Friday, February 15, 2008

Test Lab: iPhone, Ubuntu, and XP in VMware

I recently purchased an iphone. I was totally stoked - but I realized that there weren't any Linux native tools to activate my iphone. Apparently one needs to use iTunes to activate, and iTunes is made for Mac and Windows. Ultimately, to activate my iphone, I had to borrow a laptop running XP.

Now that my iphone is activated, I'm unable to upload mp3's using my computers running any native Linux tools (or XP in VMware). Oh yeah, and in order to jailbreak, from what I've researched, one needs either a Mac or Windows.

The most success I've had is with VMWare Server running an XP Guest on my Ubuntu box.

Here's what I started out with:

  • Ubuntu 7.10
  • VMWare Server 1.0.4 build-56528
  • iPhone (1.1.13)
Within VMware:
  • XP container with all of the latest patches
  • iTunes 7.6
Before doing anything, I backed up my VMX file for my VM image of XP. Then, I edited the original VMX and added:
usb.generic.skipSetConfig = "TRUE"
The most success I've had is after I do the following:
  1. Cable up iPhone to USB port -- Cancel out of camera import dialog box
  2. Doing a `lsusb` shows the phone there. Ok, not a step, but a confirmation of sorts.
  3. Startup VMware - turn on XP guest. While it boots XP...
  4. In VM, go to VM | REMOVABLE DEVICES | USB DEVICES and make sure "Apple Inc. (port 1)" is checked
  5. (Warning: Windows Talk) Log into XP
  6. Go to the control panel, administrative tools, and launch the services app
  7. Click on the "Apple Mobile Device" service. options to start | stop | restart
  8. So, back in VM, go to uncheck "Apple Inc. Iphone (port 1)"
  9. Now recheck "Apple Inc. Iphone (port 1)". Windows will detect the new hardware
  10. Back in Windows, go to services again and click on "Apple Mobile Device" again. Restart the service.
  11. Awesome - iphone detected. Windows pulls up a window asking to import photos.
  12. AHHH - blue screen! haha, so typical!!!!!
So, I still haven't figured this out yet. I've gone through the steps uninstalling Quicktime, Apple Software Update, and Apple Mobile Device Support ... and then reinstalling iTunes (which installs everything). I'll continue working on this. Any comments to help figure this out will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Grouping Application Windows in Ubuntu/GNOME Taskbar

I just came across a blog posting on Tech-Recipe about grouping application windows in Ubuntu/GNOME taskbar. It's a useful optimization for newbies as well as the old-timers running a GNOME-based desktop. This feature allows a user to group application windows together in a way similar to Windows XP.

The way to enable application window grouping is simple. On my desktop I right click on the dotted vertical line between the quickstart icons and my open application windows. With my setup this is on the bottom taskbar (which is default with GNOME on Ubuntu). Select Preferences. You'll see a window similar to the image here. Under Windows Grouping yo have three choices; Never group windows (default), Group windows when space is limited, and always group windows.

[Enable Window Grouping on the Window List] -- Tech-Recipes Blog