Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

VMWare for OS X now available

Fusion Like Marc and Howard, I've been eagerly awaiting VMWare for the Mac. Howard blogged his frustration yesterday and voila! - the VMware Fusion public beta was posted today. I downloaded it, installed it and was successfully able to start my Ubuntu image I use for training classes. Well done VMWare!

You might ask why this is a big deal if Parallels already exists? The answer is simple: VMWare Player, VMWare Server and (hopefully) VMWare Fusion are all free! This means you can build an OS (or appliance) and anyone can download free software to play it. This is huge when you're doing training classes and need to install an OS on student's machines w/o charging them for it.

The only problem with all this virtualization stuff? It's currently taking up 20 GB of disk space on my MacBook Pro (15 GB for Windows, 5 GB for Ubuntu). Sounds like a good excuse to get a new write off before the end of the year. Or maybe I should install a 160 GB hard drive like Darren recommends? In reality, what I'd really love to do is get a couple of 16 GB flash drives and put an OS on each one. Too bad they're so spendy.

Posted in Mac OS X at Dec 22 2006, 05:54:47 PM MST 2 Comments

The New MacBook Pros - 40% faster!

My MacBook Pro is fast, but there's no such thing as a computer that's too fast. The fact that the new one is 40% faster than my current one makes me drool. Anyone interested in buying a 15" MacBook Pro with 2 GB of RAM? ;-)

New MacBooks

Posted in Mac OS X at Oct 26 2006, 09:05:43 AM MDT 6 Comments

Windows Vista

Windows Vista I spent some time this past weekend playing with Windows Vista. By playing, I mean I tried to install it on a couple machines. The first lucky recipient was my MacBook Pro. I attempted to install it as both a clean install and as Windows XP upgrade in Parallels (Build 1884 RC). No dice - I got a blue screen of death with both installs. It didn't even make it to the "copy files" phase. Next, I tried it on my Windows box. Rather than blow away Windows Media Center (the kids would kill me), I installed it in VMWare Server. Amazingly enough, it worked without any issues. While both VMWare and Parallels label their Vista support as "experimental", it seems that VMWare is doing a much better job. I wonder when VMWare is going to release their VMWare Server for the Mac?

After installing it, I discovered that Windows Media Center is included in Vista, so I'm guessing I could easily upgrade Windows Media Center w/o losing any functionality. I played around with the OS a bit and after about 10 minutes decided I liked the look of XP better and the look of OS X way better. It seemed very sluggish as well, but I'll attribute that to the 768 MB of RAM I gave it in VMWare. Will I upgrade? Probably, but at this point, I don't see a whole lot to get excited about (at least from an end-user perspective).

Posted in Mac OS X at Sep 27 2006, 01:10:16 PM MDT 2 Comments

What's a good portable USB Drive?

After finding Mark's HOWTO Rip DVD Movies To Your iPod Using Free Software, I've started ripping some DVDs to my hard drive. On the list: Top Secret, Old School and Office Space. I imagine my hard drive will fill up pretty fast, so I'm in the market for a portable USB (or Firewire) Drive. Know of any good ones? I'll probably head down to the Apple Store tomorrow and pick one up.

Monday I'm heading out on a whirlwind trip to Milwaukee, followed by a weekend in Vegas. I'm teaching a class where we use Maven 2, so it might be a good idea to take the Maven repo with me. Especially since it's rumored the classroom won't have internet access. The good news is I have an Ubuntu VMWare image that already contains all the necessary JARs. Hopefully I can convince all the students to use it.

Update: In a perfect world, I could use my 60 GB iPod as a fat USB drive. However, it doesn't just "plugin and work" on a Windows box like thumb drives do. Rugged

Update 2: I ended up getting the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive. It was a little pricy, but it's tough to assign a value to a backup drive. With 120 GB, I should be able to use SuperDuper! to clone my hard drive and have plenty of room for movies.

rsync -v -t -l -r ftp.ibiblio.org::maven2 ~/.m2/repository

...is a wonderful thing. Looks like the Maven 2 repo is currently at 7.28 GB.

Posted in Mac OS X at Sep 09 2006, 05:16:48 PM MDT 11 Comments

Verizon V640 ExpressCard - works like a charm

Verizon V640 As mentioned previously, I've been waiting on a Verizon V640 ExpressCard for my MacBook Pro. It arrived this week, and I had a chance to try it out yesterday. I plugged it in, waiting a few minutes, entered the root password, and voila! - I was online. Pretty slick stuff. Bandwidth tests show the speed is around 512 KB/sec. With all the wireless issues I've had, this thing is a nice treat. Who knows if I'll even bother to use wireless anymore!

Speaking of MacBooks, it seems that the first ones produced were some of the best. I have 3 co-workers with machines, and while one works great, the others have some serious issues. One randomly reboots (without warning) and the other guy's has been in the shop for a week b/c it has kernel panics 2-3 times per day. Besides the wireless, the only other issue I have is mine doesn't work on some projectors. Since I'm doing a lot of training and conferences in the next few months - I should probably get that looked at.

Posted in Mac OS X at Aug 31 2006, 08:21:07 AM MDT 3 Comments

Dream Machine

Mac ProWell done Apple, you've created my dream machine. Too bad it's so damn expensive. My ideal configuration is as follows:

  • Two 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
  • 4GB (4 x 1GB)
  • Hard Drive - Bay 1: 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
  • Hard Drive - Bay 2: 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
  • 2 x NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB
  • Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
  • 2 x SuperDrives
  • Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
  • AppleCare
  • Subtotal: $6,436.00

The nice thing about owning one of these bad boys is you could run several copies of Linux and Windows (using VMWare and/or Parallels). I could literally buy one machine and have 5 in a matter of hours. Hmmm, I should probably bump up that ram to 8GB.

It's tempting, but that's a lot of cash to shell out for a machine. Then again, the more write-offs the better. ;-)

Posted in Mac OS X at Aug 07 2006, 08:47:11 PM MDT 14 Comments

EVDO ExpressCards for MacBook Pros

When Bruce said he wasn't getting a MacBook Pro because they didn't support EVDO Cards, I had a hard time believing him. Last week, I saw a co-worker using an EVDO card and have completely changed my perspective. He was able to get 7.9 MB/s (from the Bandwidth Speed Test), while only getting T1 speeds from an ethernet connection. Needless to say, I was instantly sold. Since Virtuas supplies EVDO cards to its employees, I've been yearning for one ever since.

Verizon V640 As Bruce noted, the current models don't fit in MacBook Pros because they ship with ExpressCard slots instead of PMCIA. I did some research last weekend and found MacBook Pro owners have two options: 1) a USB adapter or 2) the Verizon V640. The V640 is obviously the better solution as it's more compact, but they're not shipping yet. The good news, according to EVDOinfo.com, is they will be soon.

July 7, 2006 @ 8:30AM CST Update

Verizon is in the process of sending Novatel V640 ExpressCards (aka XV620) to their warehouses, we are expecting the ability to order them over by the end of this week, however, this can be delayed based on Verizon Official Launch dates.

I'd love to have one of these bad boys for Raible Road Trip #10.

Posted in Mac OS X at Jul 08 2006, 11:10:01 AM MDT 6 Comments

Two Finger Right Click

I just discovered that two finger right click has been added for 15" MacBook Pro machines. To enable it, go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Trackpad. Check "Place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click". Sweet - I dig this feature. Hat tip to the Parallels web site.

Now onto seeing if I can the free VMWare server to run Ubuntu side-by-side Windows XP on my HP box. If not, I'll drag out an old server and install it on there. It seems I'm in need of a build server since my other one is already being taxed by AppFuse's CruiseControl.

Posted in Mac OS X at Jul 01 2006, 08:52:13 PM MDT 3 Comments

MacBook Pro Power Management Issues

Last week, during the Denver JUG meeting, my MacBook Pro's battery quit functioning. I got a new one from my local Apple Store the next day. Today, my power cord quit working. Again, my local Apple Store was happy to replace it. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come? It's probably time to backup the whole thing tonight just in case the hard drive is next.

Posted in Mac OS X at Jun 21 2006, 12:57:06 PM MDT 4 Comments

Wireless in NYC

wireless in nyc What's worse than staying at a high-priced hotel and having to pay for internet access? Staying at an old NYC hotel where the free (wireless) internet access doesn't work. Even worse, there's a plethora of available networks nearby. 2/3 of them are protected, and the rest simply don't work with my Mac. I'm starting to get pretty frustrated with the wireless on this MacBook Pro - especially since it worked nearly *every time* on my old PowerBook. I should probably take it into the Apple Store next week. The strange part is I can get a connection just fine at my client and Starbucks. It's weird staying in a hotel room and not having internet access - especially when traveling for business.

Update: Strangely enough - when I got back to my room tonight, there was a new wireless connection and I got a full/fast connection. Go figure.

Posted in Mac OS X at May 02 2006, 07:11:06 PM MDT 9 Comments