VMware guest screensaver on Linux host

Inasmuch as it’s annoying when the VMware guest’s screensaver controls screen blanking only up until your mouse strays off the guest’s window and then the host’s screensaver kicks in and blanks the screen again, you can add this to /etc/vmware/config on a Linux host:

mks.fullscreen.allowScreenSaver = "yes"
mks.windowed.allowScreenSaver = "yes"
mks.x.screenSaverTimeout = 590

From Setting Linux Host Screensaver Options in the Workstation Global Configuration File, mks.fullscreen.allowScreenSaver and mks.windowed.allowScreenSaver enable the host screensaver in full screen and windowed modes, respectively, and a mks.x.screenSaverTimeout of 590 seconds sets VMware to ‘ungrab’ the keyboard and mouse shortly before the host screensaver kicks in after 10 minutes of inactivity.

No more competing screensavers, but after VMware ‘ungrabs’ the keyboard and mouse, you do need to click the mouse in the VMware guest’s window so it will ‘grab’ them again, and you can then use the guest as normal.

Dots in a @name?

Inasmuch as I’m now with Antenna House, I’ve been changing over to new usernames for Skype, etc. That seemed straightforward enough when I picked tgraham.antenna for Skype, but then I found that GitHub doesn’t allow “.” in usernames, so on GitHub, I’m tgraham-antenna. Which has left me wondering, what are the allowed non-alphabetic characters in the networks of interest? Continue reading

\Boot\BCD is missing required information

Inasmuch as a Windows partition that wouldn’t boot frustrated and inconvenienced me for nearly a week, and the solution, when I found it, took only a couple of minutes, I’m writing it up here.

The symptom when trying to boot into Windows was a black-and-white screen of death containing:

File: \Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc0000034
Info: The Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing
  required information

The official Microsoft advice at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391/en-us didn’t help.  What did work was the second option, “Manually Repairing the Windows Bootloader”, from http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Windows+Bootloader+from+the+DVD:

attrib -h -s C:\boot\BCD

del C:\boot\BCD
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

Happily, I didn’t need to do the third, “Nuclear Holocaust” option from that page.

Websites returning

Inasmuch as I accidentally deleted most of my websites and this blog last night, my “Full backup of all your data to remote servers every day” webhost then only had a backup from 27 June, i.e., somewhere in the middle of my migrating between servers such that there was no backup for most of my sites.

The net result is (a) I will be paying a lot more attention to doing my own website backups in future; (b) I’m busy scraping pages from the WayBack Machine and Google’s cache to remake the web sites; (c) the graphics don’t feature in the caches, so they’ll take longer to get back; and (d) this blog’s styles disappeared along with everything else and is now using the current default. You probably won’t miss the blog styles all that much, but losing them left WordPress in a state where it was both configured to serve RSS and not configured to have the RSS link on the pages, with the result that it threw an error on each request and didn’t serve anything. Finding and fixing that just added to the effort.

So while the websites are mostly back, it will be a while before they’re pristine again. The http://www.mentea.net/ website design is due to be revamped real soon now, anyway, but I still need the old content in order to transfer it to the new layout.

Business card, cubed

Inasmuch as I taught how to make an origami cube as one of the practicals when I did the “train the trainer” course, it occurred to me to do the same with my business cards.  It doesn’t hurt that the business cards have a large logo on the back:

Six business cards folded in a cube.

Here’s how: Continue reading