Howto Convert Vmware Windows XP IDE Disk to LSILogic SCSI

I quite often use my Windows XP VM running under Vmware Server 1.0.5 (Debian Unstable) and because I still don’t have RAID I am forced to try every possible performance optimizations.

Latest and greatest was when successfully converting my 10 GB preallocated IDE disk to LSILogic SCSI following procedure close to this one. (Try it on your risk !)

1.Create LSI Logic disk:

vmware-vdiskmanager -c -s 100mb -a lsilogic -t 0 tempDisk.vmdk

2. Add SCSI definitions in your VMX file:

scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.fileName = "tempDisk.vmdk"

2. Boot the VM and install LSI Logic driver – use WHQL 1.20.18.00 (at least I could not install the latest version)

3. Make backup of the VM Disk !

4. Open the disk definition file (.vmdk). Get from there the disk size (sum of all extents)

# Extent description
RW 20971520 FLAT "WXP-flat.vmdk" 0

Then create another disk

vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -c -s 20971520 -a lsilogic -t 1 anotherTemp.vmdk

This one is only needed so you can get the new geometry and replace it in the original .vmdk

5. Replace old geometry with new from anotherTemp.vmdk. In my case I replaced this

ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"

with this

ddb.geometry.cylinders = "1305"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"

6. Update you VMX file so scsi0:0 points to the main disk image.  Also you can remove the old IDE definitions.

7. Boot your VM and have fun.

Couple of other performance suggestions:

1. Always defrag your guest operating system disk.

2. Use MemTrimRate = "0"

3. Use scsi0:0.mode = "independent-persistent"

4. Keep your guest operating system as light as possible. Turn off themes, effects, unneeded services etc.

Resources used:

http://sanbarrow.com/ide2scsi.html

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/50084

Javascript 2.0 is Coming

Jeremy Martin has done a great review of the upcoming Javascript 2.0. His article points out the major changes including:

  • Introduction of classes, interfaces and primitives ( OOP –  yeee)
  • Strict mode with compile time type checking
  • Namespaces
  • Many other…

The list of changes looks great to me, the only thing that still bothers me is the possibility of inconsistent implementation in the major browsers.

For more info checkout the full article.

Firefox 3 – The Browser War Rages On

There are already couple of discussions/reviews about the new and improved Mozilla Firefox 3 memory management but i was amazed from the amount of work they have done.

Worth reading is the original blog post from Pavlov explaining the methods he and the other developers used for optimizing Firefox 3 memory usage, caching and fighting against leaks. The post is a bit long but there is very intersting information that is quite usable for almost every application developer.

Also couple of days ago Arstechnica compared IE7, Firefox 2, Opera 9.5 Beta, Safari 3.0.4 Beta and Firefox 3 beta 4 and proved that there is obvious improvement and FF 3 uses less memory than other browsers.

With the new look and redone bookmarking system (sqllite as backend and location autocomplete from the bookmarks) I will still stick with Firefox as preferred browser.

Couple of screenshots:

And because for some IE8 vs Firefox is not interesting enough I suggest checking the newly released Safari 3.1

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Review with Screenshots

Couple of days ago I played a bit with the brand new and not so shiny Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. As this is the first Beta release it is mainly meant for designers and developers so they can get their clocks synchronized with Microsoft. For me as a xhtml-css-javascript abuser the most interesting thing was the new standard mode rendering engine which was already main topic in couple of discussions.

For the review I used Microsoft Server 2003 SP2 because this was what I had installed under VMware virtual machine and I wanted a quick way to revert if I don’t like it.

Downloading – only 14MBs… done

Installing – easy and relatively fast… done

Running…

On the first run you will be encouraged to choose between express settings or to manually set search engines, activities providers and other options. As IE newbie I selected express settings.

 

My first expressions were:

  • Hey there is now a bookmark toolbar – great
  • There is big blue button “Emulate IE7” – strange

Ok let’s check the new features:

1. Activities:

 

Activities are contextual services that provide quick access to external services from any webpage. Activities typically involve one of two types of actions

Nothing exciting about this – just sending the selected string to some “Activity provider” via the right click context menu. Still it saves the users couple of clicks and copy-paste operations. For example while I was browsing a page I highlighted the word “violin” and using the Ebay Activity provider was able to find violins on sale. Something that will be quite useful is to have activity provider which can compare prices at different online shops.

2. WebSlices:

 

Web sites can expose portions of their page as a WebSlice that users can subscribe to and bring that content with them on their links bar wherever they are on the web. Users receive update notifications when the content changes.

Generally the idea is not that revolutionary as it sounded at first. Using special markup the website developer/designer can give the end user the ability to automaticly check for updated pieces of the website. It is like rss feeds with pictures. However for both Activities and WebSlices the end user has to “install” the corresponding provider/website slice.

3. Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

 

Now IE comes with dev toolbar preinstalled (yeee) and extended. By first expressions Microsoft team have given more attention to Javascript tools. The bad news is that IE dev toolbar is still far away from Mozilla Firefox FireBug extension. From my quick walkthrough it I found out that you can enable/disable applied CSS styles but can not edit them which is something quite useful.

4. Speed

As usually I used my trusty companion when it comes to measuring Javascript performance – http://mootools.net/slickspeed/
For comparison I used the same testing environment just before installing IE8 where I had Internet Explorer 6 and the news are quite good. On most tests it behaves almost twice as fast as IE6. There is still room for optimizations (comparing to other browsers) but it is good to see MS are doing efforts in this direction. In the official site it is said that they have also improved rendering time – something that is pretty subjective and hard to test.

5. Rendering Engine

 

After visiting couple of sites (including google maps) I understood why there is such big blue button “Emulate IE7″(second screenshot was done in emulated mode). From the screenshot above you will see how “Internet Explorer 8 standards mode” mess things up (first screenshot). I will need much more investigation but I can not understand how “Cascading style sheets 2.1 compliance” can break so much things – even Yahoo’s home page has displacements. I’m sure Microsoft will fix lots of things until final version, but for sure I will have to re-evaluate my CSS/XHTML knowledge before coding IE8 friendly sites.

I wish only good to IE8 because after all there will be billions who will use it.
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TCM Stores (TCM Magazini)

Реших да си купувам менте скоростомер (велокомпютър както му викат) от ТСМ магазините. Нали ги знаете тези, който уж продават “Немски Стоки” (made in Taiwan) на луди цени. Дотук добре ама Гугъл не обажда къде да ги намериш тези магазини. Има разни дискусии, разни сайтове, но нищо смислено. Качих се на колелото и потърсих малко по-сериозно и това намерих:

  1. На Графа – точно срещу пазарчето преди Славейков в посока към Алабин
  2. На “Цар Шишман” – пак от същото пазарче ама перпендикулярно на Графа, малко преди отбивката за Билкова
  3. Отзад зад Халите (не “Пиротска”, ами следващата пряка в посока Централна Автогара)
  4. На бул. “Черни Връх” – от НДК на горе, дясната страна. Горе долу където излиза “Джеймс Баучер” – мисля, че и там имаше някакво пазарче.

Така и не си намерих скоростомер. Ако някой знае къде има да свирка.

пс1: намерих някакъв сайт, но няма адреси няма нищо (и един дизайн ще им дойде добре) – http://tcm.dir.bg/

пс2: ако някой може да каже точни адреси с удоволствие ще ги включа в списъка.

For non-bulgarian readers:

This post is about directions to stores which are hard to find.

Easy Way to Create Dynamic Flash Charts

For the Javascript Framework performance comparison I needed a good quality bar chart so I got my Microsoft Excel to do the work (as you can see quite good) however if you need to do some quick changes or to dynamically generate charts the answer is Open Flash Chart. It has a good API including .Net, PHP, Java, Perl and other languages support. Documentation is not great but enough to do your work. I played around with it loading data from .txt file and got the performance chart bellow easily done

You do not have flash installed.

Cool huh !!!

Xedunism is Alive – My Second WordPress Theme

Finally this blog has some decent look. After 2-3 days of coding xhtml/css and playing around with the few graphical elements this theme went public under the name Xedunism – Cheerz! I know it is not very colorful but I wanted a nice, clean and easy to read layout. I hope you like it and if you have any comments please drop me a line :)

Legal stuff:

There are still bits and pieces from Kubrick Theme so – http://binarybonsai.com/wordpress/kubrick/

Floral element (top right) comes from – http://ro-stock.deviantart.com/art/Floral-Deco-Brushes-2-54001452

RSS Icons are from the Oxygen Icon Theme – http://www.oxygen-icons.org/

If there are any licenses i have broke please contact me and i will take the needed measures.

Thanks

Dojo vs JQuery vs MooTools vs Prototype Performance Comparison

Updated: MooTools vs JQuery vs Prototype vs YUI vs Dojo Comparison Revised

As part of my Mootools lecture at Codecamp I showed a brief speed comparison between the most used Javascript Frameworks running in the major browsers. Now as the Mootools team has extended their performance test tool (slickspeed) it is time to revise my benchmarks and extend them over more browser/platforms.

Test results (Lower is better):

Speed Comparsion Graph

*For example FF (XP-NA) is Firefox 2.0.0.12 with no addons (extensions) enabled running under Windows XP

You can check the actual numbers (in ms) and the full browsers information in the table bellow:

Dojo 1.0.2 JQuery 1.2.3 MooTools 1.2beta2 Prototype 1.6.0.2
Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.12 – no addons – winxp 128 266 115 259
Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.12 – winxp 144 290 127 260
Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.12 – linux 253 438 255 384
Opera 9.26 – winxp 32 136 148 194
Opera 9.26 – linux 110 188 238 364
Internet Explorer 7 – no addons – winxp 263 330 662 1563
Internet Explorer 7 – winxp 264 334 674 1583
Internet Explorer 6 387 600 945 2279
Internet Explorer 6 – linux (wine) 692 978 1310 2616
Safari 3.0.4 Beta 3 – winxp 36 76 84 116
Konqueror – linux 324 450 X X

Conclusions:

  • Safari under Windows XP is really blazing fast
  • Mootools and Prototype JS do not work under Konqueror (KDE’s default browser)
  • Dojo performs great. If we take only these test into consideration it safe to say it is the fastest Javascript Framework
  • Linux browsers are relatively slower against their Windows versions
  • Prototype is insanly slow under Internet Explorer

Disclaimer: This benchmark is somehow subjective because the test results depend on the current OS load and other factors. If you have any corrections or comments on this topic I will gladly review them and will revise the results if needed.

Codecamp Sofia, Bulgaria Coverage

On 15-th and 16-th of February in a mountain hut(near Sofia) took place the first CodeCamp meeting in Bulgaria.I took part in it as a speaker and it was great experience for me. Thanks for inviting me!

Organization: Generally we had all we needed for good discussion-based seminar with few areas we can improve:

  • We need a better place because this hut proved as not quite comfortable for living. Also connectivity will be great.
  • For more attendants we will have to think about organized transportation.

Speakers and topics: People were one of kind! Even for me as designer/html-css-javascript-web3.0-geek there was plenty of interesting topics like virtualization, developing .NET applications with Mono and continuous integration with CI Factory. Basically because of the format of the event (a bit less formal with many discussions) it also covered many topics that were not included in the agenda and that made the event so interesting.

People who attended CodeCamp:

Emil Stoychev, Hristo Iliev, Ivaylo Bratoev, Vladimir Dimitrov, Stefan Dobrev, Deian Varchev, Martin Kulov, Jordan Dimitrov, Svetlin Nakov, Peter Velichkov (me), Radi Buhleva ;)

and many other friends (you know who you are)

My topic was introduction to Mootools Javascript Framework and nevertheless that I’m not quite experienced speaker as most of the people there I think it came out very good. In the next couple of days I will translate the slides from Bulgarian and will put here. Also updating and fixing couple of bugs on the site is in the plan too.

You can find more information on Codecamp’s site

It was fun and interesting with lots of knowledge gained. For the next time I wish only warm weather and no accidents

New features expected in KDE4.1

Just checked out an interview with Sebastian Kuegler (KDE developer) about the upcoming features in KDE4.1 :

I think the part that most people — just like me — are really looking forward to is an improved Plasma desktop shell. It really is the most visible part of the desktop. The good news here is that Plasma, a relatively young subcommunity within KDE is really alive and kicking. We’ve already been able to fix most of the problems that were still there in 4.0.0, and if we continue to keep the current pace of development, it looks like we have exceeded feature parity in those part with the 3.5 series already by summer.

Then of course, I’m looking forward to KDE-PIM in 4.1. It will make use of the Akonadi storage framework and as such be more stable and usable as the 3.5 series. Then, just recently, Dragon Player has been merged into our 4.1 tree. Dragon Player is a very simple but powerful video player, which of course makes use of Phonon, our new multimedia framework. For non-Linux/UNIX users, 4.1 will also bring the first stable applications to Mac OSX and Windows, which is another very big thing in my eyes.

Other features include more scripting support, newly ported applications (Amarok for example seems to be aiming for a summer release as well), performance improvements all over the place, new plugins for the KWin window manager with its nifty compositing features, and many more.

This really suggests what I expect from the KDE 4 series, new, innovative and really exciting features and improvements at a steady pace. With the KDE 4
series, we’ll simply outperform our proprietary competitors in terms of speed of innovation and user orientation.

More information on this topic can be found on Sebastian’s blog

Full interview link