Friday, August 28, 2009

Dvorak Assistant

Here's an interesting utility that assists with usage of Dvorak keyboard layout. I'm still missing the shortcuts for Cut/Copy/Paste and Undo so I keep another layout available when I need to do the copy/paste tasks.
Dvorak Assistant uses another shortcut key to switch between Dvorak and another keyboard. The good thing is that it locks the Alt+Shift combination so you don't accidentally switch from Dvorak once it's activated.

Dvorak Assistant | Get Dvorak Assistant at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Convert VMDK (VmWare) virtual disks to VDI (VirtualBox)

With the new version of VirtualBox (3.0) it is time to see the performance of VirtualBox again. Instead of reinstalling my virtual machines, I am going to simply convert the existing VMWare boxes.
The command to convert a VMWare disk to native Virtualbox ones I used was
VBoxManage clonehd Root_Disk.vmdk Root_Disk.vdi --format VDI
I used the VMDK support in VirtualBox, utilizing the .vmdk disk, but everything went terribly wrong. The disk operations were completely flawed. Installations of software in the virtual machine, which was on an USB drive, were faulty, random errors were popping up, etc, etc. I lost a week just trying to figure out what was wrong with the virtual machine. Let's hope conversion to VDI would make the converted virtual machines stable.
Also, what I hope to see with the v3.0 of VirtualBox is improved performance when virtual machines are run from an external USB drive...

EDIT: According to comments, a "--format VDI" is required to determine the type of the destination disk image. For a more detailed overview and options see the documentation page on VBoxManage and clonehd command

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Create an SSL Certificate for Use with IIS

The tutorial below lists the steps to generate an SSL certificate for use with IIS. The certificate is created using OpenSSL. Pretty straightforward and works as per instructions. Includes only two small downloads - OpenSSL light distribution and Visual C++ 2008 redistributable from Microsoft. Links provided in the tutorial.
Importing into IIS7 is pretty easy. In the server options go to Server Certificates, create a request. Then generate a certificate using the request. Come back to IIS Manager and Complete Certificate Request. Easy.

Creating a Self-Signed Certificate using OpenSSL for use with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5

Friday, August 14, 2009

Throttle Bandwidth for Firefox

Some customers, using web applications, happen to get all kinds of weird errors and "features" that never show up during development and testing of web applications. Should you need to test using your web site over a slow network link, there is an application that does this for Firefox.
All these web development addons make Firefox the best web development platform out there.
Firefox Throttle :: Add-ons for Firefox

Friday, August 07, 2009

Original Smileys for Pidgin

If you like to have the original smileys in different protocols in Pidgin, check the smiley theme below. It contains the original smileys, which really make a difference in bringing the original feeling of the protocol/network you are using to chat.

Original Smileys Theme for Pidgin - wiki@AndreiNeculau

Monday, August 03, 2009

Setting Status per Account in Pidgin

In Pidgin it is not quite obvious at a first glance how to set the status for an individual account. Some people may need this but it is not readily available as the purpose of Pidgin was something else.
However, there is one built-in option on how to do this and one in the form of a plug-in.

The first is described here. Pidgin has an option to define a custom status. When you create a New status, there is an option to set individual status per account. This may work well if you have set situations and you want to apply individual statuses as a set. So, set some to invisible, some to available, etc.

The second option, mystatusbox plugin, can be downloaded at the link below. It allows seeing and setting every account to their native statuses, supported by the protocol.
Downloads – Pidgin Plugins
MyStatusBox plugin is a part of puple pack. So, grab the zip from the link above and copy either only this or any other plugins you my want into the plugins directory.