VMware VRDCEX – On HP Mixed Reality (Windows VR)

VMware VRDCEX – On HP Mixed Reality (Windows VR)

So I am at it again… I was very very lucky to get a HP mixed reality headset for Christmas mainly down to the fact I like being purchase savvy and the laptop I purchased (sorry my amazing wife as a present) wasn’t only on offer but it still qualified for the headset for free! I thought again this was going to be a very drawn out process and well due to the work I did with the Oculus well it took me all of 20 minutes to get this up and going! The nice thing is its a little easy to set up if I want to demo this out anywhere!

There are only a few steps some hopefully oblivious you miss and others you need to do but go open my other guide in another tab here! (just for reference)

Step 1. Get all the required files for VRDCEX by cloning/downloading the GitHub Repo and getting the build from here  

Step 2. Extract both these files to a common location, I decided to put these under the below folder but its fine to chose your own

Step 3. Go setup your Windows Mixed Reality Headset as you usually would if you haven’t already done so

Step 4. Go grab the latest copy of Steam and Steam VR once Steam is setup. This essentially works as our translator/interpreter for our Mixed reality headset. so we don’t need any coding. Before we start to configure VRDCEX we need to launch Steam VR just to ensure it can see the Mixed reality headset. You will also need the following plugin from here via Steam. I found I had to reboot once or twice and ensure that playing around with the Mixed Reality portal being open or not

 

 

For any demo’s I usually try and use Standing Only as space is usually limited, you may also get the very cool Portal inspired intro to help you configure the headset… I am not sure if  you will see all this below or if it was because I also have the Oculus available on my machine.

If you have got this far hopefully you will now see the below. Try and put on the headset and just make sure that SteamVR does load before continuing

You can see Steam sees the Mixed Reality and Oculus with their respective components


Step 5. Lets get down to the main bit and install/configure VRDCEX. Firstly go back to Steam and select add game at the bottom of your games list. 

From here select browse and navigate to where you extracted your downloads earlier and select the executable. Hit add selected programs and you should now see this appear in your Steam library.

Step 6 (Optional). Go to your extracted files and find the assets folder and wire mock. Create a shortcut on your desktop for On-Prem_Endpoint.bat. You will also need the latest version of Java JRE. The nice thing about this is until you are ready it allows you to play with the app by emulating vCenter.

I used JRE 8U151 for my configuration 
Double click your shortcut but you will need to override Windows 10 protection as it was downloaded

Check that everything is running by going to https://localhost:8082 before proceeding

Step 7. It sounds odd but go and launch the exe but don’t really worry about your headset. You need to do this as it generates a configuration file under your app data folder that you need to amend. Close the VRDCEX app once its opened and then open the config file. In mine I have put the Wireframe emulator in step 5 but you can put in your own vCenter here at any point.

Step 8. Enjoy…. Go back to Steam and launch your App! Put on your headset and enjoy your virtual datacenter

I have done a little demo video of it running just to show you the subtlety of the way Steam pulls in the Windows controllers VS the Hive or Oculus its really quite clever

 

VMware VRDCEX on Oculus Rift

VMware VRDCEX on Oculus Rift

So if you haven’t already seen it Alan Renouf did an awesome live demo with Pat Gelsinger at VMWorld Barcelona. I was fortunate enough to see this on a session at the end of the US VMworld of which I just wish it was more publicised as it was a great session. Well either way if you want a recap here it is below. Its just a shame I wasn’t brave enough to ask Joe Baguley to demo this at UKVMUG this week

So why write this article, I have recently been fortunate enough to be the owner of an Oculus Rift but all the code and demos are written for the HTC Vive or so I thought. I have found a nice workaround without the need of any proprietary  coding to help the adoption of this awesome project. I am also hoping to add to the below with a video how to.

My only little preamble is this may be subject to change as some of this is using beta/alpha software and I achieved this using the following

VRDCEX 0.2a

Latest version of Steam and Steam VR

Oculus Rift with Beta Enabled

Java JRE 8U151

 

Step 1. Get all the required files for VRDCEX by cloning/downloading the GitHub Repo and getting the build from here  

Step 2. Extract both these files to a common location, I decided to put these under the below folder but its fine to chose your own

Step 3. Go get the latest copy of Oculus and enable the following features one you have done your setup. Select the cog at the top and go into settings. Select the Beta submenu and enable the public test channel. Finally go into general and enable unknown sources.


Step 4. Go grab the latest copy of Steam and Steam VR once Steam is setup. This essentially works as our translator/interpreter for our Oculus so we don’t need any coding. Before we start to configure VRDCEX we need to launch Steam VR just to ensure it can see the Oculus.

 

 

For any demo’s I usually try and use Standing Only as space is usually limited

If you have got this far hopefully you will now see the below. Try and put on the headset and just make sure that SteamVR does load before continuing

Step 5. Lets get down to the main bit and install/configure VRDCEX. Firstly go back to Steam and select add game at the bottom of your games list. 

From here select browse and navigate to where you extracted your downloads earlier and select the executable. Hit add selected programs and you should now see this appear in your Steam library.

Step 6 (Optional). Go to your extracted files and find the assets folder and wire mock. Create a shortcut on your desktop for On-Prem_Endpoint.bat. You will also need the latest version of Java JRE. The nice thing about this is until you are ready it allows you to play with the app by emulating vCenter.

I used JRE 8U151 for my configuration
Double click your shortcut but you will need to override Windows 10 protection as it was downloaded

Check that everything is running by going to https://localhost:8082 before proceeding

Step 7. It sounds odd but go and launch the exe but don’t really worry about your headset. You need to do this as it generates a configuration file under your app data folder that you need to amend. Close the VRDCEX app once its opened and then open the config file. In mine I have put the Wireframe emulator in step 5 but you can put in your own vCenter here at any point.

Step 8. Enjoy…. Go back to Steam and launch your App! Put on your headset and enjoy your virtual datacenter

Bonus:- Once you have launched it a few times you should now see this in the Oculus menu!

Apple iWatch 3 Cellular in the UK

Apple iWatch 3 Cellular in the UK

TLDR:- So this post is all about time of writing and the fact EE have exclusive rights to the Apple Watch 3 at present. Don’t buy it unless you are on EE and no PAYG doesn’t work either.

So a few weeks ago I found myself researching fitness based devices (something I didn’t expect myself to be doing) as my wife has found a passion for running and oddly I seem to enjoy it too. Especially if I can keep up! I am currently training with Zombies Run and it also has an encouraging 5K app. Just a shame it doesn’t seem to work stand alone yet on the iWatch like Strava does otherwise I would be set.

So this takes me onto the series 3 purchase. After many hours debating with the wife and reading reviews about the Garmin she purchased now being on the way we decided to send it back and I agreed to pay the difference as I would only be tech support anyway. This was mainly for the following reasons

  • She has an iPhone and seemed to sync easier
  • Many people said Strava worked out the box without the phone
  • We could add her phone to it so she could call or at least iMessage if she was in trouble
  • ApplePay… Just easier to pay for things near us and also no more looking for the Oyster card if we ever decided to go to London!
  • I could get this from a well know retailer with accidental damage just in case anything happens on a run
  • I can message her with my Series 1 watch

 

So just before I committed to the purchases I decided to call EE as the well known UK retailer stated on their website you could just buy a £5 add-on and use the watch separately. I was fine with this as again safety and it just working was paramount. At this point I thought awesome and committed to the purchase as it also showed it was free for 6 months and I was told it was a 30 day SIM contract anyway.

The devices arrived promptly despite nearly all being out of stock, so we charged it up and started the setup process which has drastically improved since my series 1 purchase. Then we got the the screen where it all fell down… BT ironically run on the EE network so I thought we may find some form of issue anyway and we got this dreaded screen, no way of being able to sign up separately

So a frantic phone call to EE and query into why I can’t activate this as they said I could add this on manually. It would appear someone somewhere had mis translated all the marketing and you have to have an EE connection only and can’t take it out separately just for the watch. The irony here is we were not to fussed about the calling as long as iMessage or FaceTime Audio worked but hey! I was provided several offers to join EE on the phone but I thought well a quick call to my current provider won’t hurt as they are on the same network and may support it soon enough.

Wrong… despite getting the most helpful agent ever he made several calls on my behalf and then informed me after talking to technical that there wasn’t any view to support this on BT in the near future and is quite a way off. I took this as at least a year away as I still haven’t seen WiFi calling but to be fair happy in my time with them I got tethering and overall seemed to work well. He was kind enough to provide me my PAC code and class it as a technical issue without any charges so thumbs up there.

Before calling EE back with my tail between my legs I thought I would check a pay as you go SIM after turning most of the house up to find it.  Again as you can see don’t bother its not supported.

So yes now a wait for a few days until our new EE sims arrive and I can try this out. I’ll then write another review on how they hold up for day to day use (tech vs runner). I know the calling and data work well as I have seen this working I was just hoping EE would have allowed this to be independent to their contracts. For example if customers didn’t want the full calling or didn’t mind another number but I suppose thats Apple who’s simple ecosystem has constraints despite how effective it is in other areas.

Life with the Moto G4 Plus….

Life with the Moto G4 Plus….

So as many of you know I am a massive fan of the fruity based products and you would very rarely catch me using anything else… Well I must say in my efforts of trying new MDM solutions  I have been testing out the Moto G4 Plus and I have to say I am very very impressed.

I think this is for several reasons one being its running a non bloat version of Android much like the Pixel. The second is has dual SIM so it means I don’t always have to carry round two phones. Yes I am one of these odd people who still have a personal and business phone number.

Last point is the build quality for its price. It feel very sturdy and its all the little things too like the additional sim trays in the phone so you can use a nano sim in the phone. It’s the little things included and one less thing to buy. The fingerprint scanner also works very well indeed.

From an MDM integration perspective this works very nicely with the fact I can have personal applications and work related ones all on the same phone. I also can feel content in the fact they are sandboxed off between one another.

 

Geek Night In #GNI

Geek Night In #GNI

Over the last few weeks and launching the OpenTechCast I thought it would be a good time to launch a new section to my blog. This is going to be called Geek Night In / #GNI where I will be trying to a new product or tech for an evening (maybe 2!) of which I will then provide a review.

The main reason for this is to provide a quick snapshot of a product as we are all busy people and to see if it can provide value to you within a working day! I of course will be fair hence the two days if things need to collect stats and learn etc

I think it will also help add content to our podcast and allow me to regularly update the site

I already have the following posts in motion

  • Tintri
  • Turbonomic
  • Pluralsight
  • BMW 2 & 3 Series
  • Audi Q7 Etron
  • PernixData
  • Nutanix CE
  • Etc