You can use the CAS companion to these notes either:
by booting from the DVD; or
- running it in an emulator.
The later method is compatible with a wide range of hardware running
various operational system, e.g. LinuxGNU!Linux!emulator,
Windows, Mac OS, etc. To this end you need to install a so called
virtual machine, which can emulate i386 architecture. I would
recommend VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org)—a free open
source software which works well on many existing platforms.
There are many alternatives (including open source), for example:
and some other programmes. The emulator can be run for the entire DVD
disk or for an ISO image, see item 4(j) below. The ISO
image is located on DVD or can be freely downloaded from Web. For
example, you can download an ISO image of a Live GNU/Linux DVD with our CAS
from the arXiv.org page of paper  through the
link to Data Conservancy Project. Updated versions of the ISO image may
be uploaded there in a future.
2 Installation of VirtualBox
Here we outline the procedure for VirtualBox, for other emulators you
may need to make some adjustments. To use VirtualBox follow these
Insert the DVD disk in your computer.
- Go to the Web site of VirtualBox
(http://www.virtualbox.org) and proceed to Download page for
- Install the VirtualBox on your computer and launch it.
- Create a new virtual machine according to the following
The ISO image
virtual-cycle.iso is optimised to work with VirtualBox.
For example, you can use the clipboard for cut&paste operations
between the virtual machine and the native desktop.
Start the VirtualBox and you shall be presented with a screen
similar to this:
- Click on the New icon to create a new virtual machine, the New
Virtual Machine Wizard shall appear. Click Next.
- In the next dialogue chose the new machine name,
e.g. cycle in the example screen below. Set up Operation
System and Version to be Linux and Debian
respectively. Then click Next.
- The next dialogue sets the base memory size. The default value
shall be reasonable, thus simply click Next.
- On the next screen un-check Boot Hard Disk box and click Next.
- Wizard may ask you to reconfirm that you do not want to have
a hard disk, click Continue on the pop-up window.
- Wizard shall present the summary of new machine’s settings, click Create.
The new machine shall be created and its name appeared in the
machine list on the left. We need to add a boot media for this
machine, thus click on Storage from the right panel.
- In the new dialogue we need to define CD/DVD drive for the
virtual machine. The simplest way is to allow an access to the
physical CD/DVD of your real computer (if you have one) as on the
screen below. If you do not wish to create a virtual hard disk,
see item 3 from the next Section, then click OK.
Alternatively you can use a supplied ISO image as a virtual
CD/DVD drive. The available ISO image(s) is (are) in the top-level
folder iso-images of the supplied DVD. You can use it
from there or (for a better performance and silence) copy to some
location on your hard drive. See file README in the
top-level folder iso-images for a description of
image(s). Then you need to tell the path to the image to the
virtual machine. Click on the DVD icon on the right and select
Choose a virtual CD/DVD file... from the menu. Point to
the ISO image at the file selection dialogue. If you do not wish
to create a virtual hard disk,
see the item 3 from the next Section, then click OK.
- To use a modern i686 kernel you need allow the “PAE feature” it in the virtual
machine’s settings. Go to System/Processor tab and tick the
“Enable PAE/NX” box.
- Since an emulation of a computer is rather resource demanding
it is better to close all other applications on weak computers
(e.g. with a RAM less than 1Gb).
Start the newly created machine, you
only need to click Start for this:
You will need to proceed
through steps 5-6 from the previous subsections, as if the DVD is
booting on your real computer. As soon as the machine presents the
graphic user interface you are ready to use the software.
If you succeeded in this you may start use the CAS. Next Sections
suggest some hints how to make your work more effective.
3 Enhancements of a Virtual Machine
There are several ways to improve your experience with emulations.
Note that your virtual machine may share cut&paste facilities
with your actual desktop.
- There are possibilities to exchange
files between your real computer and virtual machine:
The emulator, e.g. VirtualBox, may be equipped with drivers or
auxiliary programmes to access content of virtual hard drives, see
documentation of your emulator for this. Detailed instructions
how to create such a virtual hard drive with VirtualBox are
presented in item 3 below.
- If your real computer runs ftp or sshd daemon you can access
its file system from inside of the virtual machine. For this run
Midnight Commander by typing the command
on the command prompt of a terminal in the virtual machine. Then
use F9 → Left → FTP link or
F9 → Left → Shell link to
access the file system of your real computer. See help of
Midnight Commander (press F1 for this) for
For a regular use of the emulator it is better to have a
virtual hard disk. This will allow to store your work between
different emulation sessions. To create such a disk follows the
Go to the Storage menu as was described before in
item 4(h) from the previous Section. Click on
Add Hard Disk icon in the IDE controller line.
You shall be presented with the following
question, chose Create new disk.
- Virtual Fisk Creation Wizard shall start. You need to
chose the type of file. If you have not got special reasons, e.g.
compatibility with other emulators or file
exchange (cf. item 2(a) below), simply
- In the next dialogue you can again preserve the default value
by clicking Next.
- Chose a name for your new hard disk or specify the full path
to its location. You need also specify the size of disk. The
default value of 8Gb is too large if you only interested in using
CAS. The disk of 100Mb will be sufficient and not a big burden to
your real hard disk.
- The last page will show you a summary of your choices, click
- Now you need to initialise the new hard drive. Start the
virtual machine as described in item 7 from
the previous Section. Open
Main menu → Accessories →
Root terminal. At the command prompt type:
$ sudo init-vhdd
WARNING: This command will erase the whole content of
your new virtual hard drive. Thus you need to call it only
once after the new virtual hard drive was created. Note also that,
you cannot damage the content of your real hard drive from
inside of the virtual machine.
- Reboot or switch-off your virtual machine. After it will be
started again your home directiry shall be stored on the virtual
hard drive. Thus all information written where shall be available
for any further session with the virtual machine. You can access
this information with some special programmes as well.
visitors to this page since 20/10/2011.
Vladimir V. Kisil.
Fillmore-Springer-Cnops construction implemented in
Adv. Appl. Clifford Algebr., 17(1):59–70, 2007.
Updated full text and source files: arXiv:cs.MS/0512073,
Last modified: March 21, 2012.
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