When VMware Fusion Networking Fails

Every now and then my Windows XP virtual machine goes on the fritz and cannot access the network. I restart Fusion, restart Windows XP, try to reinstall Fusion, changing from NAT to bridged, and back again but nothing seems to work. I’ve run in to this problem twice in the last month, and it was driving me crazy. It would die for a few hours or days and just come back to working as if nothing had happened.

The intertubes were of no help until I stumbled upon a set of tools that ship with Fusion that basically restarts the networking stack (actually I think it’s supposed to restart the entire VM). If you can’t seem to get anything to work on your VM in VMware Fusion, give this shell script a go from the Terminal. If you have HardwareGrowler running, you’ll see it detatch and reattach all the VMware devices.

sudo /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/boot.sh --restart

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Getting Hip(er) to Web 2.0

I admit it — I’m a very Web 1.0 participant on the intertubes. I spent most of my time on web sites like Yahoo Mail, New York Times, and the like. I read digg and am an avid Facebook user, but I’ve avoided some of the “cooler” and more interesting Web 2.0 companies.

Thus, I decided last week to get hip(er) with the times and plunge in to the world of last.fm and del.icio.us. Recently I’ve become a fairly exclusive Mac user (one MacBook, one MacBook Pro with VMware, and a Windows Server 2k3) and a Firefox user (never use Safari, and I don’t use IE in Windows any more). The plugs in for del.icio.us in to Firefox and last.fm in to iTunes are awesome. They make the cloud experience seamless with my desktop experience.

A while back I switched from Meebo to Pidgin (and now Adium) since the web experience wasn’t yet as good as the desktop, and I think that’s a kernel of why I like these two Web 2.0 apps a lot: I can use the apps I know and like (Firefox & iTunes) but they add value in to the equation by leveraging social effect and the ability to roam information between computers. The latter is really important to me since I use one machine for work and another at home, I have the same bookmarks between them and my music is scrobbled on both systems. For the bookmarks case, I used to use FolderShare but the Mac client for it is unusable. I still do use FolderShare, but only in my VMware Windows XP machine and my server.

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While trying to convert some .3gp/.amr files that I recorded from my mobile phone, I struggled to find a way to convert the files to a regular more desktop format (such as .mp3). Enter YouConvertIt. The site is pretty cool. You upload a file, give it what you want the output format to be, and poof, it’ll email you the converted files. It’s a bit of a Swiss Army Knife and since it’s a web app you don’t need to install anything on your computer. Cool and useful site.

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