Category Archives: Administrative

VirtualBox Problem

OK, I took previous advice and installed VirtualBox. It seems to work, but I want to mount a physical drive to it. It’s NTFS, and when I try to load the vmdk file for it, I get a permissions problem.

Failed to open the hard disk file /home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk.

Permission problem accessing the file for the medium ‘/home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk’ (VERR_ACCESS_DENIED).

Result Code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)
Component: Medium
Interface: IMedium {05f2bbb6-a3a6-4fb9-9b49-6d0dda7142ac}
Callee: IVirtualBox {fafa4e17-1ee2-4905-a10e-fe7c18bf5554}

I’m running VB as a user, but a user doesn’t have permission to do a disk mount (also, the drive itself, when I mount it as admin, shows it owned and grouped as root, probably because it’s NTFS). The file itself is owned and grouped by the user. Any suggestions?

Anza Borrego

We spent yesterday checking out wildflowers in Henderson Canyon, then driving up to Font’s Point, over to the Salton Sea, and back through Ocatillo Wells. Today we hiked up Palm Canyon, saw a lot more flowers, birds, and desert bighorn sheep (just a couple ewes, not rams). We also discovered how out of shape we were. Recuperating now, heading back to LA tomorrow. We clearly need to do this more often.

What strikes me about these desert communities, like Borrego Springs, Salton City (also Cal City up north of Mojave) is the boundless optimism of the founders. They’re huge, with lots of roads laid out ready for building, perhaps decades out. The optimism in Salton City was expressed in the street names — Marina Blvd, Sea Isle Lane, Ocean Avenue, you get the picture. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the lake level has receded a hundred yards from the planned shoreline. It was a depressing place.

In Borrego Springs, there are a lot of wealthy new estates, with little oases of palms and and palo verde. Most of the street names are ranch brands — Tilting T, Double O, Frying Pan…

It was interesting to see a part of California I’d never explored for thirty-five years, only a couple hours away.

Chrome And Systemd

Just did an upgradedate in Fedora. Looks like the new systemd has broken Chrome. Anyone have any ideas? Nothing about it at the site that I saw, at least based on a Google search. This is sort of a PITA, because Chrome is the only way I can access Tweetdeck, which I need for my multiple Twitter accounts.

[Update a while later]

This is the error message I get when I run from command line: “Failed to create /home/*****/.pki/nssdb directory.”

[Update late afternoon]

I realize the title may be a little cryptic. Every time Chrome fails to open, I get a message that systemd had a problem. Before the update, no problem, after the update, borked.

[Late-afternoon update]

OK, partially solved problem. If I disable SELinux, I can fire it up. Then I can re-enable. Here’s the errors when I run it:

ATTENTION: default value of option force_s3tc_enable overridden by environment.
[7630:7630:0315/] InitializeSandbox() called with multiple threads in process gpu-process
[7571:8329:0315/] PostClientToServerMessage() failed during GetUpdates
[7571:7605:0315/] Failed to log in to GCM, resetting connection.

And there about about ten instances of chrome sandbox process running. Not sure what this means, but at least I can use it for now, until I figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, I lost all recent history.

Virtual Machines

So I ended up installing Windows into one in Qemu. Now I can’t get out of it. I thought that ctrl-alt-L would release it, but nothing happens. I somehow got into a full-screen Windows mode and can’t get out or even see the virt-manager. Any ideas?

[Update a while later]

OK, I figured it out. I’d accidentally clicked on “Full Screen View,” and had to get out of that mode to release the mouse and keyboard, by getting it to drop down from the top.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, next question. Anyone know how to make a physical NTFS partition viewable by a virtual machine?

[Saturday-morning update]

I decided to try to look at the drive by making it a share on the network, through the virtual ethernet port, but I can’t get Samba to work. Maybe Winscp?

My Site Improvements

For those curious about the differences between the out-of-the-box TwentyFourteen theme, and my child theme, I’ve done the following:

  • Changed header and sidebar backgrounds from black to dark gray.
  • Changed all instances of all caps to capitalized first letter.
  • Switched from the sans serif typeface “Lato” to Georgia.
  • Moved meta data from top to bottom of post.
  • Added time stamp (without seconds) to the post date, and the word “by” in front of post author.
  • Increased size of blog title.

Most of these involved style sheet changes, which will be preserved if I have to do a theme update, but a couple (adding time stamp and moving metadata) necessitated changes to the template and tag files in the parent theme. But they’re minor, and can be redone if needed.

One thing I’d still like to do, but have been unable to so far, is to change the color of the blog title from white to the same green as the search box. Not sure why a color change in the CSS won’t do it. I can change font size, but not color.

WordPress Problems

So I’m slowly beating the site into submission, but running into a few issues. First, I’m using a child theme of TwentyFourteen, in order to avoid making changes to the main templates. The way that works is that I add changes to the child style sheet, which then supercede the parent. But there are some things that can’t be fixed with the style sheet. For instance, in order to move things around in the post, I have to actually change the PHP code in the templates, in the parent. Another problem I’m having is that, in theory, a new function file in the child will override a function of the same name in WordPress. I want to display the time along with the date on the post, which is generated by a function called “twentyfourteen_posted_on” (the original can be found here). It retrieves the date, but not the time. In order to get it to do so, I’d have to modify it. But when I copy that into my child theme directory, and make changes, nothing happens. Anyone have any idea what the problem is, or how to troubleshoot?

[Update a while later]

OK, I think I figured out the problem. Apparently you can only override functions that are in the function.php file, in the main template directory. This is a tag, buried in the “inc” directory. So I have to edit it in there. Which means that I’ll lose the changes if I have to update the template. But it’s not a huge deal.

Site Redesign

You probably noticed a new look here. I just did a WordPress upgrade, and switched to the new standard theme Twenty Fifteen. Not sure I’ll stick with it (for one thing, it’s not clear how to get the column structure I want) but I’ll play with it for a while.

[Update a while later]

Well, it looks like you can have as many columns as you like, as long as it’s not more than two. Only one sidebar. Not sure whether to stick with this.

[Update a few more minutes later]

OK, looks like the only way to get multiple sidebars is to create a child theme with them. Not sure how much time I want to invest in writing PHP.

[Update a few minutes later]

Last time I tried TwentyFourteen, it was kind of a disaster, but I just got the latest version, and am trying that now. I’ll have to tinker with it, but it at least gives me two customizable sidebars. Definitely have to resize sidebars, and play with style sheet. Feedback appreciated.