Mac Geek Gab #187: BusyCal, Virtual Box, and Extending Wireless Limits

Back from Macworld Expo, John and Dave have a relatively "normal" show for you this week.  First they cover a few remaining items from Macworld Expo, including the upcoming BusyCal and a virtual machine from Sun.  Then they move on to answer your questions about extending and enhancing WiFi connections, with some great suggestions buried and peppered within. Don't miss this one, folks!

Mac Geek Gab #187: BusyCal, Virtual Box, and Extending Wireless Limits

Jan. 12, 2009 — Download: MP3 Version or AAC Version


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VirtualBox has been my favorite virtual machine for the Mac for the last year, and is now also under Linux as it is much easier to set up than Xen. I have not had many issues.

Positive points include very good support for USB.

The main negative point for me is pretty tricky setup for networking between virtual machines.


Dave Hamilton

Thanks for the note, Alan!  That’s great info to have.  I assume “regular” networking (VM to outside world) works OK and that the issues arise just when trying to go VM to VM?



That is correct, “regular” networking is a charm.

Ahem ... your mentionning Virtual Box in the podcast made me upgrade to the newest version, 2.10 for Mac. The geeky VM to VM networking issue has just been fixed, so I must retract my former criticism.

Even better: I was able to deinstall the previous version, install the current one, and start up my existing virtual machines with no gliches.

So this is definately a nice piece of software, that I use a lot to actually demo Linux Live CDs. No driver issues at all, e.g. graphical.

Keep up the good work,


Someone should do a shoot out article on the different VMs out there, I had actually never heard of VirtualBox before.

I like the MacTrak product, I stopped by there at the show as well and talked with them. I think it respects your privacy a bit better than the others mentioned. It makes me nervous that a third-party can activate my camera and images are sent to them, I like that all data comes directly to my Flickr account instead, especially when you are talking about activating cameras and getting location information. But then again I am more paranoid than others.

Michael A.

VirtualBox is quite fun indeed. It even has a mode similar to Parallels’ “convergence mode” where Windows and Mac windows both “live” in the same space. I haven’t tried this yet (still need a copy of XP) but I really want to.

One other note: I can’t get any of my Linux VMs (not sure if Windows would be different) to obtain IPs using DHCP when they are using real networking instead of NAT, but manually assigning IPs works fine.



I think you are referring to the “Host interface” setting, right? It looks to me like the host machine already has had a DHCP lease assigned to its MAC address when the host OS started up, and so will not be assigned any further IP addresses to the same MAC by the DHCP server.

On the other hand, if you assign IP addresses manually, you can have both static addresses on the same physical interface.



Hey guys,

Yet another great podcast—thanks!  Been using VirtualBox for a while—I’ve even got Vista SP2, uh, errr, “Windows 7” loaded with it.

Someone has done a shootout recently, but I can’t remember which magazine it was, and a Google News search can’t find it.  (sorry!)

Bu, about wifi… I’ve had similar issues to John (with the wifi problems).  I’ve a D-Link wireless router also (a DIR-655N), and have on occasion seen my connection go bad.  My IP address stays in place, my signal strength shows as being strong, but nothing over the net works.  I’ve tried a variety of things, even searched for command line tools to reset my network session, all to no joy.

However, in the process, one time I clicked on my WiFi SSID on the menubar (which was already checked), and lo-and-behold, my session almost immediately resumed!  Since then, I’ve done it several more times, and each time it’s solved my loss of connection.

Is there something in this menu that does a reset?  Does selecting an already-selected SSID reset the session?


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