MacBook Pro UK keyboard in VMware Windows

I use a virtual machine to run Windows-only software on my Mac. The standard UK/US keyboard mappings didn't correspond to the keyboard on my MBP, so I googled for an accurate custom mapping. I actually found this in a Virtualbox bug report but I successfully tested on VMware Fusion 4. Here's the English UK keyword installer to run in the Windows VM.

VMware Fusion 5: another major version, with only minor revisions

Again VMware have released a paid update to their Mac OS X "VMware Fusion' product (v5), but it's full of minor revisions that should have gone into their previous version (4). Support for Retina display, Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8 are features that should be built into the current release (that I bought 2 weeks ago).

What bothers me particularly is that their upgrade policy is a joke. VMware Fusion new costs E43, but if you bought the previous version, it's still E43.

Focus is important, and enabled by robust, standardised platforms

With so much (healthy) competition, it’s important for startups to be innovating at the sharp end. We’ve got to focus on the tiny bit of technology that’s unique to our product and innovate around that. With such a small team (there’s 2 of us), any time we spend doing stuff that’s been done before effectively lessens our chances of differentiating our idea from the thousands of others being developed at the same time. I agree with you Alex on the two-tier system. Even those who have CS degrees need the basic stuff to get easier so we can concentrate on the hard bit of our app.

Alternatives to over-priced greeting cards from Funky Pigeon

I had a terrible experience at the Paddington Station store of Funky Pigeon. The sales representative was friendly, but the prices are outrageous.

double-letter pricing codes

Danger of defaults: Windows 7 fails to share files when XP did

Defaults are insidious things. Windows 7 has a file sharing protocol default that isn't set out-of-the-box. It meant that my XP machine could connect to one another, but not my new Win7 box. It's a simple fix, then again aren't they always:

Browse through to "Local Policies" then "Security Options", then "Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level"
Select "Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated" from the dropdown.

Installing Python 2.7.0 (32-bit) for OpenCV 2.4.0 under Windows 7 (64-bit)

After getting errors like this:

I discovered that OpenCV works best (most easily) under Windows as 32-bit

The alternative is to compile OpenCV for 64-bit

I discovered that my Windows install of Python (2.7.3) was conflicting with my (implicit) Cygwin install

(2.6.5), so I removed the Python language package from Cygwin.

Scrapy (python) install under Windows 7 x64

I recently managed to install scrapy on a Window 7 64-bit dev machine. It wasn't straight forward so I've

documented the process. Here are the binary install files you need for the install:


Backbone.js requires underscore.js to be in the global page context

I was loading underscore.js then applying the .noConflict(). When Backbone (0.5.1) was loading, it couldn't find Underscore (window._). This manifested as a Firefox console error "f is undefined".

Once Backbone has loaded, you can safely clean up both libraries without disrupting either:

var b, u;
b = window['Backbone'].noConflict();
u = window['_'].noConflict();

ZendServer upgrade includes MySQL 5.1 but breaks logfile size

I recently upgraded my ZendServer (development) from 5.0 to 5.6.0. This includes PHP 5.2.17 and 5.1.50. Everything worked very smoothly, but when I restarted my machine MySQL failed to start (Error 1067). I googled my way to this post, then found the .err file in MySQL's /data directory:

InnoDB: Error: log file .\ib_logfile0 is of different size 0 45088768 bytes
InnoDB: than specified in the .cnf file 0 56623104 bytes!

synchronising time between two linux servers using SSH

NTP is a fantastic protocol, but there are cases where you don't want to have another daemon running on a server. This script connects from machine A to machine B using SSH, reads the time from B and applies it to A.

# fetch time from machine B
time=`ssh -p522 "date +'%m%d%H%M%Y'"`
# apply date to local machine (A)
echo "Setting time to "$time
date $time

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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