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Sometimes a square peg is a round hole
I’ve been hearing a bit of buzz about IE 10 increasing their support for HTML5 and CSS3, so I thought I’d take Popcorn.js for a whirl on it. VirtualBox made the install process pretty painless, I only had to think for myself once. Since it’s built upon Windows 8, I had to download the developer preview. There were quite a few tutorials on the web outlining the install process (some decrying that certain VMs didn’t work at the time), but VirtualBox seemed the most tried and true. In fact, between the time those articles were written and I tried this, newer VirtualBox versions had been created with special “Windows 8” configuration setup. I first followed this PCWorld one, but eventually felt comfortable winging it.
The only hang up I had with it was with hardware-level virtualization. I consistently would receive VM errors when starting up, and ignoring them prompted with with “Windows install error, please reboot” and HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED dialogs. Apparently, my processor supported hardware virtualization, and VirtualBox/Windows was trying to use it, but it was disabled in the BIOS. Changing that one thing allows for a clean and easy install.
Things are quite slow on both my host and guest OS’s right now, but I guess that can be expected with only 3 GB to run both, plus VirtualBox, Apache, Firefox and IE. Popcorn itself performed quite well, especially considering the pre-beta nature of Win8 and IE10 and the aforementioned memory constraints.
I was able to test with minimal effort, as my host OS has Apache setup on it, and Win8 is configured to connect to the network through it (the host OS) using NAT. All I had to do is, on Win8, enter the IP address of my host OS, followed by the port I run Apache on, and I can run everything I need remotely.