Shrinking a bloated VirtualBox disk image

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 | Misc, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I like to keep my house clean. I was always puzzled by ever growing vdis (VirtualBox disk images). Just today I did a clean install of WinXP Home SP1 and installed SP3 afterwards (a pity the online photo printing software my wife uses is only available for Windoze). After getting rid of everything that bloated my VM in the first place I was still sitting on a 2.6 Gig image. Seemed a tiny bit too much, so I looked for a way to make sure the vdi only holds real data, not “empty” space.

The trick I am about to show you made me decrease the real size of my vdi from 2.6 to 1.5 Gig. That’s pretty neat and you should be able to free up even more space if you already used your VM quite heavily (more fragmented thus more space available to optimize).

It’s simple: first defrag your virtual host’s file system, second make sure the empty space is really empty (I used nullfile 1.2). After that, use VirtualBox‘s command line tool VBoxManage to recompress the image:

VirtualBox 3.x:

VBoxManage modifyvdi WinXP.vdi compact

VirtualBox 4.x:

VBoxManage modifyhd --compact WinXP.vdi

That’s it. This trick may be rather old, yet helped me save some bytes. Not that I actually needed that extra Gig, but hey, why should I waste it? 🙂


Thursday, August 18th, 2011 | Misc | 3 Comments

 days,  hours,  minutes (~  years or  months or  weeks)

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OMG! Childhood memory flashback!

Monday, April 11th, 2011 | Activities, Misc, Tech-savvy | No Comments

At work I was about to do a post mortem analysis of a few things that happened in the past. First, I wanted to visualize what happened when. As I wanted to get inspired how to best present a timeline I googled “timeline” and immediate found the Lego Brick 50th Anniversary Timeline. Click! Scanning the timeline I came across the 497 Galaxy Explorer from 1979. Oh how I assembled and disassembled this beauty over and over again when I was a kid. I even remember the bricks and my brain gives me the impression of some vacant Perry Rhodan radio play in the background…

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Whiteboard art

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 | Misc | 1 Comment

Maybe this is an “old” joke, but I think it’s quite funny. Lisa drew this while I was busy on the computer and not giving her proper attention 🙂

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Oops, I did it. Web 2.0, I will participate. A little.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 | Misc, Tech-savvy | 5 Comments

I’ve been blogging for quite a while now, but I always boycotted all things Interwebz 2.0 bling bling like Twitter, Facebook and the like. Today I created a Twitter account (@npr77) and I guess I will even create a Facebook account to stay in touch with more people than just the guys at the pub (wave @Leo&Maria) … may not sound like a big thing for you, but for me it is something special. I got rid of a basic principle (“static html, IRC and plain text E-Mail is all I need really”) and now I’ll try to stay old skewl and still be open minded towards the mainstream hypes that are sooo not good enough for a grumpy geek – ah, I guess I will just boycott the next big thing then, or the one after that. For now I’ll just participate and see what it’s like. See you on some social media platform soon 🙂

Post scriptum I tried to register a Facebook account.

FAIL! Is this a sign? 😀

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Flight of the Conchords meet The Simpsons

Sunday, October 17th, 2010 | Misc, Movies | 1 Comment

Today we started to watch the 22nd Season of The Simpsons. Lisa goes to spend a week at “Performing Arts Camp” and meets Bret and Jemaine aka The Flight of the Conchords as staff. Hilarious! Quite a few New Zealand / LOTR references in here as well.

As my wife said: having a guest appearance in The Simpsons is something like a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Totally agreed! Well done, Bret and Jemaine. (Even if it is hard to sing while … playing … guitars … )

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the “tapes to mp3” project: 9 years of hard labour

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 | Gadgets, Misc, Tech-savvy | 6 Comments

Music always played a big part in my life, so it’s only natural I own a lot of media containing music, mainly CDs, some records and … TAPES. Literally hundreds of them. With CD ripping being an easy task I completely switched to computer / iPod playback. This left me with a pile of old beloved handmade tapes I used to listen to a lot. So I decided to record my tapes and convert them to mp3 for safekeeping and nostalgia reasons. I was dreaming about a complete set of my tapes, all available by the click of a mousebutton.

I am well known to be somewhat neurotic about the things I do. Well, that’s okay with me, I keep comparing myself to Terry Pratchett’s Victor Tugelbend, who is too lazy to carry extra weight thus goes to the gym regularly.

› Continue reading

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Everybody loves Hypnotoad

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Gadgets, Misc | 1 Comment

Enjoy. 🙂


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Manual RunKeeper: 27k Bike Tour

Monday, September 13th, 2010 | Activities, Misc | No Comments

Today I rode my bike without any friends to bring a fancy RunKeeper enabled cell.

So I decided to blog today’s stats manually. This is practically the same tour as my friend Thomas recorded (@see RunKeeper) a week ago – except that this time I did not take the hill up to Oberburg and it took me 40min less 🙂

Distance: 27.24 km (16.92 miles) Time: 1:24:54
Average: 19.24 km/h (11.95 mph) Max: 49.27 km/h (30.61 mph)

Download the Google Earth kml here.

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It’s been a while …

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | Misc | No Comments


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