Haiku on Virtualbox: getting data in

With the release of Haiku R1Alpha1, VirtualBox is a great way to play around with the alpha without committing a real partition to it.
But VirtualBox tends to act like an island, entire unto itself. Your OS is sitting on a .VDI format virtual disk that no other OS or program has ever heard of. So you’ve downloaded some new apps from Haikuware while you were in your Host OS. How are you supposed to get them into Haiku? What is needed is some format that Haiku, VirtualBox and the Host OS all know and understand.
It exists. It is called .ISO (or .CDR on Mac OSX systems). If you are using Mac OSX as your Host OS, the following Terminal command will take a folder (/home/username/Binaries Storage/HAIKU – Storage in this case) and create an .ISO image that VB will accept and that should be readable by Haiku:

hdiutil makehybrid -o ~/Library/VirtualBox/HardDisks/Storage.iso ~/Binaries\ Storage/HAIKU\ -\ Storage/ -ov

Your pathnames will be different, of course. You can put that command in a Mac OSX shell script. You can even make a clickable app from that script using Platypus. Now inform VirtualBox that this is the image you want to use as your CD/DVD. The next time you boot into Haiku, there will be a fake CD for you to mount containing all the data that was in that folder.
Mac OSX will also mount the .ISO file. In fact, it will mount it read/write. But do not have it mounted in both Host and Guest OS simultaneously! First unmount the image in Haiku, then unmount it in VirtualBox (Devices | Unmount CD/DVD-ROM) – you do not have to exit the Haiku VM to do this. Now you can safely mount the image in the Host OS, or recreate it using the command above, then reverse the process to get it mounted in the Haiku VM again.


Ultimate init string database

As other tips in this section note, if you don’t find an entry for your modem
in the Dial-Up Networking panel, you can add it through the custom modems
panel. You should be able to find the right string in the modem’s
documentation or on the manufacturer’s web site. If you don’t, the single
best place to look for init strings is at ModemHelp.org, which is a massive database
of strings for most modems in existence.
If you’re aware of other good sites with this type of information, let me know.


More kill rogue apps

In addition to the age-old Unix ps/kill combo listed above, BeOS lets you take
the easy route. Try kill ‚appname‘ (ex. kill NetPositive)
This is much simpler than grepping for the pid.
But there’s an even cleaner way, that you might try first. Download the
href=“http://w3.datanet.hu/~amezei/“>hey scripting utility and install it
in /boot/home/config/bin. Then use:
hey ‚appname‘ quit
This will, as it suggests, tell the app to quit itself, which might shut it
down a little cleaner than a raw kill, although usually if you’re at this
stage, you’re gonna have to do a kill anyway.


Switch between workspaces

Desktop feeling cluttered? You’ve got more space to work with than you might realize, thanks to BeOS‘ workspaces. Hold down the Alt key and punch the F keys, a la Alt+F2, Alt+F6, etc. You’ll get a clean workspace in each one, and each workspace can run at independent resolutions and host different running applications. You can also switch workspaces graphically, from the Workspaces preferences applet. The applet has the added advantage of letting you drag applications from one workspace to another.
See also: Toggle between recent Workspaces.


Mozilla, USB-keyboards and international issues.

Mozilla has its own keyboard handling, and left keyboard control keys (Ctrl, Alt, Win) are reserved. So international users must use right controls in order to get some symbols, e.g. most important „@“ symbol.
But by default USB keyboards in BeOS disallow some of those keys.
Problem solution is here:
This patch enables right-win key on USB keyboards.


Locating Scot Hacker's Antique BeOS Articles

Two years worth of Scot Hacker’s articles for Byte.com’s „The BeView“ are now hidden behind a parent company’s subscription curtain, but have been mirrored on his personal site (legally) at birdhouse.org/beos/byte/. Please consider subscribing to Byte.com if you enjoy this and other legacy computing content.
His very old articles for ZDNet’s long-defunct BeHive can be downloaded as a tarball.


BIOS FAIL-Safe-mode

Computer always boots in BIOS Fail Safe Mode.
I have tried clearing the CMOS, changing the battery, reset to defaults, and make tried every setting on power management ?
These we donated computer, no doc on Motherboards, I cloned a W98 using Ghost and am trying to boot for the first time.


Read_Me_First.html always displays on reboot

If you install the BeOS and then immediately install the upgrade
packages before rebooting, a situations can occur where the machine
always displays the Read_Me_First.html file at every reboot.
To fix the situation, delete this file:


Using the same bookmarks in Mozilla for BeOS and Windows

There is a simple way to share your bookmarks between Mozilla for BeOS and Windows (this works for Phoenix too). Mount your Windows partition and navigate to the Application Data directory for the version of Windows you are using.

  • Windows 2000/XP: /[windows partition]/Documents and Settings/[username]/Application Data/
  • Windows 9x/ME: /[windows partition]/[windows directory]/Application Data OR /[windows partition]/[windows directory]/Profiles/[username]/Application Data

After figuring out where your Application Data directory is, continue into the Mozilla or Phoenix directory, then Profiles/[profile name]/[random numbers and letters]/. This is where the bookmarks.html file is stored.

Leaving that window open, go to /boot/home/config/settings/Mozilla/[profile name]/[random numbers an dletters]. Rename the bookmarks.html file in this directory to bookmarks.html.old.

Now right-drag the bookmarks.html file from your Windows browser’s profile folder to the BeOS one and choose „Create Link Here.“

Your BeOS browser will now use the same bookmarks.html as the windows one. Pretty spiffy, eh?
One thing to note: for this to work properly, you must always mount your Windows partition before starting Mozilla.

Happy bookmark sharing!


Run screensavers from the Terminal

Ever wanted to feast your eyes on your favourite screensaver, but
going to preferences | Screensaver is too much trouble?
Any screensaver can be run from the terminal with the command
screen_blanker „full_path_to_screensaver“
Running just screen_blanker by itself runs the currently selected screensaver.
From here it is quite easy to write a few 2-line scripts that each run a different saver. run’em through xicon, give some fancy icons and hey presto! Instant access to your favourite eye candy.