Still trying to rescue one of my virtual machines on my ESXi 5.5 blade that I erroneously upgraded to 5.5 virtual hardware (which prevents you from using the vSphere client to edit settings any more). I finally got an evaluation vCenter running, only to find: you can’t use vCenter to manage a free ESXi host. Even if you pay $6k for vCenter, it can’t manage a free vSphere host.

VMware: We’ll take your money, look – a dog!

I continue to be impressed at just how customer-hostile VMWare manage to be.

Step 1: Give all products vague and conflicting names (VMware vCenter Server requires VMware vSphere Client to access),
Step 2: Make every feature a product rather than having products with licensable features, because that was cool in 1995, damnit,
Step 3: Instead of hiring copy/technical writers for your web site, make instructional videos that are approximately related to something vaguely within a a page or two of of the link you clicked on.

I just watched what appeared to be the “omg you want this” promo for vCenter, and it was all about how the client is now web-based which can now do a search, and you can do other stuff while it searches and go back to the search. Seriously, the entire video was in the context of “sure, there’s other stuff to click, but look – we can go back to our search!”

What brought this on? I have an old SuperMicro server blade that hosts my Ubuntu apt-cache and Windows server, and I thought I’d try upgrading my ESXi from 5.0 to something newer. Even though the blade has stock e1000s, when I upgrade to 5.1 or 5.5, they kinda quit working, and you have to dig down into VMware forums to find a link that basically says “force it to reinstall the 5.0 drivers using magic shenanigans”.

Then I got shanghai’d with 5.5 – it’s still free but they’re cutting off access to the “vSphere Client” you use to manage it, and I upgraded the “virtual hardware” on one of my machines, It paused for a while so I went to click again, exactly as a dialog appeared with the “OK” button directly under my mouse.

This was presumably the dialog that was mean’t to warn me that upgrading the virtual hardware would lock me in to requiring vCenter Server to change settings on the server in future.

And now that server won’t boot because the mac address conflicts with something. So I wanted to install the vCenter Server trial, I think. So I follow the link that the old vSphere client provides and … I have no damn clue what this is that I’m installing.

The website is just a mess. It’s harder to shop for a specific product than it is to find a decent Windows 8 tablet (ka-ching).

Well played, VMware, well played. I’ve left your site feeling dazed and confused and with a strong desire to buy shares in Microsoft…


A decent virtual Linux

In my quest to get a decent dual-OS box (without dual booting), I gave the free VMware server a spin instead of Workstation. The experiment was short lived and lead me back to Workstation with a slightly different approach, and I’m pretty pleased with the resulting Ubuntu virtual machine.

Ubuntu vs Fedora

My Linux workstation runs like a slug. I get stutters when editing source code in VI. So, it’s that “find a Linux to work with time” again… (Watch for certain fanboi comments, those of you who read on will find them quite amusing ;)

Loser Interfaces

I mean, what the hell?


It seems this is Microsoft’s latest improvement of the old chestnut. Oddly, I found it rather inconvenient to have my machines reboot themselves. Clearly, Microsoft have made it unsafe to have auto-updates enabled, again. In the 3rd VM to reboot I managed to be hitting one of the many accelerator keys that corresponds to clicking on “Reboot Now” before the dialog went from loading to visible. I also have to give a little shout-out to the guy(s) at VMWare responsible for the Virtual Debugger interface in Visual Studio: Some of the most cryptic prompts and error feedback.  Like this classic: