David Luhman's blog

Phoronix Test Suite for virtual machine benchmarking

In my discussion of my home-based server, I wanted to test virtual machine performance in several environments (VirtualBox, KVM, ESXi, Hyper-V).

At first I thought I'd just do some seat-of-the-pants qualitative tests, but then I thought I'd look into using a more rigorous approach.

Without too much research, I uncovered the Phoronix Test Suite (PTS). This seems to be an industrial-strength, free "hardware" benchmarking tool with a long history and many features.

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Review of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V

In my discussion of my home-based server, setting up a Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V was one potential solution for my requirements.

On the server side, I've mostly used Linux/Ubuntu solutions over the past 5-10 years. But my family still mostly uses Windows clients. Since I need SMB-based backups of the clients, I thought I'd give Windows Server 2008 R2 a try.

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HP MicroServer as home-based virtual host

I recently purchased an HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer as the basis of a small home network. Basically, I need to be able to backup a few Windows client machines and run 2-3 virtualized Ubuntu servers.

To me, backing up the Windows clients means I need the MicroServer to expose SMB-based shares to the Windows machines. I've been doing this in the past with a D-Link DNS-323 NAS with rsync. It seemed to work fine for me, and I thought I'd continue with that but use the Microserver for the backups as the DNS-323 has more limited size and capability.

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Using jQuery in Chrome User Scripts (Greasemonkey scripts)

If you want to much of anything useful in a Greasemonkey ("User") script, you'll want to use jQuery or similar library.

Greasemonkey uses a "@require" command to pull in these libraries, but Chrome won't allow this.

To include jQuery in a Chrome user script, here's a good link which pulls in jQuery by adding a element to the page you're working on.

http://erikvold.com/blog/index.cfm/2010/6/14/using-jquery-with-a-user-script

Greasemonkey (User Scripts) in Chrome - @include vs. @match

Greasemonkey uses a "@include" syntax to indicate which web sites a given script should run on.

I believe Chrome accepts the older "@include" syntax for the sake of compatability, but Chrome prefers a "@match" syntax.

For example,
@match http://*.google.com
will run the indicated script on any google.com domain.

http://www.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/user-scripts

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HTML Mock-ups (prototypes)

I had an earlier post describing free or cheap UI mock-up tools.

To take things to the next level and start creating prototypes, I was looking for rapid application development (RAD) tools that would allow me to draw out HTML pages with dragging and dropping.

I haven't yet found a suitable RAD HTML editor, but I did run across a blog post which provides copy-and-paste HTML elements (source) which you can use to quickly cobble a UI together. Here's that link :

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jQuery Wizard Controls

jQuery Formwizard

* Pretty full featured. Lots of examples. Nice looking.

* Seems to handle branching better than SmartWizard

* http://plugins.jquery.com/project/formwizard

* http://thecodemine.org/

* MIT license

jWizard

* Pretty configurable

* Well documented

* Side menu

* Some form validation

* Able to open as modal dialog

* http://dominicbarnes.us/jWizard/

* License ?

jQWizard

* Kind of simplistic. Nice to show progress.

* http://plugins.jquery.com/project/jQWizard

* MIT & GPL license

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Free or cheap UI mock-up tools

I'm certainly no expert in UI design, but it's nice to mock-up things before you start committing them to code.

I like what I've seen from Balsamiq (http://balsamiq.com), but $79 for a license seemed a bit of a stretch for my modest needs.

I found the free app "Pencil" (http://pencil.evolus.vn) seems to work pretty good.

You can use Pencil as a Firefox plugin, but I ran it as a stand-alone XULRunner app.

Documentation is kind of sparse, but here's one useful link :
http://www.graphicrating.com/2009/10/05/creating-wireframes-with-pencil-...

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