Switching to the Mac

David Alison: "I was quickly able to get the Mac Pro up and running with Windows XP and my development environment in a VMware Fusion instance. With a couple of minor exceptions it worked great, providing me with everything I needed to build my web based solutions just as I had been on my native Windows XP machine." - I must admit, I don't have the slightest clue who this guy is, but apparently a lot of people do so he's a pretty popular link. Anywho, I digress. I love my Mac, I won't go back to Windows, period. It's my biggest desire to write Mac software full time, but I make a living writing software for Windows and Linux. I do however use my MacBook Pro as a portal to development on both platforms. VMWare Fusion is a wonderful piece of software and allows me to run both OS's and easily switch between them. I have only one complaint, it's small, and I know it's not easy to do. I would love to be able to get full hardware acceleration on the GPU. I know, minor to most, especially Mr. Alison who does web services, but it is kind of major to me as we do live streaming of video and this Mac hardware screams! I've seen folks on our team boot into native Windows, using BootCamp, and get awesome video performance. I just wish we could get it under VMWare.

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Posted by Rob at 8:55 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Strange behavior, a fix

Watch out! It's a blog fly!I've figured out my problem from last night, so I thought I'd share with everybody, just in case you run across it.

First off here's my configuration, it plays heavily into the problem.

1) MacBook Pro
2) VMWare Fusion
3) Windows XP, running in VM
4) Shared fold on Mac for source code
5) Visual Studio 2008
6) Trolltech Qt

The big cluprit, the shared folder on the Mac. For some strange reason Visual Studio will lose its' brain after a while and can no longer write to .IDB/.PDB files on the HPFS volume. There's a lot going on in there, so it could be anything causing the problem. Anywho, to fix my problem I made sure all intermediate and binary files are being written to my XP volume, not the shared drive. It was easy to fix because we use environment variables to direct Visual Studio to the root of our codebases and where to write intermediate and finished binary files, there was one little problem. We auto generate our Visual Studio project files using a program, from Trolltech, called qmake. It's part of Qt, and is quite handy, but in this case it requires a small 'fix' to get around this problem.

By default qmake sets C/C++ > Output Files > Program Database File Name to '.', which in my case would write the .IDB/.PDB files to the shared Mac volume, which causes the strange behavior. No worries! We have the source code to qmake, so you need to make the following change to 'fix' this problem.

Open the file msvc_vcproj.cpp from \Qt\4.4.0\qmake\generators\win32, in the method initCompilerTool(), line 988 in Qt 4.4.0.

Change this...
conf.compiler.ProgramDataBaseFileName = ".\\" ;
To this...
conf.compiler.ProgramDataBaseFileName = placement;
Rebuild qmake, and run qmake over your project files. That should help.

The real fix is this, do not build to your shared Mac drive, there's some sort of caching/permissions problem with it.

Oh, here's the original problem.
fatal error C1090: PDB API call failed, error code '23' : '(
And all you Open Source zealots, please don't point out we have the code. We paid for it, and if they were shipping a binary only version they wouldn't have hard coded these settings. They would've been configurable, so I wouldn't have had to touch the code.

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Posted by Rob at 12:49 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Resizing a VMWare Fusion image?

I need some help. I'd like to resize two VMWare images, one Windows, one Ubuntu Linux. I Googled for an answer and got quite a few hits, but I'd like some community input before continuing.

Please, if you have a tool of choice for resizing a VMWare image, leave a comment or drop me a line.


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Posted by Rob at 10:02 AM | 4 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Ubuntu on the Mac

Sven Andersson: "It seems to me that Parallels has concentrated on getting the Windows application to run smoothly and left us Linux users out in the cold. What to do? Let's try VMware Fusion instead." - Excellent tutorial for those of you, like me, using VMWare Fusion and installing Ubuntu.

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Posted by Rob at 4:18 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.


Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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