VirtualBox is – as a general user I have to say – a really neat program. A free and open program from Oracle (ex Sun Microsystems) it lets you do virtualization on a reasonably powerful PC with a smooth interface and options. It’s like VMware but free.
I did spot a couple of problems with the interface when I was using it though1.
No, I’m not getting paid for this.
Currently I have a fresh installation of Windows (7) in a virtual machine on this PC. As anyone who has just installed Windows, or any operating system, knows, the first thing to do is install the 10 000 updates that have been published by Microsoft (or Apple, or whoever) for the OS.
Previous post I had mentioned that the virtual machine software VirtualBox uses an entertaining metaphor for file transfer between host and guest operating systems.
This new discovery of mine isn’t really new to me, but I just realized that is represents a kind of whimsical reference that you don’t see in “professional” software very often:
The icon for “cloning” (essentially a special duplication procedure) is a sheep. This is undoubtedly a reference to Dolly who was cloned famously in the late 1990s.
Personally I think it’s clever piece of metaphorage. ;) ;)
Playing around with VirtualBox‘s new release (Version 51) I’ve discovered that when you drag and drop a file from your system to the guest system in the virtual machine, you get this as a progress dialog:
I always enjoyed these metaphors of making physical objects out of (mostly) nonphysical objects. I can see in my mind “loading” and “moving” data with a crane. I’ve been doing this since forever: Many many years ago, say 15 or so, I ran across a book of photoshop exercises. I remember the cover, and one of the exercises, was some farmer dude holding canning jars full of… lightning. There were others, but that was the one I remember the most. I loved the idea and the image of being able depict and draw mentally together the real and unreal.
I’m sure the book had some crap with gradients in it too, since it was that time of web design.