumeration of iSCSI devices early in the boot process. Other boot services that may require iSCSI services can add dependencies to insure that the devices are available before being needed.

Device Drivers

The following device drivers are either new to Solaris or have had some new features or chipsets added.
  • MPxIO support for the LSI 6180 Controller
  • LSI MPT 2.0 SAS 2.0 controllers (mpt_sas)
  • Broadcom NetXTreme II gigabit Ethernet (bcm5716c and bcm5716s) controllers
  • Interrupt remapping for Intel VT-x enabled processors
  • Support for SATA AHCI tape
  • Sun StorageTek 6Gb/s SAS RAID controller and LSI MegaRAID 92xx (mt_sas)
  • Intel 82598 and 82599 10Gb/s PCIe Ethernet controller

Open Source Software Updates

The following open source packages have been updated for Solaris 10 10/09.
  • NTP 4.2.5
  • PostgreSQL versions 8.1.17, 8.2.13 and 8.3.7
  • Samba 3.0.35

For more information

A complete list of new features and changes can be found in the Solaris 10 10/09 Release Notes and the What's New in Solaris 10 10/09 documentation at

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Tuesday Oct 06, 2009

VirtualBox 3.0.8 is now available

VirtualBox 3.0.8 has been released for all platforms. 3.0.8 is a maintenance release and contains quite a few performance and stability improvements. For a list of the changes in this release, please take a look at the VirtualBox Changelog.

It's early yet but my testing of multi-cpu Solaris guests is quite encouraging. I've been stressing several of them quite hard and they are working as expected. I am still using IDE for my virtual platform disk controllers. I'll fire up a few tomorrow and see how SATA does. My Solaris desktop is now smokin' fast.

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Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Oracle reduces licensing multiplier for UltraSPARC T2+ systems

Taking a look at the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table, I noticed that on September 24 our friends at Oracle have reduced the per core licensing factor on UltraSPARC T2+ systems. This includes the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140, T5240, T5440 and T6340 (blade). If you will permit the pun, this is very cool news indeed.

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Monday Sep 28, 2009

VirtualBox 3.0.6 has been released

I'm a bit late getting this one out, but VirtualBox 3.0.6 has been released for all platforms. 3.0.6 is a maintenance release and contains quite a few performance and stability improvements. For a list of the changes in this release, please take a look at the VirtualBox Changelog.

The biggest improvement I've noticed is in the shared folders performance for Solaris guests. This is now quite usable and greatly simplifies my internal VBox configuration. I no longer need to maintain an internal NFS server VM for sharing my data across Solaris guests. There are also a number of fixes for networking, especially host only networking.

Unfortunately Solaris SMP guests are still a bit troublesome. I have found the best combination being OpenSolaris 2009.06 and using IDE disk controllers in the virtual platform. This combination has proved to be stable under quite a few intense tests. Up through 4 virtual CPUs.

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George Carlin, John Ritter and Twitter ?

What do George Carlin, John Ritter and Twitter have in common ?

OK, not all that much. But I am a big fan of analogies and identity linkages, especially ones that relate to popular culture. Perhaps that is because I'm so un-pop as my daughter frequently reminds me. She does have a point though - a random person would recognize less than 1% of what's on my iPod and probable less than half of my DVD collection. That's what makes these types of connections so fascinating. I have to work at them.

For background, and a bit more un-pop admission, social media tools like Twitter and Facebook leave me scratching my head from time to time. Yes, I'm old school and would much rather grab a brew and some chicken wings with my buddies at the corner beverage consumption establishment than type at a web browser or squint at my iPhone. At the same time I've managed to find an great bunch of folks on Twitter (#stlcards) following the St. Louis Cardinals quest for their 11th World Series title (that's baseball for those of you in parts of the world that have other national sporting games). In an attempt to understand the full Twitter experience (#musicmonday, #followfriday, #battl), I've found that you can collect followers at an alarming rate. Without really trying.

The Six Words you can't say in a Tweet

George Carlin taught us the seven words you can't say on television and I think there should be a similar list for Twitter. Here is my list of the six words you should never use in a tweet.
  1. Insurance - This one comes up frequently in a close baseball game. Someone would tweet "We could sure use a couple of insurance runs here" and wham, you get followed by a dozen twitterbots all wanting to save you on home/car/health/whatever insurance. OK, the Geico gecko is sort of charming, but these insurance bots are annoying.
  2. iPhone - No thanks, I already have an iPhone. I don't need iPhone News either. I don't need to purchase a slightly used unlocked iPhone. And I don't want to sell my iPhone. I should have said Blackberry from a different account.
  3. Beatles - Didn't quite expect this one. I once replied that I grew up in the anti-Beatles era and I got swamped by a bunch of followers offering me everything from Beatles bootlegs to a great deal on Rock Band Beatles. And those are the ones I can repeat in public. No thanks.
  4. Money - This one should have been obvious. Ask how much money the Red Sox are contributing to the John Smoltz contract for the remainder of year ? All of a sudden I feel like I'm the only carbohydrate in a South Beach Diet celebration party.
  5. Tooth, teeth, dentist - Teeth whitening ? They chase you all over the web. And apparently they will follow you throughout the twitterverse. I thought all of our virtual selves had perfectly straight shiny white teeth. I guess not.
  6. Any word that can be used in an adult context - This is getting harder and harder as more of the vocabulary gets hijacked. I once tweeted about a great photo of a North American Cougar and I'll let your imagination guess what happened next. Apparently I need to keep up with the adult oriented jargon a bit more closely.

8 Simple Rules for Getting Blocked on Twitter

As for the John Ritter connection, the late actor last entertained us with the situational comedy 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and that seemed oddly appropriate as I scanned my follower list. So here are my 8 Simple Rules for Getting Blocked on Twitter.
  1. You post from ABI. To borrow from one of the most memorable movie quotes (John Hurt as John Merrick in The Elephant Man), I am not a web browser, I am a human being. And as such I expect all of my followers to be in kind.
  2. The bio in your Twitter profile includes the phrase "making money off the internet", "social media", or "network marketing". You may be here to make money, but that's not why I'm here. So shoo and leave me alone.
  3. Your profile picture causes me to blush. Or maybe more specifically, if I quickly reach for the back or close button on my browser when I first see your profile picture, you will be blocked. I'm sure there are many out there that would appreciate your attention, so please go find one of them and leave me alone.
  4. The website listed in your Twitter profile is from a URL redirector such as This is the most basic phishing scam, and today I think I'd rather have the chicken. Bzzzz - you are the weakest follower, goodbye.
  5. Shelley Ryan. If you have been unfortunate enough to have been noticed by Shelley Ryan, you will understand why this gets a rule of its own. It actually passes all of the earlier tests for being blocked, but since this happens so often, it gets a special rule all by itself. Even the most dreadful of contagious diseases often have periods of remission or hibernation. Not so with Shelley Ryan. To be fair, I don't think there is a Shelley Ryan, but if you see your follower count increase suddenly and then feel an itching somewhere - it's probably a Shelley Ryan infestation. The cure is to hit the block button twice and check back in the morning. Repeat as needed.
  6. You tweet about teeth whitening. As has already been established, comments about teeth and dentistry invite all sorts of pesky marketing bots onto your followers list. If that happens, reach for the block button.
  7. You are following more people than I have CDs in my music library. I know there are all sorts of reasons that people use Twitter. If you are following 1,000 people then you aren't following anybody - understand ? Said differently, I'm not going to keep up with the cacophony of 1,000 people on a regular basis. If you are one of my followers then I would expect that I would want to follow you. Those dots should be relatively easy to connect. There are other tools where I can talk at you. I'm trying to use Twitter to talk with you.
  8. Would I want to follow you ? The final part of the social contract. I take a look at your tweets and ask if I would want to be associated with that dialog. With my friends following the St. Louis Cardinals, the answer is absolutely. And also with a slightly larger group of connected folks found through #followfriday. But it is still a rather small and relatively intimate community. And you still have to pass the spouse and daughter test. If my spouse or daughter were to pick up my iPhone and launch my Twitter application (Twitterific at present), would I be embarrassed or feel the need to explain. This is a good test for any sort of Internet activity, and certainly one that my daughter has to follow. Twitter is no exception.
Now, I've shared some of my Twitter blocking rules. Please feel free to share some of yours.

Friday Sep 11, 2009

Facts about Albert Pujols

As the 2009 Major League Baseball season enters its final month, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols looks to win his second National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. St. Louis Cardinals Twitter Nation (#stlcards) member Ray Kern (@Southside_Ray) thought it would be a good idea to share some of what we have learned about the Cardinal slugger. So in the spirit of Facts about Chuck Norris, here are some .....

    Facts about Albert Pujols

  1. Albert Pujols doesn't hit baseballs. Baseballs see Albert and fly out of the park on their own.
  2. An Albert Pujols home run can cause the tides to change.
  3. Albert Pujols bats third because if he hit in any other spot it would cause the world to collapse.
  4. If Albert Pujols were to play for any other team, that team would instantaneously transform into the St. Louis Cardinals.
  5. Albert Pujols could play every position. He just thinks other players deserve a chance too.
  6. While playing a home game for the Springfield Cardinals (AA farm team of the St. Louis Cardinals), Albert Pujols once hit a ball so far it was credited as a home run in both Springfield and St. Louis.
  7. An Albert Pujols home run equals two home homes by any other player.
  8. Anybody who sees Albert Pujols hit a home suddenly becomes a St. Louis Cardinals fan (Cubs fans excluded, naturally)
  9. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pitching to Albert Pujols as a homeopathic cure for constipation.
  10. When the player in front of Albert Pujols hits a home run it is because the pitcher is watching Albert taking his practice swings.
  11. When Albert Pujols is in your town the local air traffic control won't allow airplanes within 25 miles of the stadium.
  12. The reason former Cardinal pitchers give up home runs to Albert Pujols is because they're too distracted by his glowing red eyes.
  13. Tony LaRussa refuses to let Albert Pujols pitch because it would make teammate Chris Carpenter look bad.
  14. When Albert Pujols hits a home run the person catching the ball has great luck for a year. And a broken hand for the next six weeks ... So beware!
  15. When other Cardinal players try to touch Albert Pujols' bat after he hits a home run, it burns their hands.
  16. Albert Pujols can only hit 2 home runs in a game. Unless, of course, he wants to hit more.
  17. When dreaming, Albert Pujols hits all the time... Oh wait thats not a dream!
  18. Tony LaRussa asks Albert Pujols for managing advice.
  19. Albert Pujols once traveled back in time. You may know him as Babe Ruth.
  20. Albert Pujols went down to the crossroads to make a deal with the Devil. Once the Devil saw Albert hit, he just shook his head and gave Albert his soul instead.
  21. Albert Pujols was the first right handed batter to hit a home run into McCovey Cove (San Francisco). From San Diego.
  22. If Ted Williams hit in front of Albert Pujols in 1947, Williams would have lost the triple crown. But he would have hit .531.
  23. Tweets about Albert Pujols are the number one reason that Twitter goes over capacity.
  24. They will eventually name the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award the Albert Pujols Award.
  25. The reason that Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter are Cy Young candidates in 2009 is that neither of them have to pitch to Albert Pujols.
  26. Interstate 70 will be renamed The Albert Pujols Highway. Interstate 70 was also given to Albert has part of his most recent contract negotiation.
  27. Swine flu once got a case of Albert Pujols.
  28. The games the St. Louis Cardinals lose is because Albert Pujols wants the season to be more interesting.
  29. Albert Pujols could hit a home run in every game. But he doesn't want to appear too good.
  30. Albert Pujols doesn't inject himself with human growth hormones (HGH). He injects himself with hot lava.
  31. Albert Pujols was the only baseball player ever drafted at birth.
I'm sure this list will grow, as will the legend of Albert Pujols. If you have any facts about Albert, please send them to me and I will update this list.

A very special thanks to Ray Kern for getting this list started and contributing most of the content. And thanks to Cardinal Nation on Twitter (#stlcards). If you want to follow some of the best fans in sports, check out #stlcards on Twitter.

Wednesday Sep 09, 2009

VirtualBox 3.0.6 Beta Release 1 is now available for testing

The first beta release of VirtualBox 3.0.6 is now available. You can download the binaries at

Version 3.0.6 is a maintenance update and contains the following fixes
  • VMM: fixed IO-APIC overhead for 32 bits Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003 guests (AMD-V only; bug #4392)
  • VMM: fixed a Guru meditation under certain circumstances when enabling a disabled device (bug #4510)
  • VMM: fixed a Guru meditation when booting certain Arch Linux guests (software virtualization only; bug #2149)
  • VMM: fixed hangs with 64 bits Solaris & OpenSolaris guests (bug #2258)
  • VMM: fixed decreasing rdtsc values (AMD-V & VT-x only; bug #2869)
  • VMM: small Solaris/OpenSolaris performance improvements (VT-x only)
  • VMM: cpuid change to correct reported virtual CPU id in Linux
  • VMM: NetBSD 5.0.1 CD hangs during boot (VT-x only; bug #3947)
  • Solaris hosts: fixed a potential host system deadlock when CPUs were onlined or offlined
  • Python WS: fixed issue with certain enumerations constants having wrong value in Python webservices bindings
  • Python API: several threading and platform issues fixed
  • Python shell: added exportVM command
  • Python shell: improvments and bugfixes
  • Python shell: corrected detection of home directory in remote case
  • OVF: fixed XML comment handling that could lead to parser errors
  • Main: fixed a rare parsing problem with port numbers of USB device filters in machine settings XML
  • Main: restrict guest RAM size to 1.5 GB (32 bits Windows hosts only)
  • GUI: fixed rare crash when removing the last disk from the media manager (bug #4795)
  • Linux hosts: don't crash on Linux PAE kernel < 2.6.11 (in particular RHEL/CentOS 4); disable VT-x on Linux kernels < 2.6.13 (bug #1842)
  • Linux/Solaris hosts: correctly detect keyboards with less keys than usual (bug #4799)
  • Serial: fixed host mode (Solaris, Linux and Mac OS X hosts; bug #4672)
  • VRDP: Remote USB Protocol version 3
  • SATA: fixed hangs and BSODs introduced with 3.0.4 (#4695, #4739, #4710)
  • SATA: fixed a bug which prevented Windows 7 from detecting more than one hard disk
  • iSCSI: fix logging out when the target has dropped the connection, fix negotiation of simparameters, fix command resend when the connection was dropped, fix processing SCSI status for targets which do not use phase collapse
  • BIOS: fixed a bug preventing to start the OS/2 boot manager (2.1.0 regression, bug #3911)
  • PulseAudio: don't hang during VM termination if the connection to the server was unexpectedly terminated (bug #3100)
  • Mouse: fixed weird mouse behaviour with SMP (Solaris) guests
  • HostOnly Network: fixed failure in CreateHostOnlyNetworkInterface() on Linux (no GUID)
  • HostOnly Network: fixed wrong DHCP server startup while hostonly interface bringup on Linux
  • HostOnly Network: fixed incorrect factory and default MAC address on Solaris
  • DHCP: fixed a bug in the DHCP server where it allocated one IP address less than the configured range
  • E1000: fixed receiving of multicast packets
  • E1000: fixed up/down link notification after resuming a VM
  • NAT: fixed ethernet address corruptions (bug #4839)
  • NAT: fixed hangs, dropped packets and retransmission problems (bug #4343)
  • Bridged Network: fixed packet queue issue which might cause DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE BSOD for windows hosts (bug #4821)
  • Windows Additions: fixed a bug in VBoxGINA which prevented selecting the right domain when logging in the first time
  • Windows host installer: should now also work on unicode systems (like Korean, bug #3707)
  • Shared clipboard: do not send zero-terminated text to X11 guests and hosts (bug #4712)
  • Shared clipboard: use a less CPU intensive way of checking for new data on X11 guests and hosts (bug #4092)
  • Mac OS X hosts: prevent password dialogs in 32Bit Snow Leopard
  • Solaris hosts: worked around an issue that caused the host to hang (bug #4486)
  • Guest Additions: do not hide the host mouse cursor when restoring a saved state (bug #4700)
  • Windows guests: fixed issues with the display of the mouse cursor image (bugs #2603, #2660 and #4817)
  • SUSE 11 guests: fixed Guest Additions installation (bug #4506)
  • Guest Additions: support Fedora 12 Alpha guests (bugs #4731, #4733 and #4734)

Please do not use this VirtualBox Beta release on production machines. A VirtualBox Beta release should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes.

Please use our 'VirtualBox Beta Feedback' forum at to report any problems with the Beta.

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Bob Netherton is a Principal Sales Consultant for the North American Commercial Hardware group, specializing in Solaris, Virtualization and Engineered Systems. Bob is also a contributing author of Solaris 10 Virtualization Essentials.

This blog will contain information about all three, but primarily focused on topics for Solaris system administrators.

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