Archive for March, 2009

Israeli road-rage rant

Monday, March 30th, 2009

[Sorry about this Israel-specific post being in English – its just so annoys me and I want the rest of the world to know about this.]

Israel has on general very good road – compared to many modern countries (in Europe and North America): national roads are all at least dual carriageways with many of them triple carriageway or even more; roads are mostly lighted at night except maybe single carriageway roads in rural areas; even road maintenance which was historically horrible in Israel is pretty good now days.

That being said, the state of driving in Israel is horrendous – people simple have no road courtesy whatsoever! The most common annoyance I have with traffic in Israel is that on a triple carriageway, where you have three lanes to choose from, the slowest one (which often has average speeds way under the low Israeli speed limit) is the middle one! If you’re just driving along at about the speed limit (maybe a few km/h over it, I can’t pretend I’m a saint), then you normally would be driving on the rightmost lane, passing people on your left. Very very annoying, not to say dangerous near interchanges. More ludicrous is that if you are in a real hurry and want to drive at speed that will normally get you a speeding tickets, you also mostly drive on the right most lane – as the left lane is occupied by people who think they are the fastest on the road but in actuality only drive around 100 km/h.

And all that before we discuss drivers switching lanes without signaling, driving on the center between two lanes, breaking abruptly for no obvious reasons, and the most annoying behavior – being the first car at a stop light the driver stops about 2 car-lengths away from the stop line. I have no idea why they do that, except for increasing the likelihood of a traffic jam this serves no purpose I can understand.

I hate Israeli drivers.

Cloning VirtualBox VM Snapshots

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

This is another “how to” tech article, anyone who is not interested in such things may stop reading now.

VirtualBox is a great virtualization software (hypervisor as the lingo currently goes) – I believe it matches up nicely against the current VMWare Workstation line and they offer both an open source version which is free for any use as well as a commercial version (with some added features such as SATA support) that is free for personal use.

VirtualBox allows you to take snapshots of the current VM state so that you can safely return to a previous state of your VM if you messed something up (for example – installed too much software on your Windows XP VM). Unfortunately, unlike what the VirtualBox UI will have you think, the snapshot features allows you to take progressive snapshots but you can’t fork your snapshot tree – you can’t create branches off old snapshots. Snapshots which are not current can be either discarded (have their state merged into another state) or reverted too (discard all the newest data and return to the old state).
old state

Additionally, you can’t copy (clone) VMs with snapshots except copying the oldest state(1).

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  1. which is most often not what you want. If you don’t mind discarding all of the old snapshots, you can clone the current VMs state using the method described in this VirtualBox forum thread []

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