Enable Automatic Start Up for Guest OS on VMware ESX and ESXi

This one had me tearing my hair out. We needed to enable auto startup on some of our Virtual Machines on the VMware ESX server, but I couldn’t for the life of me work out how. After a stupid amount of Googling around, turning up nothing, I actually RTFM! Page 177-178 had the answers 😉

Here’s how to do it:

Launch the Virtual Infrastructure Client. If you don’t have it, just http:// to your VMware ESX host and grab it from the front page.

Go to the Configuration tab of your ESX Server, then click on Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown.

By default (I’m pretty sure) automatic startup is disabled. To enable it, click on “Properties…” on the far upper right of the window.

You’ll now see this window:

Check/Tick “Allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with the system”.

Now, this is the bit where I nearly cried…

You know you want to “enable” your Guest OSes to automatically boot, but how? I tried clicking and dragging, right clicking for a context menu to enable “Automatic start up” and gave up.

Turns out, you need to click on the Guest OS you’d like to enable, and then click “Move Up” until it sits underneath the “Automatic startup” title. Argh!

I really hope this helps someone out! 🙂

Windows Live ID fails to do its job, wastes my time

Until about 10 minutes ago I used my colleague’s Windows Live ID passport to get our Volume Licence stuff. To make things easier, I just signed up for my own Live ID using my displaylink.com address, and then filled out a profile, including things like my name, address, company, job title.

I then successfully log on to eOpen, and add the relevant licences. Then of course I want to download one of the applications, so I click on Product Downloads, and what do I see?


Microsoft Volume Licensing

WTF. I just filled out this information 2 minutes ago. Why can’t Microsoft pre-fill this information based on the information I just gave it! I thought the whole point of ‘Live ID’ passporty-thing was to make single-sign-on a reality and enable the sharing of information from a central repository.

What a load of crap. I really despair sometimes…

A nice usability touch from Play.com

If you get your password wrong 3 times in a row, Play.com automatically takes you to the “send me my password” page.

This is a great usability touch. It’s pretty likely that if you’ve entered your password wrong three times, you’ve forgotten it. Removing the hassle of looking around for the “Forgot your password?” link is a very nice, and welcome, judgement call.

Google adds Draggable Driving Directions

This morning, whilst organising my journey to an interview, I noticed that Google Maps now lets you drag and rearrange the route it specifies when giving driving directions. In the past you had to take the route it decided was best for you, even if your knowledge of local traffic patterns meant you’d never take that particular road. Well now, you can carve out your own route – very cool!

Try it out

Poor Usability in SWAT

As I will be leaving Crownhill at some point, I set up SWAT on our SAMBA server to reduce some of the technical and administrative burden on the company until a replacement is found. Whilst briefly showing the MD how to use it, we discovered a huge usability flaw – the Delete share button not only looks the same as any other button, but it also provides no “are you sure?” confirmation. Clicking the button instantly deletes the share you’re working on!

As a large part of the world reads from Left to Right, it makes sense that if you’re in a rush, your natural work flow goes left to right. If I was busy, and wanted to edit the public share, I’d probably click the button to the right without even thinking – and with no confirmation dialogue, I’d have instantly deleted the share that I actually wanted to edit. Not good design at all.

Poor usability in SWAT