Sunday, February 21, 2010

ext4 in Windows

I recently bought Windows 7 to install, but all my files are already in an ext4 partition.  How to access them?  The ext2fs program doesn't really work well with the full ext4 system, and Microsoft.... well let's just say they won't be making any moves to create an ext4 driver.

So here's what I did that works perfectly:
  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Install a linux variant inside virtualbox
  3. Set up raw partition access in virtualbox.  This is the key step.  The user manual for virtualbox does a very good job explaining it, but I've noticed that to use this correctly everything must be run in administrator mode in windows.
  4. Make a script to automatically mount the virtual raw partition (the ext4 partition)
  5. Set up symlinks inside the linux os to point to the mounted partition
  6. Set up samba in the virtual linux os to share the mounted partition
  7. Set up the virtual network adapter in virtualbox so that the virtual machine has an ip address you can access (try pinging it from windows to test it).  Make sure it's a static IP so you always know what it is.
  8. Access your files through in windows using samba :)
  9. (optional) turn off the linux os's gui to save memory and processing power, etc.
  10. (optional) set up a network map so that the partition is always mapped to a specific drive letter (like Z:\ )

Monday, January 18, 2010


The scientists of the world have agreed that all evidence points to the theory of evolution as existing.  However, the mechanism for evolution has been assumed to be natural selection, which is quite possible.  The evidence for natural selection is in "superbugs," which are bacteria that have evolved to be resistant to our medications.  Whatever the underlying mechanism for evolution, the premise is that random mutations of genes, along with a "selective pressure," causes evolutions in biology.

However, I am reminded of the concept of diffusion, and how a person's willpower along with chaotic motion can change different concentrations of gases.  Allow me to elucidate by means of an example.  If we desire to open a syringe we create a selective pressure gradient, and the mechanism of diffusion allows for a change in different densities of gases to flow in the syringe.  So if we think about the idea of intelligent design as analogous, is it dismissible?  For example, if "nature's" or "God's" will was for a species to evolve in a certain way, couldn't that willpower be used to create a selective pressure, and the mechanisms of random genetic mutations along with natural selection would take over to produce the "willed" outcome?  It isn't unreasonable to assume that if humans have willpower, then nature couldn't also have willpower.  Until we can quantify willpower, we can't simply dismiss intelligent design as religious babble.  However, it should also be noted that the direction of increased entropy is always followed (the laws of thermodynamics), and hence perhaps willpower is just an illusion.  This will have to be reconciled as well before intelligent design is scientifically accepted or dismissed.