How To Find the VMWare Workstation License in Linux

Howto find the VMWare workstation license on your linux box?

No-one seems to have this, which is really, really annoying because if you move VMWare to another desktop or you’re like me and you alternate between your desktop and laptop, you want to use your companies VMWare workstation license. WHERE COULD THIS BE? The knowledge base suggests using regedit.exe to find it!

Protip – Novell may have been sold, but it wasn’t sold to Microsoft.

Check in $HOME/.vmware/ and you’ll see a file like license-ws-70-e1-200904 (for VMWare 7 and yes I know I’m behind).

Inside this file should be the line Serial = “XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX”

Resist the urge to copy this file wholesale to the new host, the host hash is what VMWare uses to figure out where each VM was copied. If you copy the file whole, any VM copied from the other VMWare host won’t go through the reconfig process and things will get screwy.

Simpson Duravent Install

I feel like I’m far enough along in this project I can comment. My biggest pet peeve with this entire project at the moment is the fact that all the brackets want to be screwed into drywall and drywall simply isn’t rated to support 60lbs to 120lbs of pipe. So you end up using a 2×4 to give the bracket something to hang out on and distribute the load, and it’s not happy being on there. Not only do you lose an inch and some change, but now the rest of your measurements are thrown off.

My second pet peeve is that when you adjust the adjustable bracket because you mounted it on a 2×4 and thus threw off all your measurements, you will invariably not line up with the holes. They’ve got rails cut in it so you have some adjustment, but you really need the entire line cut or they should just tell you to be ready to drill your own holes. This “it’s adjustable, lol!” and then only giving you a quarter inch or so of play on each side isn’t cool. I ended up drilling holes to adjust it between two stops.

The lock rings are terrible. The top of the T has a lip and a smaller, more subtle lip. This is where the locking band goes. It’s not explained anywhere. I compared it to the other T they sent me and they were identical. This is just something they built into it. Also it’s possible to overtighten the lock ring, I tightened the crap out of them then I backed it off a bit. Remember – the pipe wants to expand when it gets hot. On the other hand your support bands are (correctly) made from the same steel the pipe is, so the support bands expand with the pipe. You also don’t have to worry about annealing like this.

The support band for the elbow needs a redesign. I would have killed for a simple eyelet which would let me choose the angle I wanted the band on. As it is currently done, the band has two arms come off of it and the amount you tighten the band determines the angle of the arms. I ended up simply screwing wood blocks to the drywall to support it and these blocks took up the angle off the studs which the bands required. This is simply a crap design and there’s 100 ways to solve this problem. Basically a line tensioner (the twist kind you see on fences and clotheslines) with another strip of metal coming off that would have taken care of both the angle and offset while still providing adjustable support without having to redrill the holes (which I did) when you realize the angle is subtly wrong. I was sort of tempted to cut it and make my own but any modification to UL approved equipment voids the UL rating. That and I didn’t know that the sheer force was for the existing stuff, so I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and just did the wood framing.

OK so what are the plusses? For one, the pipes are shipped lightly greased. We’ll see if this cooks off or not but it makes assembly easy. The twist lock thing works generally well with one caveat: The pipes don’t always center themselves when you do it. More than a few times I’ve reseated a pipe and either had it slightly off or had it bind up on me “unscrewing” it. The reason is that the threading on the pipe sections tends to overlap both ways because it’s not a real thread. While the design works and I’m sure it’s cheap to make, it’s not the best design in the world. There’s enough overlap between each pipe however that not having it entirely seated isn’t a show stopper, this is a good design because you expect to need a bit of here or there when working on the pipes and again the pipes will expand at different rates.

Also conspicuously missing is caulk. Would it have killed them to include caulk for the roof penetration?

All in all this is worth about 3.5/5 stars. It’s not perfect. It sucks less than other kits which require bands every section. It could have been made to be lighter and they could have done better on the hardware (one of my lock rings was entirely missing a screw). The T support is just weird that they didn’t think you were going to put it on a 2×4. On the other hand it’s entirely serviceable and tolerant of the abuse I’ve put it through doing 100 test fits. If I were to do another stove install, this is the kit I would suggest.

Foxfire

I touch on these every now and again because they’re cool. I’m talking about the Foxfire Books.

My great uncle (I would love to know his name if anyone has the family history) was apparently the last or one of the last coal engineers in pennsylvania. One of these years I mean to take my kid to Strasburg for the rail tour and pick their brains to find out who he is and what sort of strange cancers I can expect to get. But anyway, the family has been living and working in Pennsylvania for the last few generations and while not all of us are rail engineers or police, we at least can say we contributed something to the landscape.

I will link to the first three books, the remainder of the text is available online or sold online. The introduction is long but the relevant part follows:

Many older people in this area, for example, still plant today by the signs of the zodiac and the stages of the moon. I had heard them mention it, but I didn’t know what it meant. Rather than interrupt a con- versation to find out, I figured I’d get my students to tell me. They’d probably know since it was mostly their parents and grand- parents who were doing it. But my kids didn’t really know what it was either, and soon they were as curious as I was. Why not find out and turn the information into an article?So they went home and talked—really talked—to their own rela- tives, some of them for the first time. From those conversations came superstitions, old home remedies, weather signs, a story about a hog hunt, a taped interview with the retired sheriff about the time the local bank was robbed—and directions for planting by the signs.

In short, it is appalachian history and makes for a wonderful read. Please enjoy the first, second, third, fouth and fifth issue. Another fun book in the same vein but less folky is the American Boys Book of Camp Lore and Woodcraft.

VMWare Buys SuSE, What Now?

It was just announced that VMWare bought SuSE on the WSJ (paid version).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This deal included the cloud, but not any of the other OES layer. I had been a major supporter of the idea of having the OES (Open Enterprise System, or Other Expensive Shit) software as an add on and I thought it worked really well in that respect. I really didn’t like eDirectory in particular, I thought ZCM was junky and I thought most of the other novell products were trying to find some identity between legacy support and being similar to but not microsoft. eDirectory never aspired beyond being Active Directory with XML support. The driver set thing was interesting, but otherwise poorly implemented. The shared storage services were never particularly impressive and just ended up half assed compared to ZFS. The whole “similar to but not” thing extended into the depths of the distribution also – SuSE really is RedHat under the hood and I’ve made RedHat boxes run OES. Is it easy? No. Can it be done without breaking the OS or the repositories? Yes. My guess is there’s going to be a brief market for this and then it’s going to go away.

The IP going to VMware is the core OS and the cloud. This has two plusses for VMware. One of them it that SuSE has a nice gui. VMWare doesn’t want to be linux, it wants to be a GUI for managing VMs. The cloud thing is a natural since now you don’t have to provide storage, you can simply run your VM “in the cloud”. I personally think the cloud is a poor fit for VMware, but maybe they’ll do something cool with it.

AttachMate is buying the rest of the IP, including ZCM, which was the only profitable sector there. AttachMate does UIs for mainframes and legacy systems (including Unisys and I did lol) and really has no interest or use for 90% of the OES suite. They’re going to simply make connectors to the netware terminal. All the rest of the Netware software is likely to go away.

So what’s the silver lining? For one, mono development is DOA. Thank god. Mono was Linux’s bridge to .Net and it never worked well. For two we get rid of webdav alternatives.

What’s the downside? We lose out on YAST, which was probably the best in terms of bringing ease-of-use to linux. Ubuntu used it under the hood. The question becomes which side we want to be on – Ubuntu or RedHat? On one hand, RedHat developed most of the code which makes things like YAST run. On the other hand Ubuntu took it and make the UI pretty. RedHat dumps pretty for flexible and robust, but Ubuntu trades up some flexible and robust (and secure) for ease-of-use. This is a tough choice.

What of all the patents? Attachmate will own Linux as a trademark defacto, so it won’t surprise me to see Attachmate sell this to Microsoft whole or in part. I think there’s a strong argument for this being anticompetitive, but MS has a pile of money and lawyers and every reason to try to tie up RedHat who has effectively zero competitors now.