Test-driving Windows 8 and Debian Wheezy: VirtualBox within VirtualBox
A report on successful installation of the latest Debian on Windows 88 December 2012
Lenovo Yoga is absolutely cool, but they can't dual-boot as PCs used to, since UEFI takes over BIOS and devices take over computers. Before buying a Yoga we need the assurance that the beautiful leather-like wrist rest and the orange casing can house a Linux soul. Yes, Windows 8 legitimately deserves the curious user's exploration. The price of a Lenovo Yoga, however, goes beyond that of an expensive toy. It has to be able to work!
First Host-Guest layer:
Host: Mac OS X Version 10.6.8 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 8 GB 1333 MHz
Guest: Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation (Windows License valid for 90 days)
Second Host-Guest layer:
Host: Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation (Windows License valid for 90 days)
This prompts the tempting idea of installing VirtualBox in another VirtualBox in yet another VirtualBox ... till processing and storage resources, and our patience, explode.
Yoga 13 has Windows 8. Yoga 11 has Windows RT. At the time of publishing there is no VirtualBox available for Windows RT.
Yes, a recent release of Linux has been successfully installed as a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox.
VirtualBox is courtesy of Oracle.
The halo around the British Riots
I call it British, not London, Riots. Where and when it stopped is unclear, purely because incidents happen anyway, in the background, on normal days. Didn't it happen in Wales? Missing the headlines were small fires and lootings South Wales Police described as 'normal behaviour for an August weekend; things could have been a lot worse.'
Is everyone really that shocked? Well, not really. For people who have lived with their eyes open, the destructive behaviour is completely understandable. The aftermath is no doubt distressing but the behaviour is completely understandable. We knew it. The problem with Britain is in the youth. In Britain, many young people are like that. I developed the habit of crossing over to the opposite side of the street whenever I see a group of young people approaching.
Descriptions such as complete criminality, mindless, sickening do not mean the same to those involved. Words such as these serve nothing besides underlining the missing link between the politicians and the real world, laying the disconnection bare.
The rampage is not of an earthquake, tsunami or flood. It is no less, if no more, disheartening. But then if we weigh the material and monetary losts alongside the continuous haemorrhage of depth in the community, perhaps the devastating ruin is not as significant as it seems. Perhaps, even if the buildings and businesses were left intact, they are akin to empty shells -- better broken sooner rather than later.
What about the Malaysian student who rose to fame for being attacked by supposed good Samaritans? Well, the truth is he could have been attacked in the same way as any other Londoner would, on any other day but just not that day -- because any sensible person would have stayed at home. Given the day the incident happened when the community was in high alert, it could have been avoided. Do not forget that back in his home country, it is common for people of any age to rob and kill elderly men and women on walking sticks. Hearing reports of such genre, individuals become more cautious protecting. The reported incident, already happened to someone else, is usually taken as acceptable. The notion of solidarity generally does not exist.
A few precious lives were lost, but the riots in general were not about killing people. Killings happen on London streets anyway, in the background, on the normal day. The rioters were not out to slaughter. I am not sure whether the casualties necessarily count as part of the riots proper. Compare that to the May 1998 riots in Indonesia, where homes were systematically swept for girls to be raped. It is an entirely different story. In this sense the Brits did live up to being British.
Those old-fashion values such as decency debated in the House of Commons once maintained order in a society, indeed. Much the same way, my parents claim with pride that the Chin family will never do this and that. The motive, however, transformed as generations unfold. I have no interest to steal or to inflict harm; so my parents' claim effectively remain valid. But if it happens at a deserted time and place that I am too thirsty and no safe drinking water is accessible, and then I come across a shop ajar, I can imagine myself considering getting a bottle of mineral water and leaving 3.50 pounds behind, but then change my mind about the pennies because the owner wasn't going to get them anyway. Had I decided to do that, that would have been done in good faith that the owner, seeing my desperate condition, would have given it to me anyway. On the other side of the coin, I donate by amounts which my parents rebuke as unthinkable, given the proportions to what I have and what I earn. You see, there is a gulf of difference between sharing in solidarity and guarding the pride of an individual or a clan. The motivation differs more than the effect.
Large-screen televisions were among the goods looted. Why would one go for a large-screen tele? Three categories exist: those who have always wanted one but couldn't afford it, those who has one because they could afford it, and those who can afford it but do not want one. The problem is that the last category is such a minority, while the second category brews the first category. The society is coaxed to associate the ownership of a large-screen tele to well-being, suggesting it as a must-have no one would resist, ignoring that fact that the third category in fact does exit. There is indeed a choice and there are in fact people who do not want a large-screen tele.
There was a call for parents to keep their children at home, during the riots, and to evict families out of subsidised housing, after the riots. How does one define family when the traditional family structure is no longer there? For many families the configuration changes in cycles. It is a common situation where the mother's partner is not the child's father. Many are living with make-shift partners lasting no more than months, moving in and out packaged with children accumulated from preceding partnerships. So which ones are to be singled out for eviction, and which ones not? Who would you like to punish? A decent partner struggling to keep peace under the roof, trying to be accepting and accommodating towards a young person whose upbringing took place well before they ever knew each other?
That justice must be done and the lot must be jailed, that this is what the people want to see, suggest a celebration of punishing more than anything else. It is unconvincing that the intent is to deter. The desire to punish is not uncommon in the British society, but there is no need to encourage and to drive a nation in that direction. This is where leadership could have taken effect. Over-loading courts and jails only strain the sinking the boat, which is already challenged in other ways. Why not organise something more constructive? Hold a reconciliation and healing session where looters return stolen goods and owners forgive. If properly organised the effect would be positive and long-ranging. A youngster would remember for life the experience of forgiveness, rather than carrying a criminal record in bitterness.
Cucumbers victimised: early June 2011
Are we still driven by fairy tales?
|I deliberately avoid putting Osama bin Laden in the title. Haven't we had enough of that? The sentiment of celebrating his death is somehow absent in me, as much as that desire to punish or that targetting of enmity. I feel rather neutral. The mainstream response reminds me as a replay of Saddam Hussein's execution. But to me, whether Saddam or Osama, it is just another he and another fellow.
Are we still driven by fairy tales? Once upon a time we hiked every fairy mountain. We were taught to be good girls and good boys but fairy tales might have (mis-)oriented us to seeing enemies across the shore, over the other side of the dividing line.
After all, ours is not a polarised world of angels and demons. That black-and-white super-contrast is unrealistic for a not even gray but colourful world. Indeed nasty and sadistic behavior may be in rampant display here and there, but as I re-learn reading, these signs read as s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e rather than e-v-i-l.
Fukushima, have people forsaken you?
Fact #1: Nobody could have responded better.
Fact #2: It was a natural disaster. There isn't so much to be learned in terms of nuclear safety. We are talking about one of the best understood areas of physics, nothing like the Higgs Boson's realm. It is a nuclear power plant; it isn't the LHC.
Fact #3: The leading news agencies have all failed us by reporting complete nonsense when it came anywhere near radiation science.
Fact #4: I assure you TEPCO is not the only one to hide radiation survey results. Name a radiation facility which never experienced a cover-up! It happens -- the norm is that even if the persons involved keep quiet they do take remedial actions before it actually harms somebody.
My only discomfort about the Japanese response is that the sacrificing kamikazes are the younger lot. The older radiation workers ought to be in the front line instead -- those who are beyond child-bearing age, those who are too old for an radiation-induced cancer to catch up on them. The Asian hierarchy/order ought to be reversed in this particular case.
Things I stopped believing
When I was little I blew soap bubbles into the air, as many as I could, counting them, wishing each never to burst; till eternity shall bubbles remain bubbles. And then as I re-learn my math I find that bubble formation should be avoided and if necessary, we are supposed to pop it soon enough less it becomes malignant. Ego and economic bubbles are meant to burst.
"Spicy can be plus-or-minus." Found this in one of the restaurants in the old town of Ipoh (Malaysia), my hometown. Legend: Ringgit Malaysia is the Malaysian currency, MYR.
Those who didn't make it
On 14 May 2009 I relocated to the periphery of Geneva. It is a unique place where foreigners are generally treated with atypical honour -- as expats rather than 'workers'. It is a place like no other, where people from CERN die to meet people outside CERN, as much as UN people die to meet people having nothing to do with UN. The sheer dimension of both organisations nudge that way.
Each city has its charm and contradiction. Each time I went out to Geneva centre I bumped into someone psychiatric -- people who didn't make it, people defeated by trials.
Tear gas, anyone?
On my calendar this happened to be sandwiched between tight travel schedules; I happened to be back briefly in Geneva. Unknowingly I hopped on bus #56 and then the tram, heading for Gare Cornavin, the central station. At the usual and expected stop the tram let me out into a thick smoke. I soon realised that my eyes and respiratory system hurt badly, but the tram left promptly without waiting for my slow reaction and delayed choice. Photographers with professional equipment ran around among the Toms, the Dicks and the Harries. As I choked, a young lady caringly asked, "Ca va?" I asked if the situation was ok deeper in the building - the direction she came from; she confirmed so. I decided to leave the little instant community bonded by a common tearful struggle, to head for the TPG shop instead. I notified the young lady; "Take care," I said. As I was turning around I heard her echoing, "Take care!" The TPG shop let me in and gave me the bonus cards I asked for. The shop then shut prematurely; I was the lucky last customer. In the chaos I bumped into the young lady again; we nodded at each other acknowledging mutual recognition. Trams and buses sang and danced with the usual punctuality at designated stops, as further clashes between the protesters and the security erupted. This is Geneva. That was my first taste of tear gas. In the UK public transport would have halted well before, well after and far away from such things. There would have been no chance of getting deposited into the heart of a similar spectacle by public transport.
Mind the 3rd & the 4th parties in the Barter System
At school I learned about the Barter System used for mutual exchange of goods before the invention of coins and bills. That system was a history even when I was a kid. Today the mutual exchange is not only mediated by money, but the transaction indeed involves third and forth (or more) parties. The third party would be the environment. The fourth party could either be fairtrade victims or culprits. The third and the fourth parties perhaps deserve a little more notice in our modern-day dealings?
This thing about recycling
The carrier bag is in fact a good and harmless invention, just that it has been taken for granted. As a consequence, we have to take the collective responsibility. So long as some people continue to use carrier bags without proper respect, in order to offset the net effect we have to head for the other extreme by not using carrier bags.
Manufacturers come up with labels trumpeting this part of the packaging can be recycled, or that part has been made using recycled materials etc. I don't think that is the point. The greatest impact on the environment, I think, stems from the manufacturers' habits and practices throughout the production chain, which consumers can't see.
That's on the part of the manufacturers. As consumers I think the point is really to reprogramme what we weigh as 'costly' in terms of the environment instead of money. 'Buy A get B free' could be tempting for retailers and consumers alike. Such 'gains' in fact waste away environmental resources. A good example is mobile phones or watches. People think they are very clever by buying a new phone or a new watch rather than replacing the batteries, which could 'cost more'. But then some other transactions come in package with that passing of cash.
A further example would be in the case of rented accommodations, do we wash more and heat more just because the utility bills have been included in a 'fixed-rate' rent? Also with Amazon orders, do we consider the dearer environmental cost of the extra packaging alongside the cheaper monetary cost compared to that at the shop?
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