• VirtualBox – Windows XP Guest – how to update from single to multi-core so XP recognizes them?

    If you have a copy of Windows XP (in my case installed as a virtual machine on a Linux Host) and you installed XP with only 1 CPU, you’ll be sad to notice that telling virtualbox (or upgrading your CPU to multi-core if not using VirtualBox) will not in itself allow XP to see the extra cores! To fix that, follow these steps (taken from this URL: http://www.notebookforums.com/t/183802/enable-dual-core-support-in-a-windows-xp-single-core-install):

    Hal / NToskrnl replacement:
    a. Make a directory called DUO on C:\
    b. Copy halmacpi.dll (search your C:\ drive for this) to C:\DUO then rename it to hal.dll
    c. Copy ntkrnlmp.exe (search your C:\ drive for this) to C:\DUO then rename it to ntoskrnl.exe
    d. Make a batch file called go2core.cmd and put this in the file.
    REN hal.dll hal.old
    copy C:\Duo\hal.dll C:\windows\system32
    REN ntoskrnl.exe ntoskrnl.old
    copy C:\Duo\ntoskrnl.exe c:\windows\system32
    e. Run Go2Core.cmd from C:\duo directory.
    f. Reboot and you should now see two processors in Task manager

  • Le Pan II tablet upgrade to ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) the brute force method

    If you’re like my son, happily using his Le Pan II tablet because it sports awesome hardware and offers great performance. Unfortunately while trying many new programs from the google app store he was finding that many were NOT working. This lead to debate in the family as to whether or not the Motorola Xoom tablet was better than the Le Pan II simply because it did not create so many compatibility problems. Let me assure you the Le Pan II ia a great tablet and upgrading to ICS solved most of my sons compatibility issues while offering greatly improved performance (he was a happy camper).

    The process of upgrading to ICS however was NOT EASY and following the useless instructions from Le Pan was equally useless. For example when press Volume + and Power buttons we NEVER could get into fastboot mode, and selecting the ICS zip file from the tablets About / System update screen only gave signature invalid errors on reboot (hold the lock button to reboot back to normal mode if that happens).

    1. So first download the ICS firmware from:

    2. Unzip it in either Windows XP or higher (Yes thats right Le Pan only supports Windows for this update process, how evilly convenient) in your root of C:\

    3. In Control Panel (in Windows) select the Add new hardware option, select All or whatever option it takes so you can tell Windows to install from a disk, then navigate to the AnyData folder that is in the extracted folder in C:\ and Windows will install the Any Data driver (THIS IS REQUIRED AS IT ALLOWS DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH THE TABLET VIA USB)

    4. Reboot your windows computer

    5. Ensure your tablet has Development USB mode enabled (not sure why but we had to do this or the Anydata driver did not find the tablet properly) and reboot the tablet

    6. Once the tablet has rebooted and is at the main screen, open a command prompt in your Windows Machine (make sure the tablet is connected via the usb cable) and enter the Extracted folder from step 2 but this time NOT the any data fodler but the other folder which contains a .cmd file (Release_LePanII_v406_Secured_Fused_06272012_user_fastboot). From this folder run:

    adb devices

    and you should see a device show up under the listing title. If not reinstall the USB driver and ensure the tablet has USB debugging enabled. NExt execute the following command from the windows command prompt:

    adb reboot bootloader

    You should see the tablet reboot in fastboot mode (the words fastboot mode display on the tablet in the top left corner within 30 seconds)

    from the same command prompt run:


    When this command finishes your tablet will reboot and finish the ICS install (and will ask for system setting info on reboot)


  • How to use libvlc in an open source application?

    For a while I was looking for a good open source cross platform library to use for video playback in my open source software. After a long while I finally found libvlc, which does the job well.

    If you want to see libvlc in action, with a wrapper class to play videos (local and streaming from youtube), compiled cross platform and integrated with OpenGL, check out the source code from here:


  • Division, and I’m not talking about math.

    It matters not whether politics or religion, business or family, left or right wing, this statement will always remain true:

    Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

    And Christ is asking every honest Christian today:

    1 Corinthian 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

  • Helping your neighbour

    What draws a person to want to help another? When asked, and ‘who is my neighbour’, Jesus gave us a parable speaking of a Samaritan who helped a Jew who was beaten by robbers and left to die. This Samaritan was a neighbour simply because the Samaritan helped the man in need. Jesus then said go and do likewise.

    Years ago I saw the documentary “Revolution OS” which highlighted Richard Stallmans quest for a Free Software Society. One of the key tenants in this is to ‘help your neighbour’. The concept is not to leave a user ‘high and dry’ and technologically dead in the water, this very much bothered Richard from what he saw in his earlier years. Richard is not a Christian by any means, but his desire to ‘help his neighbour’ is an important part of GNU and Free Software, it is in fact the ‘Free’ in ‘Free Software’.

    Desiring to help ones neighbour should never be limited to minimal things, as the parable of Christ teaches, the Samaritan did everything in his power to help his neighbour in need. Who is your neighbour? The one that you choose to help! This can be done by spending time to help others in your community through volunteer work (volunteer fire fighters, shelters, etc) or missions or simply showing up at a farm and giving that poor guy a hand during hay season! There is something precious and important here that seems virtually abandoned in our current generation, but it need not be.

    Brothers and Sisters, help your neighbour!