Things they never taught in Kindergarten

I wish I would have paid more attention when I was 5. I was too preoccupied with the crayons, the PB&J sandwiches and the red cape that the little boy, Quinn, always stole during playtime. I wanted to wear the cape! I wanted to be Superman once in a while! why did he never share? Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because you’ve been traumatized in pre-school and beyond. I’m here because I feel your pain…

I learned several things today after hours of painful research. These are things I’m certain they covered in Kindergarten while I was off trying to impress the only other black person in my class (school?) who happened to be a girl. (Yes I had a kindergarten crush…) These are things they probably explained in detail but I was too busy making sand angels by the swing set. These are things that are critical to my success as an engineer, but now I struggle to learn them in my later years. Here’s a few lessons I learned the other day after much trial and error.

Virtualbox Networking

Setting up shared Wifi networking in Virtualbox from an OS X host to a Windows 7 guest is EASY if you were alert shortly after nap time. I’m sure my teacher covered the part where you have to use NAT (Network Address Translation) in your coroporate network unless your overhead wifi routers support bridging. I spent several hours trying to use a bridged configuration while my guest OS was not getting a valid IP only to find out that the in office wifi routers don’t support the type of bridging that Virtualbox was trying to accomplish. I only discovered the issue was related to the routers after connecting my iMac to my iPhone where bridging magically worked on the first try.

You don’t need a bridge!

I had trouble setting up shared folders in Virtualbox (as I always do after initially setting up any VM) so I took to Google. Don’t believe everything you Google! I lost 2 hours because an online tutorial clearly explained that you have to use bridged networking to enable shared folders. THIS IS A LIE!!! My shared folders were not working because of the following point…

Shared Folders

Setting up Shared folders in Virtualbox is a breeze if you take your head out of the lego box long enough to hear Mrs. Marzie, the Kindergarten instructor lecture the room. She clearly would have explained that one should plug in the guest additions CD image after installing the OS before even ATTEMPTING to setup shared folders. (Good ol’ Mrs. Marzie, she always knows what’s up!) IF you want to do anything other than look at the default OS logo or play solitaire then your very next step after installing the OS is to install the guest additions!

You need Java, Python and Visual C++ to do anything reasonable with Electron on Windows

If you are working on a NodeJS or Electron project which is anything more than basic you will need to download the entire internet onto your 256GB hard drive then press build. I’m exaggerating slightly but this is something I intend to write an entire epic series on as it applies to more than just NodeJS projects. Say you want to checkout a project on a brand new laptop (Windows or Mac). You’ve cloned the source and you run the build. The thing that happens next should be filmed… separately… for each developer that undergoes this process. It’s actually good material for a comedy show because the result is so unique and random. In some situations, like mine, you’ll spend hours Googling for separate tools and/or versions of tools. In other situations you’ll spend hours uninstalling separate tools and/or versions of tools. The problem is the developer who created the software probably uses a myriad of tools and dependencies which have accumulated overtime. These dependencies will not be present on a new machine and many will have been updated overtime since the software was first created leaving you with the chore of chasing down approximate matching versions.

My dilemma finally ended with me in a position to partially build my project but the struggle continues. Hit me up if you have any stories from Kindergarten to share!

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