Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Rant 2011 Version

Well friends, if it's near February 14, it must mean it's time for another Valentine's Day rant. This year I went with iambic pentameter, four line stanzas, and an abab rhyme scheme, capping it off with a couplet. 30 lines in total. The tone is a little more sober than my more recent efforts, but it matches the subject matter, I think. No zombies, or teddy bears, or other fantastical elements. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

The Budget

Ah Valentine, your day has lost its sheen;

Its symbolism now commercialized

So far beyond just what it used to mean;

Now Love is wrapped in bows, all but disguised.

What happens when these fetishes get priced

So high above the reach of common folk?

Is Love worth less if lesser goods sufficed?

Would fewer even try if they were broke?

Uncertain is the economic clime

That greets this day we celebrate Romance;

The crass commercialism of the time,

No longer can continue its advance.

The celebrants now find the cost too steep

For what once was a trivial expense.

High value gifts once possible for cheap,

They now do not make good financial sense.

The syndicate of cards, and flowers, and plush

Retrench when they confront their ink of red.

Long used to profit margins much more flush,

They wither from the revenue they've bled.

Demand is low, and yet supplies still glut;

But forecasts must be met, so prices soar.

Consumers looking for a budget cut

All spent and worn, just feel gauged more and more.

With tightened belts and more so purse-strings taut,

Attendants of this love-lorn day seek out

A true display of what Love really ought

To be; A kiss, a hug, and leave no doubt.

Can Valentine's Day regain what was lost?

The choice is ours, for we decide the cost.

- James Morris, February 13, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Windows 7 and Microsoft Virtualization Tools

Well that's disappointing.

So I'm futzing around with my virtual environment on my Windows 7 box. I've got Microsoft's Virtual PC running a VM instance of Windows XP (otherwise known as XP Mode). I've got a project at work where I need a test bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so I wanted to install CentOS 5.5 (because, duh, it's free. Unlike Red Hat) on a VM Instance. Now, technically, Virtual PC is only supposed to support Windows OS, like XP, Vista, and 7, but tons of Google hits show that people are using it to run flavors of linux. Unfortunately, you find out real fast that Virtual PC can only run a 32-bit version of an OS. The installation ISOs balked on boot because they're 64-bit linux. I'm not going to download another 5 GB of installation files just for the i386 version. Fine, whatevs, I'll install VMWare's totally free VMPlayer for running my 64-bit CentOS VM. But I didn't want to install yet another Virtual Machine emulator on my box, I just wanted to use what I already had.

So that got me thinking, just what options are there if you want to stay in Microsoft's world of virtualization tools? Which led me to this this link. Boy, that sounds really simple and elegant. I guess it works, and it would get me where I wanted to go, running 64-bit VMs on Windows 7. But...really, Microsoft? If you want to compete for real in the Virtualization Realm, you're going to have to come up with some competitive tools, not backdoor workarounds, that can be installed on client OS's, not just servers. Otherwise, developers, testers, educators, are going to abandon Hyper-V because you made it too hard, or too expensive, or both.

Okay, close tag on the <geek rant>.