VMware image of Laptop Tips and Gotchas

Recently I started working for a client that has a good enlightened approach to equipment, they provided me with an excellent laptop, but had no objection to me using my 16gig/1tb+/i7 monster, so I set about making a vmware image, this was hampered by their reasonable security setup and some oddities of the way that vmware converts hard drives. here’s what I leaned from the process

Problem: 0000007B error on boot
Solutiuon: This is caused by a variety of problems but always boils down to not being able to get access to the boot drive, I’m not going to go into the different reasons, but the best fix is to use a SCSI controller on your virtual machine, first step is to make sure that you convert the machines disk to SCSI, by default when running the VMWARE converter the “disk controller” setting (on the option screen, under devices) it is set to “auto select” which never seemed to work for me, so i set it to SCSI, as shown below

Now this means that you have to have a SCSI driver installed and working on your machine, thankfully this is already installed on Vista and windows 7, but NOT turned on, vmware say “set your SCSI drivers the same as a machine that already works” which is an dumb arse thing to say if you dont give an example, so here are the settings that work.

they are found in the registry at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> services

now you can reconvert you vmware machine and have no problems

NOTE: If you have already done the conversion and DONT have access to the source machine any more (ignoring the fact your a twit for not testing the VMWARE image before losing access) go here as this is the best writeup of a fix i have seen so far, it did not work for me as do to the problem converter setting problem i mentioned above, but it will fix the problem most of the time

Problem: Symantec Endpoint Encryption
Solution: On a machine with this program installed you have to somehow get round it as it is incompatable with VMWARE, thankfully in this case i had a power user level account (meaning i could install and unistall software) but not decrypt the laptop i wanted to clone (nore should i as it was not my hardware), Sooo, just run the conversion software, and on the first boot, all will seem ok and the HDD will be unencrypted, BUT, the symatic service will notice this little horror and on you next reboot will intercept the boot and ask for a password, attempt to encrypt the virtual HDD then procede to hang and sulk.

simple solution, as soon as you have booted the first time, uninstall the Endpoint Encryption service, this will bypass the symatic software security, as your hdd is currently still unencrypted you don’t need the rights to decrypt it, and your booting will continue as normal

NOTE: I store my VMWARE machines on an encrypted HDD in my laptop, so i felt this was an acceptable action as i would not be lowering the security level of clients data, had this not been the case, I would not have performed this action, remember the old saying “Do NOT screw with your clients data lest you be kicked in the balls and shot in the back of the head in a dark alley”

Vegan Stuffing Mix

This Christmas I was treated to a full veggie/vegan xmas, with many nice bits but my fav was the stuffing, and thus here is the recipe:


1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 packet (150g) of Asda meat free Lincolnshire sausage mix (the dark green packet)
1 packet (110g – 130g) of good quality stuffing, not too strong a flavour, and try and avoid sage stuffing as the sausage mix has that in it)
1 heaped desert spoon of veg suet (Atora light shredded vegetable suet)
1 teaspoon mild mustard
1 tablespoon soya cream
knife edge of Marmite
3 full size pieces of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, finely snipped or chopped
Vegan parmesan
3 finely chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped ( if your sick and twisted . . . Yuck! )
salt and pepper
olive oil

1) Fry the chopped onion until softened
2) Make up the stuffing mix and sausage mix each separably as per packet instructions
3) Mix them all together with the sun dried tomato, suet, mushrooms, Marmite, soya cream, mustard, 1 desert spoon of Olive Oil, salt and peper
4) Put into oiled roasting dish
5) sprinkle with Vegan parmesan
6) Cook for 35 mins at 190 or until golden brown

You will have to forgive me for the terrible picture, but i had eaten nearly all of it before i remembered to take a picture 🙁

Old Comments

Ben Poole(28/12/2011 11:19:34 GMT)


Mark Myers(28/12/2011 10:52:33 GMT)

there, corrected!!, happy now

Ben Poole(28/12/2011 09:48:18 GMT)

I’m assuming the sausage mix is veggie sausage??

Regardless, sounds good. I love a good stuffing.

Restart Linux xserver hotkey

I cant believe I have lasted this long not knowing this, but there is a hot key combination to restart the xserver without the command line or a computer restart (doh!) on Ubuntu derived distros.. useful for when you make multi screen property changes (windows and mac scum may laugh at this point if they wish)


Careful as it closes all existing apps.

Old Comments

Ben Poole(23/12/2011 14:55:18 GMT)


Ben Poole(23/12/2011 14:54:50 GMT)


Ben Poole(24/12/2011 22:01:33 GMT)


Mark Myers(25/12/2011 23:18:16 GMT)

@ben well you match the criteria of both mac and scum

Taking Notes Episode 142

This is a brief ASW post*

I was kindly asked by Bruce Elgort to take part in the Taking Notes podcast No142 on behalf of LDC, where we discus the latest round of NoSQL databases and how they relate to IBMs offerings, it was a proud and nerve racking moment for me, so if for some reason, you’re in the IBM Domino community or interested in NoSQL and have not seen the pod cast listed under the Taking Notes Page or Bruces blog, you can find it here

  • Also Bruce wont leave me alone till I post it.

Old Comments

David Leedy(22/11/2011 19:17:59 GMT)

Great Episode!

Mark Myers(22/11/2011 18:45:06 GMT)

@sean it was an honour to be asked by bruce

Sean Cull(22/11/2011 18:38:27 GMT)

I really enjoyed this podcast. Its good to know what else is happening out there.

Bruce(22/11/2011 18:26:18 GMT)

You signed a contract 🙂

Mark Myers(22/11/2011 19:38:40 GMT)

@David, it strange ive find out that no one ever tells Bruce/Julian if they enjoy the episodes (well i cant see any comments on the blog)

Used Linux applications List

Due to a hatred of the new ubuntu UI (I like a desktop UI on my desktop rather than being forced to use a tablet layout), the time came to switch Linux version (in this case to Mint Linux as it has a nice simple UI but means I can still use all the debian packages)

As it was a complete wipe of the HDD, i noted down all my Linux apps for reinstall and figured that maybe one or 2 others might find the list useful

VMWare Workstation (without which Linux would not be a suitable desktop operating system for me)

Jungle Disk Backup (Desktop Version and Server Management)

Guake Terminal (a simple and persistent terminal on the hot key F12)

Btnx (mouse mapping deamon and GUI)

Thunar File Manager (very powerful file rename accepts regex)

Truecrypt (because only the paranoid survive, and i carry client data)

FileZilla (the de facto Linux FTP client)

EASYTAG (The best audio tager for Linux)

LYX Document Processor (a great GUI for LaTex word processing)

Prey (enabling you to disable/track/find lost electronic equipment)

Streamripper (command line Internet radio ripper)

Mainstream (thankfully ported to Linux)
Lotus Notes

Amnesia and Penumbra Games (quite the most shit my pants scary games ive every played esp Amnesia)
The humble bundle Games (i get them when ever there is a new bundle)

Linux Standard (Normally installed with most Linux distros now, but still used all the time.)
Libre Office
GNome Mplayer
Audacious (the best music player for Linux)
VLC (for the rare times Mplayer does not handle media)
Mozilla Thuderbird (for backing up my Gmail)

Old Comments

Bill Malchisky(21/11/2011 03:49:18 GMT)

Nice list and post. Here are a few more apps that I use, which may be helpful as well.

Adobe Acrobat, Flash plugin
Transmission BitTorrent Client
Tomboy Notes
Tetravex, Sudoku, Klotski, gBrainy, Atomix (games)
Remmina Remote Desktop Client (the best)
Archive Manager
WiFi Radar

Mark Myers(21/11/2011 09:32:58 GMT)

Ooo like the “Remmina Remote Desktop Client” that one to use, thanks for the add ones, ill have a look at them.

have you tried the Amnesia game?

New Anime Series- Mashiro Iro Symphony

First Episode Review for: Mashiro-Iro Symphony

Summary : A brother and sister start at a school that has only just started admitting boys (that’s a common theme this season) , and with a group of new friends they face the horrors that school life can bring (such as the “help injured animals” club not having enough members)

Animation : Soft cell animation, very nicely done, a real treat for the eyes, the girls in the series are perhaps so perfectly ‘anime’ as to reinforce every stereotype a western viewer would have heard about them (indeed the eyes are so huge, other features are a mere suggestion at times)

Plot Potential: Not sure there is much, it is very slow moving as the is a lot of slow-mo head flicks, hair flicks, skirt flicks etc which tend to get in the way,

Characters: With perhaps the most ridiculous cat/pom pom thing i have ever seen, it’s a cute overload

Music: Soft tinkling piano

Reminds me of: An 80’s clamp anime with all the drama removed

Overall: Quite frankly not even the showiest western vampire series have anything on this when it comes to the world being populated only be beautiful people with long hair, but its a pleasant background to have on and reminds me strangly of having a tropical aquarium tank in the flat (yes yes i know)

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

Old Comments

elior(02/12/2011 23:49:37 GMT)

oh i understend you watched only episode 1 so you dont know how this anime unpredictble heartwarming and have nice atmosphere right?

Mark Myers(03/12/2011 15:46:07 GMT)

Fair point, the reviews are here so people can keep up with that new animes that come out ( i used to have a devil of a time find out out which ones had just been released) so i often miss the point on anime that grow as the episodes progress, i will take your advise and revisit this one

Mashiro(23/12/2011 08:43:41 GMT)

Having Just watched the 12th episode, weird for a guy to admit this, but its my favourite show now.

But that’s coming from someone that has to read the subtitles.

Mark Myers(25/12/2011 23:17:03 GMT)

@mashiro its funny, an anime series can just take you like that, and suddenly your addicted to it

Moving from Ubuntu to Mint Linux 11

Ubuntu has been the king of the hill as far as desktop Linux distros go for a while now, but with the recent UI changes and movement away from the gnome shell many people feel they have fumbled the ball a bit, I was one of them, I considered just replacing the UI with gnome 3 but I would have to do it every time 6 months, and as Bill Buchan often points out that’s a bit “hair shirt”, so i chose Mint Linux instead, as it seemed completely aimed at my kind of usage and is build off Ubuntu (mint 11 is based on ubuntu 11.04),

The install was fast and all hardware worked straight away (on a thinkpad w510), the UI is clean, crisp and very simple to use, it feels how people were hoping vista would be and how Win7 should be.

Good points

  • Stupidly fast, too fast in places as screens can change in less than the blink of an eye leaving you a tiny bit confused, but what a perfect way to be confused
  • 99% of all the debian/ubuntu stuff works flawlessly (vmware being the most important, Lotus Notes did not but I’m betting that’s an IBM oddity)
  • The built in programs are completely up to date, I installed the complete version which contained Media players and codex etc etc, and the issues that i had been fighting with on ubuntu with 10bit video were completely gone
  • PAE memory management works straight out of the box
  • As its built off ubuntu, if you have your old ubuntu home directoy backed up you can just restore it and all your setting are back in a snapBad points
  • The compiz window manager does not handle multiple screens very well particularly multiple xsessions, thankfully there is a fix Here
  • The new software manager that they are so proud of is a bit slow and clunky compared to Synaptic Package Manager, but you can use them interchangeably without any problem
  • I miss my second panelSooo, conclusion, if you use Linux as I do as a fast host to run your vmware images and do admin/web work then i completely recommend it,

Old Comments

Joe Litton(20/11/2011 17:37:57 GMT)

Doing same here. I fear that Canonical’s desire to massage Ubuntu for mobile may have killed its usefulness for desktop. But as long as the Mint folks can keep basing on Ubuntu and offering such a nice UI, I’ll be happy Emoticon

Mark Myers(20/11/2011 17:57:13 GMT)

@joe though i would be interested if you could tell me if you can get notes to work, it installs and loads fine but wont render notes database to the screen when you open them Emoticon

Mark Myers(20/11/2011 17:54:26 GMT)

Cool, im really pleased with it, the speed is blowing me away, hope its good for you as well

New Anime Series- Bakuman S2

First Episode Review for: Bakuman S2

Summary : This Continues from the first series of Bakuman where 2 high schoolers fight to be manga artists and make their dream of a published Manga come true, at the end of the last series they were serialised and this series continues on from that point

Animation : Quite reasonable, simplified and stylised faces but the human movement is good and pleasant to watch

Plot Potential: Well, other people like it enough for a second series, but dealing with work stress does not rock my boat as a plot line.

Characters: Quite eccentric and stereo typed, and not as deep as i would expect

Music: Nothing Special

Reminds me of: The first series (naturally) Bakuman and is you want an exciting alternative Death Note

Overall: Even though this is done by the same people as Death Note the subject matter kills it for me, i spend my life working to tight deadlines so watching other people do it on a cartoons holds few thrills, but there is no denying that its a qualty cartoon

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

LDC Lotusphere Tshirt Designs

Well LDC have picked their favourite designs, as always we do over a dozen designs then pick out our top 7 (one for each day), this means there are some that don’t get picked, normally these are my feeble attempted creations in adobe illustrator or Ben Pooles terrible tech jokes, but in rare cases they are some of the amazing art done for us by proper artists, in this case “battle for London” did not get picked (it got my bloody vote) , purely due to how it might look printed on a tshirt, but it does make an awesome wallpaper, so I have popped it up here and at the London Developer Co-op website,

Old Comments

John Head(16/11/2011 12:06:48 GMT)

reminds me of something that could fit within the Robotech universe – which is a very good thing in my book

Bill(16/11/2011 10:22:43 GMT)

Reminds me of the 80’s Maplin catalog.. Excellent..

—* Bill

Mark Myers(16/11/2011 12:35:48 GMT)

@John giant robots and guns are ALWAYS a goodthing

Mark Myers(16/11/2011 10:28:44 GMT)


New Anime Series- Maken Ki

First Episode Review for: Maken-Ki

Summary : A lad joins an all female school from being at an all boys school, only to discover the existing female students fight it out with super powers on a regular basis.

Animation : Good quality.

Plot Potential: Looks like a standard school Harem anime.

Characters: Fan service strikes, and strikes hard.

Music: Nothing of note.

Reminds me of: Too many to mention, but i suppose Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls

Overall: This is a good fun background anime, and will be watched each week as its so low stress,

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!