This was one of the core components of the computing system we setup in Buea. Our system also included a TFPT and NFS services to allow for nearly automated installs of a number of different system types. The following will allow you to create a system that runs virtual machines and displays one of them via RDP constantly and as transparently as possible.
The first step is to install the minimal base system that will run the VMs. These basesys.autoyast and basesys.xml files will install a minimal base system for you. They are designed for openSUSE 11.2 i586 and have been manually modified so you might need to fix them. Mostly they are just here to give you a good idea of what packages you need for the minimum install. You can also use SUSEstudio to make a JeOS disk. I will assume that the first user you created has a login of “blackstone”, but you can adjust appropriately.
After you have the minimal system installed you should log into the system as root; set passwords; remove some unneeded packages; and install VirtualBox, Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack< (for RDP and USB2.0 support), and vboxtool. Note that the packages you should remove might have changed for new versions of openSUSE/VirtualBox.
chkconfig --add sshd
zypper -q -n rm virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-kmp-default virtualbox-ose-kmp-desktop xorg-x11-driver-virtualbox-ose
Now you can move your VirtualBox machine(s) in or make (a) new one(s). After you have the machine(s) setup, you need to configure a number of scripts to make the guest machines automatically display on boot.
Create a new file, /home/blackstone/.xinitrc with contents
rdesktop-vrdp localhost:5086 -f
and give it the proper ownership
chown blackstone /home/blackstone/.xinitrc
Then create a new file, /etc/init.d/auto-rpd with contents
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: auto-rdp
# Required-Start: $ALL
# Required-Stop: $ALL
# Default-Start: 3 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 2 6
# Description: Auto login of user into X running only rdesktop-vrdp.
### END INIT INFO
case "$1" in
su $user -c startx
killproc -g -TERM auto-rdp
make it executable and enable it
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/auto-rdp
chmod +x /etc/init.d/auto-rdp
chkconfig --add auto-rdp
Follow the instructions to setup vboxtools. This is how to do it, assuming you only want to start the vm called “vm” and have it displayed.
echo "vm,5086" > /etc/vboxtool/machines.conf
echo vbox_user=\'root\' > /etc/vboxtool/vboxtool.conf
Now, on reboot your vm(s) will start and (one) accessed via fullscreen RDP. It should be rather difficult to break out of the RDP client. To change settings you should ssh into your host environment.
I went to church today with Sally, Adam, Sabrina, and the children. It was a very interesting service. The service started at 0900 but we got there at 1000 as we had to bathe and dress the children before leaving the house. We then walked up the street to the church where Genesis is a pastor.
We entered to the crowd standing in song. They were singing that the fire of the Holy Spirit rain down upon us. And rain it did. Not long into the service it began to rain harder than I had witnessed before in Cameroon (although I recall a time in Ohio being worse). About twenty minutes later the rain abruptly stopped.
Then the preacher began raining down screams and yells, telling us that God did not tell us to be satisfied but only content. He said that we should not be satisfied but tell God that we need more of him. It was quite a contrast to the Catholic services that I grew up with.
In the end (1230), neither Adam nor I were converted. But, it was surely a experience that spoke to onces soul/spirit/mind.
Tonight we took the Cameroon-Denmark World Cup game in a bar. Cameroon scored within the first 12 minutes and the bar erupted into shouts and cheers. The man next to me violently threw away his table and hopped onto of it. Towering above the crowd he made his voice heard above the din as he hollered and danced about. The celebration was so intense that the large screen television on which the game was being viewed became unplugged.
Shots on goal were celebrated just slightly less than goals – a pair of women threatened to pick each other up each time a shot was made and playfully sparred with each other in the process.
I was completely comprised by the lack of bemoanments after Denmark tied the score. Furthermore, the bar patrons didn’t even protest the call of the referee which were at times bad. It was an interesting contrast to the host of jeers aimed at referees commonly heard while taking in a game at a bar or with friends in the states.
I’m sure most people reading this already know that the taxis in Cameroon work differently than in the U.S. (they go along the road picking up multiple people with no connection to each other that are going to different destinations as long as they are along the same street and direction). But the taxis are even more crazy than you might have read. The normal occupancy for a 5-seat sedan taxis is 6 people. The extra person sits next to the person in the front seat as they edge behind the gear shift.
We have arrived in Buea, Cameroon. When we got here it was around 29C about 94F or so (I didn’t convert I’m just throwing out some number that I remember that may or may not have been given at the same time.
It took us some time to get from the airport (in Douala) to Buea. Along the way we were stopped by some police at a roadblock and they hassled the driver (a friend of our host) about his car’s yearly registration.
Our host’s house is large and has many rooms. There is glass on the windows and locks on each door. It seems very secure. There arn’t any mosquito nets, but I only saw three bugs in our room and none were mosquitoes. I will try and post pictures but the internet connection here is very slow and I may have to wait untill we return to the states before posting pictures.
One of the aid workers staying with us, Adam, is an undergraduate university student in England. He will be a 4th year when school starts up again and he is here doing research for his dissertation on creating clean water supplies by preventive methods.
The variation of speed across websites is very interesting here. It seems that facebook.com is doing a really good job of being global, they have the fastest loading times I have seen, even images appear quickly. Google seems to be doing a horrible job, their loading speed is even slower than my own server (parked over at MIT).
Even though the interview went really well, and the PSC office even sent our application to the Baker Foundation for consideration, we didn’t get the PSC Fellowship. However, we are still waiting for the Baker Foundation’s decision as well as some PSC Grants.
I was offered an interview for the PSC Fellowship money, one more hurdle to go.
I am happy to offer you an interview for the summer Public Service Fellowships program.
The half-hour discussions with PSC staff will take place April 5-14. I will be emailing you access to a google doc sign-up sheet. Please sign-up before 5:00pm on Wednesday, 7 (and as soon as possible). If possible, I’d like you to sign-up for a time on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. We will not sign-up anyone by email or phone unless they are out of the area or there is an emergency that prevents them from signing-up in person.
The Public Service Fellowships selection schedule and selection criteria are posted on the PSC website http://web.mit.edu/mitpsc/resources/internshipsandfellowships/, so please look there for more information about the process.
Please note that in many of these meetings we ask applicants to brainstorm with us about ways to strengthen their projects or make them better fit the Public Service Fellowships model. You should expect a working meeting in which your project plans may be revised. Also note that not everyone who is invited to interview will be offered Fellowship funding.
The interviews are informal, so you do not need to dress up.
If you have any questions, or need to tell me about any problems, please email me.
All the best,
All of our applications for funding are now in. We still have a few interviews to do, but basically it’s just a waiting game at this point. We are hopeful that we will get the funding to see this operation through. We are really excited about the experience and can’t wait to make our first post from Cameroon. That’s right, we will be making regular posts while we are there as part of the requirement for our funding. So stay tuned and keep us in your thoughts.
We live in one of the most privileged communities in the world — the United States. Both members of the team attend fine universities that use technology, specifically computers as great tools for learning and business. Both members of the team also receive scholarships to attend these universities, money that comes from individuals committed to ensuring that we receive the best education possible. Both schools offer money in the form of fellowships and grants to perform capacity building projects, money that comes from the tuition of the universities’ students. We felt that it was only right to do as much as we could to obtain and use that money to help underprivileged men and women gain educations as well. Neither of us would be in the position we are today without computers and could think of no better way to educate and enable communities than reaching out to them directly with computer hardware and training.