Is Apple ditching Windows 2000?

Having had a brainwave of using my Windows 2000 VM to play music without impacting the rest of my PC’s working, I made the discovery that a bit of digging was required to find a version of iTunes and Quicktime that work with Win2K. Google delivered the good so here are the links:

iTunes for Win2K

Quicktime for Win2K

It all reminds me of a post that I wrote a few months back but iTunes is now working and, thanks to VMware’s Shared Folders functionality, using the host PC’s digital music collection. I’ll be seeing how the ring fencing goes…

Accessing the host file system from a VMware virtual machine

I am very surprised at myself for not realising until recently that there is a way to make host data visible to a guest operating system installed in a VMware virtual machine other than resorting to using flash drives, CD’s, DVD’s and the like. You can copy and paste from the host into the VM but I have found that to be hit and miss at times. It was a revelation to find VMware’s Shared Folders function. I suspect that you need VMware Tools installed in the guest operating system to make it work and that may not be trivial for some Linux distributions or UNIX. I was using it with a Windows 2000 guest and a Windows XP host and it worked like a dream.

What you see below are the shared folder settings in the host’s VMware interface for that virtual machine. Just clicking on the Add… button brings up a wizard that will set up the shared folder for you; it’s all very user friendly. Look for the Edit virtual machine settings link on the VM configuration page, click that and pop over to the Options tab and this what you can get.

 Virtual Machine Settings - Shared Folders

The end result of the above spot configuration appears in Windows Explorer like it does below. Not only are the shared folders accessible in this way but you can also map drive letters as if they were network resources, a very nice feature. It is definitely more accessible than working out Windows networking and getting things to happen that way.

VMware Shared Folders Displayed in Windows Explorer

VMware and ZoneAlarm

Contrary to appearances given by this blog, I am not exclusively a Windows user. In fact, I have sampled Linux on a number of occasions in the past and I use VMware to host a number of different distributions – my Ubuntu installation is updating itself as I write this – as I like to keep tabs on what is out there. I also retain a Windows 2000 installation for testing and have had virtual machine hosting a test release of Vista not so long ago. I also have my finger in the UNIX world with an instance of OpenSolaris, though it is currently off my system thanks to my wrecking its graphics set up. However, ZoneAlarm has been known to get ahead of itself and start blocking VMware. If you go taking a look on the web, there is no solution to this beyond a complete system refresh (format the boot drive and reinstall everything again) and I must admit that this sounds like throwing out bath, baby and bathwater together. I did find another approach though: removing ZoneAlarm and reinstalling it. This wipes all its remembered settings, including the nefarious one that conflicted with VMware in the first place. It’s amazing that no one else has considered this but it has worked for me and having to have the security software relearn everything again is much less painless than rebuilding your system.

PSP file gotcha

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI

Having completed my evaluation of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro (a.k.a. PSP) Photo XI, I dutifully uninstalled it from my system. However, on catching up with some files that I had acquired through the application, I found that I could not open them with its forbear PSP 9. From this, I would have to conclude that Corel made a change to PSP’s native PSPIMAGE file format along the way. Having had Windows 2000 installed in a VMware virtual machine, I got back PSP XI to batch convert the files into PSD (Photoshop’s own file format) and TIFF files for the future. Carrying out the conversion was easy enough thanks to being able to select files according to their file type, something that Adobe could do with bringing into Photoshop Elements; it’s not there even in the latest version.

Batch processing with Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI