Some time ago I wanted to use remote desktop so I could take over my Icaros desktop when I would be sitting downstairs with my laptop. The downside of course is that you have two computers on and also I found it to be a bit slow and also the resolution was not that great. With very little time I don’t want to sit upstairs in my office every day instead of sitting downstairs with my wife in the living room. Some of you might know how that is. You work all day and the few free hours you have in the evening are used upstairs (or a different room) which can lead to some issues with the missus. So better would be if you can do the work in the living room so you sit with the missus. My wife is never without her laptop for long so we are both busy but if I can join her in the living room it just works so much better. So remote desktop was not the solution so what now?
I can of course install Aros on my laptop but I need to use Windows so that is not an option for me. Also I don’t want a dual boot system. I suddenly remembered that in the past I ran Aros within Windows so after posting at the Aros-Exec site I was directed to the Windows hosted version. Soon it became clear that I could not run it in full screen so that was not the solution for me. I started to think about a virtual emulator like VMWare that will allow you to run a different operating system within Windows. I used VMWare before in the past. But it is not for free so I Googled for open source alternatives.
I came across VirtualBox from Oracle. (** The site seems to be not accessible for some days already) This just rocks and it turns out this is even discussed in the Icaros manual. The problem you will run in to is the resolution. You can’t set anything resolution in the Prefs settings for the screen mode. But as always there is a solution for this. Over at VMWAros you can find the solution for the screen resolution. I have the same resolution (1366×768) so I could just follow the instructions and now I am running it full screen. The speed is perfect and switching between VirtualBox and Windows a lot has no influence on the speed.
With having Icaros running hosted I thought about my issues with not having a C syntax highlight editor. What if I can have a shared folder available on both Windows and Aros? This way I can use a C syntax highlight editor on Windows and save it to that folder and right away compile it. I use SMBFS on OS4.x to mount these Windows shares to exchange files. Sadly due to the buggy network on my A1SE it is far from being the best solution. SMBFS can also be used on Icaros and again it is described in the Icaros manual. Sadly there is a problem with VirtualBox in combination with Windows 7. Files on Aros will be truncated in the first 49 bytes or so. Sadly this will prevent me from using this as a solution. I have not tested it yet but this would also affect a FTP connection. So using a FTP client on Aros to connect to a FTP server on my Windows 7 installation would also cause issues. I guess this is the first “major” issue I have found with Aros.
Currently I am playing with the syntax highlight settings of Annotate. You can change it to your liking. Sadly there are some issues with Aros when it comes to setting the colours. There is a solution that requires you to run a script that calls a utility that fixes the colours issues. I have done this but I am still experiencing issues. For example if I set something to yellow the next time I reboot it will have the colour red. When I reboot again it will have another colour. It could be, and I guess it is, that I am filling it in wrong in the syntax file since for example comment in my C source file keeps its colour. I hope this can be sorted soon. For now I am over the moon with VirtualBox and Icaros. It runs really great and I can switch between Aros and Windows 7 without everything coming to a halt. If I can have the syntax highlight issue with Annotate fixed nothing can stop me from doing some serious coding.