Sunday, 30 November 2008

VirtualBox and USB Problems

I had some problem using a Windows guest in a Linux (Ubuntu) host about the use of USB. The virtualization software I use is VirtualBox, recently acquired by Sun Microsystems.
The first thing is to use the latest stable release available. Drop your distribution installation and download the right package from their web site (at the moment of writing the latest version is 2.0.6).
In Ubuntu, at least in 7.10, you need to remove comments from a part of this script: /etc/init.d/ The comment part inside the do_start() routine:

# Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work
#mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
#domount usbfs "" /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
#ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
#mount --rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

Modify the script with root privileges and execute it as root passing the word start as first and unique argument.

Now open this other file: /etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules.
Locate this lines:

# USB devices (usbfs replacement)
SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", MODE="0664"

Copy the SUBSYSTEM line, comment it and change the new one with MODE value set to 0666:

#SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", MODE="0664"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", MODE="0666"

Also this file must be modified as root (in Ubuntu you can use sudo nano -w filename).

Restart the system and test if USB works on your guest operating system.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Write code with your brain, ever! (Especially in Italy)

I'm not here to undress my analyst/programmer clothes and wear a Jedi tunic, symbol of masters of life!
I just want to give you a little suggestion, that worked for me.

If you are a freelance who works at a customer or employed in some kind of organization, it doesn't matter... Do not ask detailed technical advice at people not belonging to IT services (or worse... IT service people with knowledge limited to pre-relational era). Even if somehow you have to respond directly to these people, they will tell you that you are losing time. Only if your diversion from the main stream will be successful, you will receive a bonus.

So use your brain, code with your brain, don't ask (at people described above), do what you think is good: things will go well and you will save your liver! I hope this is not an international rule... But you can be sure that in Italy it works this way: meritocracy; there is this word in Italian vocabulary? Of course, but only in the vocabulary: meritocrazia.

Well, a lot of luck to all! Tanta fortuna!