Monday, July 17, 2006

The free virtual environment!

The free virtual environment!

Well, you have probably tried running a virtual operating system by now... If not, it's definitely about time!!!

The cool thing is it's pretty much free these days, except from operating system and application licenses of course. And I'm not just talking trial versions - I'm talking 100% free cool and perfectly working software!

What you get is a really good test environment (a sand box) where you can do almost anything to an operating system (or applications on it) and recover within a few second - without having to reinstall the operating system, applications etc. You can test upgrades, registry edits, group policies, domain environments, boot CDs (you can even mount ISO images), OS installation, virus, spyware & root kit behavior, hard disk and recovery tools etc. - in other words: you can do almost anything and it will without doubt make your life much easier :)

Just remember to turn on the "undo disks" feature - which clears any changes since last time you started the VM!

Virtual Machines (VMs) can be used for many different things - also running a pretty secure machine ('within' you normal machine) which can be recovered in no time (a reboot of the VM) to it's "original" state. You can run as many VMs on a host OS as you want - you just need lots of memory (I would recommend a minimum of 1 GB RAM), good processing capabilities and enough hard drive space.

VMs can be moved from one physical machine to another - without having to install any drivers etc. - in other words VMs are hardware independent! VMs created in Virtual PC 2004 can be launched on Virtual Server 2005 - just remember to update the virtual machine additions.

And let me tell you one thing - virtualization is the future ;-)

But both Microsoft and VMware have released applications that is capable of running virtual machines - and the last few months they have even started providing these wonderful tools for free!!!

Get more info and download here:
Free Virtual PC 2004 SP1
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx

Free Virtual Server 2005 R2
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver

VMware Server 1.0
http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

A beginners guide to basic networking - 100% free!

A beginners guide to basic networking - 100% free!

This guide covers some of the essential parts when talking networking. The guide is intended for people who have not understood basic networking completely yet - MCP, Network+ or MCDST level I would say.

I have tried to keep it a bit fun to read... I hope you will enjoy it :-)

Get it here: http://www.heidelbergit.dk/Artikler/BasicNetworking.pdf

The subjects covers the following and some more:
The IP protocol (version 4 only)
IP address (what about those 32 bits?)
Subnet masks (what does 255.255.255.0 really mean?)
Default gateway (where to go?)
MAC (Media Access Control) or the physical address (what about those 48 bits?)
ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) and RARP (Reverse ARP) functions
Routers (what do they do?)
Network communication in general
Basic commands (GETMAC, ARP, IPCONFIG & PING)
Subnetting (hosts, classes, reserved & private ranges etc.)
NAT (Network Address Translation)
Troubleshooting (loopback/localhost etc.)
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA)
The Alternate Configuration in Windows XP
TCP = Transmission Control Protocol (connection-oriented)
UDP = User Datagram Protocol (connectionless)
TCP & UDP ports (well-known ports & registered ports)

Name resolution technologies like:
- DNS (Domain Name System)
- HOSTS & LMHOSTS files
- WINS
- FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs was recently released by Microsoft.

I have written an article about this operating system and the basic installation process.

NB! Due to some problems with the DOCX to PDF conversion in Word 2007 Beta 2 I have had to ZIP compress the PDF document (it simply behaves strangely if opened online in a browser).

Get the article here:
www.heidelbergit.dk/Artikler/WFLPC_StandardInstallation_min.zip (1.2 MB)
www.heidelbergit.dk/Artikler/WFLPC_StandardInstallation_std.zip (5.5 MB)

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

This is my first post on this blog - and as many first posts on young blogs it's kinda full of nothing at all :)

This blog is created by Heidelberg IT (www.heidelbergit.dk) and will contain all sorts of tips and tricks for Microsoft software of all kinds, computerhardware, IT-security related topics - and other IT stuff :)

Please come back soon!

CYA
Jakob H. Heidelberg