You are running a new version of VMware Player and try to start an older guest operating system, perhaps one you have not run in a while. You probably need to do two things in your image files, assuming your image name is “guest”:

  • Delete the guest.vmpl file from the image
  • Open the guest.vmx configuration file and delete these three lines:
  • policy.vm.managedVM = “FALSE”
    policy.vm.managedVMTemplate = “TRUE”
    policy.vm.mvmtid = “52 d6 6f f9 f3 36 0f 9f-31 da 9f f5 90 7b ce 76”

     

    A topic that comes up often these days is how to motivate remote teams on IT
    projects. It comes up because teams consist of personnel that are scattered all
    over the country and the globe. Technology enables people to work from home or a
    combination of work-home-travel. Sometimes teams are assembled ad-hoc for
    specific projects and then the people move on to other projects. Usually teams
    have daily duties other than projects. Project managers find it necessary to
    keep focus and timing for success. These are some techniques for project
    managers to consider for remote teams:

    Know your people

    Take the time to meet project team and remote members either on the phone or in
    person. It is only natural in one-on-one conversations to learn their
    aspirations for work and personal life. This experience will allow you to speak
    to them in their language and ultimately save time. Note that project team
    meetings need to focus on the project not on individuals, partly to respect
    everyone's time.

    A consistent heartbeat

    Do what you do on a project on a consistent basis because more than anything
    else people want stability and structure in their lives. People come to expect
    your status reports and queries and notifications of looming deadlines.

    Responsibilities and Estimates

    Project managers should almost never estimate time for others; they should shift
    the burden of estimation to those responsible for actually doing the work.This
    principle is necessary when the work is to be performed by IT professionals; it
    may not apply to all types of projects. The people doing to work take ownership
    and responsibility for the estimate and for the work itself. They recognize that
    they have only themselves to blame for delays on their part of the project. This
    principle may be obvious but it is necessary as a pre-condition to success.
    Ideally all estimates come from the functional manager to the project manager.
    IT personnel tend to underestimate their work and duration because of complexity
    and because any system change must fit into a larger whole. For IT and software
    development PERT estimation makes schedules more realistic.

    Peer pressure and accountability

    Remote teams need to be aware of the effect they have on the project and the
    consequences of not meeting their responsibilities. Project managers should make
    team expectations agreed and visible to the larger organization. Project
    managers also need to celebrate team contributions. There is nothing like
    accountability for motivation on projects. That is why it is so important to
    document roles and responsibilities in a project plan. The Wikipedia definition
    of accountability is instructive here:

    "Accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for
    actions, products, decisions, and policies including the administration,
    governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment
    position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable
    for resulting consequences."

    Communications

    Take advantage of modern communications like videoconferencing, intranet chat
    rooms, a virtual team rooms, and systems like SharePoint. Research by the
    Project Management Institute has demonstrated that project managers spend 90% of
    their time communicating. That is why some project managers come home and do not
    want to talk…they are tired of talking. There is nothing more important to
    project success than clear concise communications.

    Matrix Organizations

     In a matrix organization, a worker's allegiance will be oriented primarily to the
    functional manager and not to the project manager. As a project manager, who do
    you turn to for updates as a project progresses; do you turn to the professional
    actually doing the work or to the functional manager. In most cases you want
    project updates to come from the functional manager. You may get technical
    updates from subject matter experts and others that report to functional
    managers; do not get schedule updates from staff unless the functional manager
    is not available. Functional managers should report progress weekly in
    conference to the larger organization so that they seek to avoid the
    embarrassment factor. The organization should have reports weekly from project
    managers and functional managers in weekly all hands calls. Project managers can
    make projects visible via dashboards on internal websites and via status reports
    on emails and via project management software and project servers. The objective
    is to maintain a focus on the positive, a focus on the destination.

    Project Success

     Organizations do not undertake projects unless the project will remove a pain
    point for the organization. Therefore any project is important; there are no
    unimportant projects. Yes, some projects have higher priority than others. And
    there is a natural best sequence of projects. The point is that remote teams
    need to understand the importance of the project to their own financial and
    career success. It is the job of the project manager to maintain the vision of
    project success for the team by words, tone of voice, and body language. Normal
    people want to be associated with successful projects. Successful projects are a
    cause for celebration, can provide financial rewards, and at a minimum provide
    something to add to a resume. Successful projects attract people to associate
    with the project manager; a series of successful projects become the resume of
    the organization which in turn attracts people to the organization.

    Metrics

     Usually project managers measure success on the three dimensions of schedule,
    cost, and quality. However there may be other measures that are important to the
    project sponsors and to those affected by the project. For example a series of
    changes to an application software may meet schedule, cost, and quality metrics,
    but the Information Assurance group has an interest in whether the changes
    advance or retard the security posture of the software. So make sure you know
    what metrics you will need to monitor. Metrics are a way of keeping score. No
    one wants to be deluded that a project is proceeding successfully only to find
    that they have been following a mirage.

    Rewards

     Some organizations underestimate the value of non-financial rewards to their
    staff. A highly regarded award can mean as much to a remote team worker as a
    financial incentive because resumes are about status and stronger resumes equal
    stronger salaries. Encourage autonomy, an under-rated incentive. Use carrots and
    sticks wisely.

    Cultures

     Much has been written about the differences between cultures and how management
    can get things done internationally. For example, humor can attract or divide
    depending on how it is handled. Not all humor is universal. Some humor may be
    offensive. Project managers like all managers need to acquire sensitivity to
    peoples of other cultures and maintain respect and focus on the project. The
    project is universal; not everything else is universal.

    The international project

    If you manage people on different continents and time zones, consider setting up
    "office hours" (an opt-in conference call) three times a week for an hour. Thus
    you all know that staff can always count on those times – those heartbeats – to
    talk with the team and handle any major problems that have come up. Use a chat
    room every single day to stay in touch and encourage employees to share any
    great content they find. Email is great, but not necessarily for keeping up with
    day-to-day operations.

    Time zones

     When you have a deadline, be sure everyone knows when it's due in their time zone,
    as well as your own. Perhaps "all times Eastern" would work. Make sure your
    customers and clients are aware of the time differences, as well, so you can
    schedule meetings and launches accordingly.

    Giving credit

     You're in a meeting or phone call and giving status. Should you give credit for
    completed work to the individual or to the team. This can be debated but in
    reality it depends. If the work can be attributed to an individual say the name
    of the individual person and thank them for their contribution.

    Praisy people

     Project Managers need to praise people whenever possible, particularly when
    "bringing someone back from the brink." If you have a remote worker that is
    displaying signs of weakening, you need be firm about it but also let them know
    that they are not isolated from the team in spirit even if by location. As they
    work their way back you need to take every opportunity to praise them and give
    credit on a team conference call.

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    Go into the Settings, tap on Display, turn off Auto Brightness and then set the brightness that you want. You can comfortably get by on some of the lower settings.

    Reduce some of the connections your phone is making. Every time your Galaxy S3 searches for a Wi-Fi network or seeks for GPS, that eats up battery life. This is especially important in areas where there isn’t a stable connection or the GPS signal is weak. In places like this your device will keep searching for a nearby Wi-Fi or GPS signal. This drains the battery very quickly. If you know that you’re not going to need either of these, go into the Settings and turn off Wi-Fi and GPS. You’ll have to manually turn these on when you want to use it, but Samsung made this super simple to do by including quick access to these in the Android notification bar.

    Make sure you know which apps have access to your phone’s location features and adjust accordingly. For something like Foursquare or Google Maps, having location capabilities is a must but you should think about whether other apps really need to know where you are.

    Turn off background data syncing. For those who need every single Tweet, email or Facebook notification in real-time, turning off background data may seem crazy but it definitely will save on battery life.

    You can download JuiceDefender Ultimate or JuiceDefender to help monitor your Android’s battery.

    Make sure to charge your smartphone often and don’t let your battery drain completely before you decide to plug it into the charger. Try not to let it get below 10 percent too often. Once per month you can let it completely die. This is called power cycling, and it is important to the health of a battery.

    Keep your smartphone at or close to room temperature. Don’t put it in the sun.

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    The Jacuzzi Shepherd Dog

    On 2012.08.27, in Humor, by Greg

    Today we toured the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Northern California. They do not use herbicides. They use Sheep. Sheep for weed control It’s quite a sight as you can see. Anyway the sheep are guided by dogs. One day a shepherd dog guided the sheep across a roadway to reach more vineyards. The dog had to get to the head of the flock. He was at the back of the flock. The sheep were so tightly packed that his only alternative to circumnavigating the flock was to jump from sheep to sheep across their backs which is exactly what he did. It was a memorable sight.

     

    Droid Update #2

    On 2011.03.29, in Technology, by Greg

    I’m switching from Motorola Droidx to HTC Thunderbolt. Both run Android OS. Most folks that have compared Droidx to Thunderbolt have found that the Thunderbolt is inherently faster, but also the Verizon network 4G is faster. People are currently experiencing network speeds up to 20Mbps, which is faster than the average US home user experiences from his or her ISP. This is the updated list of Apps:

      Frequently Used:

    • Advanced Task Killer Free – you need this
    • Amazon – scan barcodes to compare price on Amazon versus store
    • CardioTrainer – uses GPS to track walking workouts.
    • Gmail – Google email
    • Google Calendar – to look up appointments, etc.
    • Google Maps – more than just maps
    • Google Sky Map – identify stars and planets
    • Google Voice – telephony from Google
    • Instant Heart Rate – Use cellphone to find out heart rate
    • My Verizon Mobile – shows minutes used etc.
    • Quickoffice – View Mircosoft Office files and PDFs
    • Sincere Prayer
    • TED Mobile – view outstanding 18 minute videos from the TED conferences
    • TeslaLED – use cellphone as flashlight
    • Tricorder – simulates Star Trek Tricorder
    • Twitter – alerts when new tweets arrive
    • Wifi Analyzer – check on wifi signals around you
      Less Frequently Used:

    • 3G Mobile Hotspot – built-in, extra cost service
    • AcroBible Lite – King James version
    • Alarm & Timer – built-in
    • Amazon MP3 – Amazon music store
    • Angry Birds – popular game
    • Backup Assistant – Verizon Application
    • Blockbuster – Movie rentals
    • Browser – Google Browser – Built-in
    • Calculator – Built-in
    • Calendar – Google built-in
    • Camcorder – built-in
    • Camera – built-in
    • Cardock – built-in
    • CityID – trialware built-in displays city and state of caller
    • Contacts – Google contact list
    • Dialer – phone dialpad built-in
    • DLNA – use Wifi to share files – built-in
    • Emergency – built-in
    • ESPN Mobile
    • Files – built-in file manager
    • FM Radio – use cellphone as FM radio (requires headset)
    • Gallery – saved photos and Movies
    • Gesture Search – search your phone by using gestures
    • Google Books – competes with Amazon Kindle
    • Google Earth – advanced mapping
    • Google Finance – quotes and charts
    • Google Goggles – scan business card to add to contacts
    • Google Latitude – find friends nearby
    • Google Listen – search audio feeds for news, subscribe to favorites, then listen
    • Google News
    • Google Reader – RSS Reader
    • Google Search – built-in
    • Google Talk – chat app
    • Google Translate – language translation
    • Help Center – built-in
    • IMDb – Internet Movie Database
    • Kindle – Amazon Book Reader
    • Madden NFL 11 – popular game
    • Market – get apps from Google Marketplace
    • Media Share – share files between phone and other devices
    • Medscape – medical app from WebMD
    • Messaging – built-in messaging like text messaging (requires service)
    • Morningstar – stocks and mutual funds
    • Movies – view Netflix queue
    • Music – listen to books on mp3 – built-in
    • Music Player – Realnetwork app, better than the built-in app
    • My Tracks – Google app like CardioTrainer
    • News – built-in Google app for reading News feeds
    • News and Weather – the Weather Channel app
    • Newspapers – read newspapers from around the world
    • Navigation – built-in Google app – speak destination
    • NFS Shift – Need for Speed Shift – EA sports
    • PdaNet – USB tether or Bluetooth DUN
    • Picasa Tool – works with online picasa account
    • Places – find things near you like restaurants
    • Pocket Agent – State Farm Insurance App
    • Radar Now – show weather radar around your GPS location
    • ScoreCenter – sports scores
    • Google Shopper – find things to buy
    • Skype Mobile
    • Social Networking – Google app – built-in
    • Southwest – airline app
    • Sportstap – keep track of your teams
    • Text Messageing – built-in
    • The Weather Channel
    • Trapster – avoid speed traps and photo enforcement cameras
    • Voice Command – use voice to do things like place calls
    • Voicemail – checks voicemail
    • Voice Search – Google search using voice
    • Voice Search – voice command what you are looking for near you
    • VZ Navigator – extra cost service from Verizon
    • WaveSecure – to locate cellphone if misplaced, and erase everything if stolen
    • Wikidroid – Wikipedia App
    • YouTube
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    Today marks the last day for John Murrell as blogger in chief for a wonderful blog called Good Morning Silicon Valley. His explanation of the difference for him between writing and editing:

    “But for me at least, the process of writing is wearing. I’m a grinder, and there’s a lot of chair squirming and wandering around and staring at the stars and sometimes some cursing that goes into the production of the daily sausage. And it’s a largely solitary pursuit, which appeals to my inborn reclusive nature, but can sometimes result in getting cabin fever from living in one’s own head too long. Editing, on the other hand, has its own collaborative and craftsmanlike pleasures and activates a different synaptic configuration than writing. You start with a piece of work already in front of you, and the job is to turn it this way and that to examine all its angles and components, to check for gaps or loose fittings, to do a little tweaking here and polishing there, and finally to set it loose at least a bit better than it was (and never any worse).”

     

    Horsetail Firefall

    On 2010.04.18, in Society, by Greg



    Horsetail Firefall

    Originally uploaded by Wiggum03

    This is an amazing natural photo that was not retouched with Photoshop. Quoted: “Horsetail Falls is a small seasonal waterfall that only appears in late winter and early spring. It flows over the east side of El Capitan, so as a backdrop it has one of the most impressive walls of granite in the entire park. Then – only for part of February, and only when the sky is clear – the very last sun rays of the day selectively linger on the falls, lighting it up with a golden glow that makes the water look like lava.”

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    January 25th of this year I listed my predictions for what is now being called the Apple iPad. You might say that the implementation is a bit shy of my predictions.

    • It’s not as thin as I thought
    • The dimensions are about right; I guessed 11″ (I meant for the diagonal including the display, but the delivered display is 9.7″)
    • I was right about the SSD, but I thought that it would be of a useful size
    • Looks like it is inspired in part by the Mac Air
    • No USB – oops got that wrong — how could they omit USB?
    • As of this writing, it is not known how much RAM is in the iPad — dude, I would not buy the thing for that reason alone
    • Sure enough, the battery is not removable, so you’ll have to find some other way of extending life
    • Nothing special for handwriting recognition
    • The OS is iPhone OS 3.2, not Mac OS-X Touch — users will pay for that decision
    • WiFi and no WiMax
    • Cellular service from AT&T, a decidedly inferior data network to Verizon
    • Well, it does have speakers, microphone, and headphone jack, but no camera — you’re kidding — no camera
    • iTunes access for sure

    In addition to those shortcomings, here are some others that are truly surprising:

    • The browser does not support Flash; you will suffer in your web browsing
    • No multi-tasking
    • No video output
    • The dock does not do what you expect
    • No printing to a connected device; get ready to buy a Wifi printer or make some other arrangements
    • No optical drive
    • Eye strain is likely to be a problem trying to read for extended periods of time due to the display technology choice
    • iPhone apps may display very small unless they have been re-written for the iPad

    You decide. No iPad for me…maybe never.

     

    Droid Update

    On 2010.02.18, in Technology, by Greg

    My original post about the Droid was 2009-11-06. Three months into Droid and time for an update. The good news is that ones life can be divided into BD and AD, before Droid and after Droid. But not without some complaints of course. The camera is really slow, which means you are going to miss some opportunities. It is really easy to accidentally activate functions unintentionally.

    These are the apps I use in order of most frequent:

    • Phone and contact lookup with integration to maps
    • Maps, especially with the traffic layer turned on
    • Music – listen to books on mp3
    • Gmail
    • Calendar to look up appointments, etc.
    • Sportstap – keep track of you teams
    • TED – view outstanding 18 minute videos from the TED conferences
    • CardioTrainer – uses GPS to track walking workouts.
    • Radar Now – show weather radar arond your GPS location
    • Trapster – avoid speed traps and photo enforcement cameras
    • WaveSecure – to locate Droid if misplaced, and erase everything if stolen
    • Wifi Analyzer – check on your wifi signal
    • Droidlight – use camera flash as a light
    • Google Goggles – scan business card to add to contacts
    • PageOnce – track financial accounts
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    The Space Debate

    On 2010.02.04, in Politics, Society, Technology, by Greg

    Steven Weinbeg received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 and the National Medal of Science in 1991. He teaches in the physics and astronomy departments of the University of Texas at Austin. He has some important observations about space exploration funding in today’s Wall Street Journal, some of which are quoted below. It is gratifying to be able to report anything that the current Obama administration is proposing that would move us in the right direction and this is one.

    One of my sons, Mark, worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL in Pasadena, CA during the summers of 2004 and 2005. JPL is a NASA contractor and lead center for the robotic exploration of the solar system. JPL has done far more with it’s tiny budget than the massive NASA manned programs to improve life on earth.

    What about Hubble? Weinberg notes:

    It is true that astronauts made a large contribution to astronomy by servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. But if Hubble had been put into orbit by unmanned rockets instead of the Space Shuttle, so much money would have been saved that instead of servicing a single Hubble we could have had half a dozen Hubbles in orbit, making servicing unnecessary.

    The Mars rovers were dispatched by JPL, and they did an incredible job, as noted by Weinberg here:

    It is difficult to get reliable estimates of the cost of sending astronauts to Mars, but I have heard no estimate that is less than many hundreds of billions of dollars. The cost of sending Spirit and Opportunity to Mars was less than $1 billion.

    Weinberg concludes:

    The only technology for which the manned space flight program is well suited is the technology of keeping people alive in space. And the only demand for that technology is in the manned space flight program itself.